The Ferals facts for kids
The Ferals was an Australian children's comedy television series which screened on the ABC from 1994 to 1995. It was created by Wendy Gray and Claire Henderson and featured a mixture of people and animal puppets known as the "Ferals". It was lauded for its irreverent humour and distinctive characters, some of which featured on other ABC programming. Garth Frost was responsible for the puppet design.
The Ferals are an eclectic group of animals that live together in a backyard shed. There is a rat called Rattus, a feral cat called Modigliana, a rabbit called Mixy, and a feral dog called Derryn. The humans are two university students, and their landlord, who clash with each other and the Ferals.
They include the uptight, neurotic landlord Joe King who is determined to remove the ferals from his garden; the affable science student Leonard, and medical student Roberta 'Robbie', who attempt to shield the ferals from eviction, but are sometimes exasperated with their antics.
There were also the 'Bogans From The Bush' as Modigliana liked to call them, Keith, a koala and Kylie, a kangaroo. These two characters often clashed with the Ferals, thinking they were above them due to their status as native Australian animals.
They were also quite nasal and whiney in their characteristics. Other characters included White Ants (Tina Bursill, Robert Hughes), Rock Wrangler (Tina Matthews) and Fat Cat (Taylor Owynns)
- Rattus P. Rattus (He's the leader of the bunch) Puppeteer - David Collins: The leather-jacket wearing leader of the ferals, Rattus is a black rat with a mischievous sense of humour and a love of foul odours. He enjoys taunting the cat Modigliana ("fur ball"), but is often thumped in return. He is obsessed with procuring a car of his own, often concocting several outlandish schemes to acquire one and jumping at any opportunity that will provide even the slightest chance of getting one. Rattus rattus is the scientific name for the common black rat.
- Modigliana Wydebottom (She's fluffy, but she's tough) Puppeteer - Mal Heap: A preening cat, Modigliana is also self-confident, tough and forceful, frequently clashing with Rattus as the only other particularly intelligent animal. She has parallels with the Muppets character Miss Piggy, albeit with more manginess and violence.
- Derryn (A Dopey Dog) Puppeteer - Terry Ryan: Derryn is a dog who is not the brightest of the bunch and has a habit of forgetting where he buried his bone, but does occasionally show flashes of brilliance, such as when he won a contest to win money for charity by training his fleas.
- Mixy M. Toasus (A Muddled up, mixed up Bunny) Puppeteer - Emma deVries: Mixy is a sweet, cute carrot-loving pink rabbit, but can sometimes be neurotic, and is generally only slightly smarter than Derryn. In line with the subversive black humour of the show, Mixy is named after the myxomatosis disease, introduced to Australia to reduce the population of feral rabbits.
- Keith Puppeteer - Mal Heap: Keith is a koala, who loves eating gum leaves, sleeping, and playing his mum's old harmonica.
- Kylie Puppeteer - Kelly Wallwork (Season 1), Danielle Baker (Season 2): Kylie is a kangaroo, who often has to help Keith out of trouble. She also fights frequently with Modigliana.
- Joe King (played by Miguel Ayesa): The Ferals' conceited, self-centered landlord who is forever trying to evict the Ferals from the shed. He is also often trying to get high-flying jobs, ranging from head of publicity at a pizza delivery place or acting as a guard at a cake factory. This attitude eventually works against him in the final episode in the series when his attempts to open a dinosaur-themed park after Derryn discovered a dinosaur bone drove him to destroy the shed and Robbie and Leonard's flat trying to find more bones, prompting the others to destroy his house and leave him lying under the original bone.
- Leonard (played by Brian Rooney): Leonard is a science student who is always coming up with inventions, which rarely work. He has also demonstrated other skills, such as demonstrating magic tricks and hypnotizing Derryn to be smart by accident. In the finale after the destruction of his flat, he mentions that he is going to the Antarctic for a few months to gather samples as part of a science expedition.
- Roberta 'Robbie' Henderson (played by Kylle Hogart): Robbie is a medical student, who loves playing the guitar, and dreams of travelling the world with a rock band. She is generally portrayed as the most tolerant of the Ferals of the three humans, often acting as their 'doctor' when they are hurt, such as when Mixy had amnesia. In the finale, she mentions that she is moving in with a new band following the destruction of her original flat.
List of The Ferals episodes
Later in 1995 a five-minute show called Feral TV was launched. The Ferals had been exploring the sewers, and had discovered the cable to a TV station. They started their own TV channel, calling it Feral TV, running under the TV boss Kerry, a loud gruff toad with an explosive temper, and his obsequious assistant the cockroach Rodney. Kerry's character is modelled on the Australian media magnate Kerry Packer, who at the time, was the owner of Channel Nine. Keith from the original show also returned for this show.
After the Ferals
Although few of the human actors went on to achieve successful television careers, some of the puppet characters continue to feature regularly in ABC programming. Mixy, in particular, was used as a host introducing the shows on the ABC Kids programming block (Mixy), as well as having her own show and website. Rattus and Modigliana were featured in the ABC School's education maths program, Numbers Count. Also Modigliana went on to feature as co-host of the show Creature Features.
|Premiered||February 16, 1998|
|Closed||July 26, 2002|
Mixy was an Australian program block on the ABC that hosts Mixy Rabbit from The Ferals. After the Ferals' series ended, Mixy has been used as a host for her new program block and introducing the shows in the morning.
In 2000, the puppeteer Mal Heap, who played Modigliana the cat from The Ferals, introduced the role of Joe the Kangaroo alongside Mixy.
After the programming block finished in July 2002, Mixy kept appearing in ABC idents and her own website episodes until around the mid-2000s.
- Mixy Rabbit (1998 - 2002) Puppeteer - Emma DeVries: A sweet, cute carrot-loving pink rabbit. At times gets a bit mixed up but very friendly.
- Joe the Kangaroo (2000 - 2002) Puppeteer - Mal Heap: A small brown kangaroo who loves eating broccoli. His first appearance was on the VHS tape, Mixy TV Favourites.
- Mary the Cat
- Dibadee Doll
- Scruffy the Dog
Programs in alphabetical order
- Albert - the 5th Musketeer
- Angelina Ballerina
- Animal Crackers
- Animal Shelf
- Archibald the Koala
- Arthur (now on PBS)
- Bananas in Pyjamas
- Bear in the Big Blue House
- Bill and Ben
- Blinky Bill
- Bob the Builder
- Brambly Hedge
- Budgie the Little Helicopter
- Busy Buses
- The Busy World of Richard Scarry
- Connie the Cow
- Ethelbert the Tiger
- Enid Blyton's Enchanted Lands
- Fireman Sam
- The Forgotten Toys
- George and Martha
- Hairy Maclary
- The Hoobs
- Johnson and Friends
- Kitu and Woofl
- Little Bear
- Lizzie's Library
- Magic Adventures of Mumfie
- Magic Mountain
- The Magical World of Margaret Mahy
- Merlin the Magical Puppy
- The Morph Files
- Noddy's Toyland Adventures
- Oakie Doke
- Oscar and Friends
- Oscar's Orchestra
- Pablo the Little Red Fox
- Play School
- Postman Pat
- Preston Pig
- Sesame Street (now on HBO Max and PBS Kids)
- Small Stories
- Snailsbury Tales
- Teletubbies (now on CBeebies)
- Thomas and Friends
- Tiny Planets
- William's Wish Wellingtons
- The World of Eric Carle
- The World of Peter Rabbit and Friends
- Video release
- Mixy Presents: More Favourites (1998)
- Mixy Presents TV Favourites (2002)
In the early 2000s, Mixy's website was shown at the ABC Playground Website in-between shows behind painted blobs. Mousing over the green blob would display Mixy. Clicking on the character's image would present options of games, videos, fan messages and Joe the Kangaroo's corner.
Ferals Funtastic Fanbook
1996 saw the publication of The Ferals Funtastic Fanbook by Garth Frost, Wendy Gray, David Witt and Tina Matthews.
The Ferals Podcast
On 17 May 2015 the first episode of an unofficial podcast simply titled *The Ferals Podcast* was released.
On 10 January 2016 they posted their last episode.
In the podcast, hosts Monkey Boy, Swinny & Mike took an in-depth look at the cult-classic children's television show.
The Ferals Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.