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Monday, May 27, 2019

Michael Paraskevas Talks About Creating 'Maggie and the Ferocious Beast'

Fans of artist Michael Paraskevas, best known for co-creating Nickelodeon's popular animated preschool Maggie and the Ferocious Beast with his mother, Betty Paraskevas, will have the opportunity to see more of his work this fall at the Southampton Arts Center in Southampton, New York. To celebrate his upcoming 'Paint Your World: 40 Years of Illustration, Painting, Animation and Sketchbooks' retrospective art show, Dan's Papers recently interviewed the artist, in which he talks about creating Maggie and the Ferocious Beast along with his other works, including Green Monkeys and Rosé Soirée!

Below is an extract of the interview, in which Mickey talks about Maggie and the Ferocious Beast. To read the full interview, head to

What was it like creating the animated series Maggie and the Ferocious Beast for Nickelodeon?

I always say creating Maggie and the Ferocious Beast was like pushing a rock up a mountain. It took years from conception to seeing it on the air. At first, our goal was to get an animated series from our Junior Kroll books. Junior ran as a story poem in Dan’s Papers for 10 years. But it was Maggie that caught on with Nickelodeon. Brown Johnson headed up the Nick Jr. team and it was her love of my mother’s writing and my art that drove the show to air. It was the chance of a lifetime. In a business where creators are often pushed to the sides while other writers are brought in, Betty was allowed to pen endless scripts for the series that set the stage for what lives on today. They were, and still are, amazing ideas and fun. You can still see Maggie on YouTube. They are all on there. Have a look and see where a script really rules the day in animation.

There will be lots of animation drawings from the early development of Maggie and paintings from the original books. I even have my original clay model of the Beast, dated 1993.

See Mickey Paraskevas’ work at Paint Your World: 40 Years of Illustration, Painting, Animation and Sketchbooks presented by Dan’s Papers at Southampton Arts Center this fall. Visit for more!

Read the full interview at!

Maggie and the Ferocious Beast follows the adventures of a precocious 5-year-old named Maggie who conjures up an imaginary land where she and her favorite toys, Hamilton Hocks and Ferocious Beast, can play and have adventures. The Ferocious Beast is anything but ferocious, though he is large, with red spots and three horns on his head. The series is based on the 1996 book The Ferocious Beast with the Polka-Dot Hide and its sequels, all of which were also written by the Paraskevases. Maggie and the Ferocious Beast began as a series of shorts that aired on the Canadian channel Teletoon in 1998, following by a series of full-length episodes, running for 39 episodes (117 segments) over three seasons between August 26, 2000 – June 9, 2002. The series aired on Nickelodeon channels internationally, as well as on Treehouse TV in Canada.

More Nick: Nickelodeon Embarks on New Direction with its Biggest, Most Wide-Ranging Content Slate Ever!

Additional sources: Wikipedia (II, III),, Treehouse Direct.
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