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Wunschpunsch
Directed by Philippe Amador
Composer(s) Michel Dax
Country of origin France
Canada
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 52
Production
Executive producer(s) Jacqueline Tordjman
Jacques Pettigrew
Ralf Fronz
Producer(s) Bruno Bianchi
Hubert Gariépy
Running time 25 mins.
Production company(s) Saban International Paris
CinéGroupe
Ventura Film Distributors B.V
Distributor Saban International
HG Distribution
Release
Original network TF1 (France)
Fox Kids (Europe)
Radio-Canada (Canada)
Original release 1999 (1999) – 2000 (2000)

Wunschpunsch is a German/French/Canadian animated series produced by Saban International Paris and CinéGroupe, inspired by the 1989 German novel The Night of Wishes by Michael Ende.

Plot

In every episode, an eccentric old wizard named Bubonic and his aunt, a witch named Tyrannia, must wreak havoc on the city in which they live or suffer a severe punishment from their supervisor, Maledictus T. Maggot. To be able to do so, they use an ancient magical parchment that, once utilized to activate a spell, said spell must be reversed within the next seven hours; otherwise, its effects will become permanent and irreversible. To make sure the spells are reversed, Bubonic's and Tyrannia's pets, Mauricio di Mauro and Jacob Scribble, must seek out Aunt Noah, an old turtle at the local zoo and head of the Animal Council, for a riddle on how to reverse the spell, which they usually manage to do in the nick of time. One of the episodes, Night of Wishes, is particularly inspired by the book. In that episode, the animals foil the spell by dropping a bell sound into the potion cauldron and Maledictus Maggot punishes Bubonic and Tyrannia for the foiled spell by attaching their homes, forcing them to live together. Unlike the other known punishments that never last enough to be seen in later episodes, this one seems to be permanent and has lasted at least five years (the animals recall that it has been five years since it happened). Bubonic and Tyrannia are so clumsy that some of their spells bring trouble to themselves, and when the spells are undone, they feel a temporary relief that quickly ends when Maggot shows up to punish them for their failure.

Characters

  • Mauricio di Mauro: A chubby cat with a large appetite. He likes to brag about his lineage, which goes back to medieval/Venetian times. He is Bubonic's pet. He is eager and happy-go-lucky, but he's much smarter than he seems. He carries around with him a small red pocket watch, which he uses to keep track of how long he and Jacob have left until each spell is permanent. He is voiced by Rick Jones.
  • Jacob Scribble: Tyrannia's pet, a stocky old raven frequently complaining about his rheumatism. He can be uptight, sarcastic, arrogant and proud, but he's good at heart and he genuinely loves and cares for Mauricio. He is something of a womaniser despite his plain appearance and is implied to be a two-timer. He is talented at many things, such as cello playing, skiing and ice skating. He is voiced by Harry Hill.
  • Bubonic Preposteror: An old cranky wizard. He likes to keep things traditional, refraining himself from using modern technology. He fits into the stereotypical view of an old medieval wizard living in a derelict tower. His hobbies include playing his cello and gardening, but as expected from an evil wizard, his garden is full of dangerous flesh eating plants and his cello playing is horrible. He is voiced by Rick Jones.
  • Tyrannia Vamperl: Bubonic's aunt. Despite being older than her nephew, Tyrannia embraces modern technology and fashion, to the point of calling Bubonic an old fashioned relic. Much to Bubonic's annoyance, she also likes loud music. She wears a different outfit (and sometimes hairstyle/color) in every episode. She is voiced by Kathleen Fee.
  • Maledictus T. Maggot: The supervisor of the two wizards, a very powerful wizard himself and the main antagonist of the series. Maggot looks like a combination between a humanoid bug and amphibian. At the start of almost every episode he appears before the wizards and reminds them they need to cast an evil curse on the city or the consequences will be nasty. Naturally, due to the interference of two protagonists (Mauricio and Jacob), their curse fails, causing Maggot to punish the wizards, usually turning them into something related to the curse of the episode. Despite the fact that he's evil and grumpy, he is happily married. He is voiced by Vlasta Vrána.
  • Auntie Noah: A wise old tortoise living in the Megalopolis Zoo. She assists Mauricio and Jacob by giving advice on how to break the curse, always in the form of a riddle. She has some magical abilities of her own, such as in "Life With Maggot" when she visit Mauricio and Jacob in a dream. Although she is not from the original novel, she is inspired by other turtles and tortoises from Ende's works such as Morla from The Neverending Story and Cassiopeia from Momo. She is voiced by Joanna Noyes.
  • The Cozy family: The neighbors of the wizards. Mauricio is on good terms with their son Kip. They are also seen in most episodes to show the effects of the wizards' newest curse.
  • Mayor Plaga: The overweight mayor of Megalopolis, a typical self-centered politician. He isn't very competent but he cares about his city.
  • Chief Hydrant: The local firefighter who has a bitter rivalry with the Mayor.
  • Barbara Blabber: The local news reporter who is full of herself. Bubonic is attracted to her.
  • The animal council: A lioness, goat, pig and monkey who are Auntie Noah's subordinates.
  • Meathead: Bubonic's pet carnivorous plant.
  • Oak Foot: Chief Hydrant's pet dog. He sometimes helps Mauricio and Jacob on their missions.
  • Mrs. Maggot: Maggot's wife. She loves and cares for her husband, and although she's not evil like him, she gently bosses him around. In the final episode she temporarily replaced him as Tyrannia and Bubonic's supervisor due to him getting sick.

Episodes

Titles of English episodes

Season 1

  • 01. Plant Panic

Tyrannia and Bubonic make the plants grow and turn evil.

  • 02. Double Trouble

Tyrannia and Bubonic make any mirror create a double of a person who looks at it.

  • 03. Worst Noel

Tyrannia and Bubonic ruin Christmas by making the toys received by the children alive and evil.

  • 04. Terrible Toddlers

Tyrannia and Bubonic turn everyone into children.

  • 05. Colorless Chaos

Tyrannia and Bubonic make everyone lose their colors.

  • 06. Off the Walls

Tyrannia and Bubonic make paintings alive.

  • 07. Prehistorical Populace

Tyrannia and Bubonic turn everyone into cavemen.

  • 08. Big Feet

Tyrannia and Bubonic enlarge everyone's feet.

  • 09. The King's Aunt

Tyrannia and Bubonic turn the city back to the Middle Ages. However, Bubonic sabotages the spell in order to make himself a king and turn Tyrannia into his slave.

  • 10. Appliance Alliance

Tyrannia and Bubonic make electrical appliances come to life and do what they want.

  • 11. Invasion of the Giant Insects

Tyrannia and Bubonic make insects huge and menacing.

  • 12. Wishful Thinking

Tyrannia and Bubonic make anyone's wish come true, but the wish usually turns against the person. This is the first episode where Tyrannia and Bubonic try to get rid of Maggot from their lives.

  • 13. The Beastie Brew

Tyrannia and Bubonic turn everyone into animals.

  • 14. Once Upon a Potion

Tyrannia and Bubonic make fairy tale characters come to life.

  • 15. Car Wars

Tyrannia and Bubonic turn everyone into cars.

  • 16. The Wild Wild Pets

Tyrannia and Bubonic turn pets into wild animals.

  • 17. Wacky Weather

Tyrannia and Bubonic make the weather change constantly and unexpectedly.

  • 18. Lost Spell

Tyrannia and Bubonic make everyone's things get lost.

  • 19. Poubelle and Back

Tyrannia and Bubonic make garbage double and return to the place of the person who threw it away.

  • 20. Sand Witch

Tyrannia and Bubonic turn the city into a desert.

  • 21. Bubonic Plague

Tyrannia and Bubonic turn everyone into themselves (men are turned into Bubonic and women are turned into Tyrannia). Things become more complicated when Jacob accidentally gets turned into chicken.

  • 22. Ghost Town

Tyrannia and Bubonic turn the city into a ghost town, causing spirits to roam around freely. Whenever a ghost successfully scares someone, it multiplies into two.

  • 23. You Must Be Joking

Tyrannia and Bubonic turn everyone into pranksters.

  • 24. By a Hair's Breadth

Tyrannia and Bubonic make everyone's hair grow everywhere on their body except the head.

  • 25. Goin' Garbanzo

Tyrannia and Bubonic turn everyone's heads into plants.

  • 26. Night of Wishes

This episode is based on the books. This episode recalls how Maurizio and Jacob first met, and Tyrannia and Bubonic's first spell which polluted the city.

Season 2

  • 27. Life with Maggot

Maggot takes Mauricio and Jacob away from Tyrannia and Bubonic to his house. Mauricio and Jacob seem to have a great time with Mrs. Maggot. Meanwhile, in order to have pets around, Tyrannia and Bubonic separate other pets from their owners.

  • 28. Let's Break a Deal

Bubonic meets a mysterious wizard who gives him great powers. Bubonic then uses his new advanced powers to turn the city upside down.

  • 29. Slowly But Surely

Tyrannia and Bubonic make everyone very slow. Only those who are awake when the spell was cast don't get affected by it.

  • 30. Gloom With a View

Tyrannia and Bubonic make everyone very depressed.

  • 31. Mayor For a Day

In order to not have an amusement park in their yard, Tyrannia decides to switch Bubonic's body with Mayor Plaga's. It works, but everything goes out of control when Bubonic and the Mayor decide to stay in each other's bodies permanently and Mauricio and Jacob have switched bodies too.

  • 32. Good For Nothing

Tyrannia and Bubonic make everyone useless in anything useful.

  • 33. Fancy Footwork

Tyrannia and Bubonic make everyone's shoes dance without stopping.

  • 34. Shadow of a Doubt

Tyrannia and Bubonic turn everyone into shadows whenever they are exposed to sunlight.

  • 35. Nice Wizards

Tyrannia and Bubonic plan to dispel Maggot's evil attitude and turn it into a nice one. Mauricio and Jacob decide to sabotage the spell to also affect their owners. It works, but Tyrannia and Bubonic's goodness goes out of control when they get everyone into trouble while helping.

  • 36. Inspector Maggot

In order to get rid of Maggot from their lives, Tyrannia and Bubonic make him control everyone in the city.

  • 37. Vanity Spell

Tyrannia and Bubonic make all adults in the city extremely self-centered and to not pay attention to children.

  • 38. Drop Me a Line

Tyrannia and Bubonic make queues endless.

  • 39. Money Can't Buy Happiness

Tyrannia and Bubonic make money multiply, causing everyone to become greedy.

  • 40. Happy Valentine

Tyrannia and Bubonic ruin Valentine's Day by making everyone's lover turn against that person after reading a Valentine card.

  • 41. Simply Irresistible

Bubonic reluctantly agrees to help Tyrannia become irresistible to the men in the city. However, when Maggot also becomes attracted to her, everything goes out of control.

  • 42. Ty-me Travel

Tyrannia and Bubonic, along with Mauricio and Jacob, go back in time – to the Middle Ages – to prevent Maggot's parents from meeting to prevent him from being born and getting involved in their lives. However, they forget to create a way back to the 21st century, causing them to be trapped in the past (much to Jacob's dismay, since birds like him were often cooked and eaten in Middle Ages).

  • 43. The Great Escape

Tyrannia and Bubonic make walls permeable, which ruins everyone's privacy.

  • 44. Two Cute

Tyrannia and Bubonic glue people who are arguing together. Maurizio and Jacob have a fallout and are glued to each other too.

  • 45. Quiz the Wizard

Tyrannia and Bubonic turn the city into game shows.

  • 46. Achoo!

When Tyrannia comes down with a bad cold, she and Bubonic make everyone (including most of the animals, but excluding Mauricio and Jacob) sneeze constantly, as if they caught her cold.

  • 47. The Big Shrinking Spell

Tyrannia and Bubonic make everyone shrink if they come in contact with water.

  • 48. Abominable Behavior

Tyrannia and Bubonic make snowmen alive and malicious.

  • 49. The Pinocchio Syndrome

Tyrannia and Bubonic make everyone lie and their noses grow long when they do so.

  • 50. Perchance to Dream - Not

Tyrannia and Bubonic turn everyone's dreams into nightmares, which later become real during the day. As in Slowly But Surely, only those who are awake when the spell is cast are unaffected, including the wizards and Jacob.

  • 51. It's a Dog's Life

Tyrannia and Bubonic turn everyone into dogs.

  • 52. The War of the Sex

Tyrannia and Bubonic make the city's men and women turn against each other. Maggot is sick and his wife temporarily takes his place as Tyrannia and Bubonic's supervisor.

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