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The Wiggles characters are a group of characters who perform with The Wiggles, the Australian children's music group.  Aside from the four Wiggles, four secondary characters, along with a troupe of singers and dancers, appear in their television series, videos, and live concerts. These characters were developed in the 1990s and were originally played by group members and by Anthony Field's brother Paul, the band's manager. Later in the group's history, the characters were played by hired actors.

Dorothy the DinosaurEdit

Dorothy is a "rososaurus", a "yellow-spotted herbivorous green dinosaur with surprisingly scary teeth".[1] She lives in a pink and purple house with her own Rosy Orchestra and a rose garden in her backyard. She loves to eat roses and dance the ballet.[1]  She enjoys serving guests rose-derived treats such as "rosy-posy tea".[2]

Murray Cook created Dorothy from his experiences in working at a preschool, sensing a need to make up some good dinosaur songs.[3] Dorothy was part of the band's early stage shows, and was originally played by Cook, then Wiggles choreographer Leeanne Ashley, and Wiggles dancers such as Caterina Mete and Lyn Stuckey.[4][5] Ashley was Dorothy's first full-time portrayer; according to Field, she "wrote the blueprint"[6] for the character.  Ashley developed movements that conveyed Dorothy's unique personality.[6] South Australian Carolyn Ferrie, an opera singer and dancer, has provided Dorothy's voice since the group's 1997 video Wiggledance!,[note 1] when she worked with Anthony Field on an Irish music Wiggles CD.[7] Ferrie described Dorothy as "a dinosaur superstar ... very open, friendly, and warm. She is like a mother figure even though she is only meant to be five, and kids really respond to her ... She is calm and mothering but friendly as well. She's young and still playful but has got a motherly feeling to her".[7] Ferrie insisted that Dorothy "is number one after the boys including Captain Feathersword, in terms of who kids say they love".[7] Dorothy has a distinctive, trill-like, descending laugh created by Ferrie.[2][7]

In 1996, shortly before moving into American markets, The Wiggles discovered that someone in Maine had registered Dorothy as a trademark, so they reached an agreement and paid a settlement.[8]  In 2007, Dorothy began to star in her own television show in Australia.[7] The show had a distinct look and sound. Whereas The Wiggles' TV shows were "hyper-real and cartoonish" and had a pop sound, Dorothy's show was "really rich and beautiful looking" and based its sound on orchestral music.[9]  Dorothy was the focus of her own touring production, which performed in smaller cities The Wiggles could not perform.  The production, based upon the TV show, was written by Field, and Moran was the host of this show before he joined the band.  Lyn Stuckey, who later married Moran, played Dorothy.[10][11]

Captain FeatherswordEdit

Captain Feathersword, "the friendly pirate", wears a hat, patch, and puffy shirt and wields a "feathery saber".[12][13]  The Captain was created because The Wiggles understood that young children, especially boys, like pirates; they gave him a "feathersword" because they wanted him to be nonviolent.[14]  Field originated the role, and Paul Paddick, whom Field called "just as funny offstage as on",[14] began playing him in 1993.[15]  At first, Paddick's role was minor, but it eventually evolved, and he has been called "the Fifth Wiggle".[13]  For many parents, his vocal impersonations were "the high point of the Wiggles stage show" and included singers Mick Jagger, Cher, Plácido Domingo and James Hetfield.[12]

Henry the OctopusEdit

Introduced in 1992, Henry the Octopus, who directs an underwater band and loves to dance with his eight legs".[1] He was named after Tony Henry, the drummer in The Cockroaches, who also provided The Wiggles with musical support throughout the years.[16]  The character was developed by Fatt, who originally served as Henry's voice. Paul Paddick took over the role of the voice in the mid-2000s.[17] He has appeared as both a puppet and a mascot, the latter of which has been played by various dancers on staff.

Wags the DogEdit

Wags is a tall, brown, furry dog with floppy ears and a happy face.[1] He "loves to sing and dance and kids bring 'bones' that the Wiggly dancers collect from the audience".[1]  The last of the four characters to be introduced, Wags was originally played by Field.[12][18]

Minor charactersEdit

For the stage shows, The Wiggles have used two 16-metre (52 ft) trucks, three tour buses, a cast of 13 dancers, and 10 permanent crew members.[19] The "Wiggly dancers" have always made up a major part of the Wiggles shows and TV programs and play many of the minor roles. Minor characters of note include The Cook (portrayed by Anthony Field's father, John, and Crowded House drummer Paul Hester),[20] Professor Singalottasonga (played by Sam Moran),[21] Flora Door, Magdalena the Mermaid and Officer Beaples (played by former Wiggles choreographer Leanne Halloran).[22]

Works CitedEdit

NotesEdit

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  7. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named dotty
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  9. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named wigglyworld
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  11. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named mcdougall
  12. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named swordplay
  13. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named captain
  14. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named comcast
  15. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named paddy
  16. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named field-233
  17. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named jeff
  18. Wags has also been played by Edward Rooke,Andrew McCourt, Talbot, and Paddick.  Articles retrieved on 2008-05-24.
  19. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named wigglyway
  20. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named hester
  21. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named meacham
  22. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named halloran

ReferencesEdit

Template:The Wiggles


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