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Thelma Thumb

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Thelmathumb

"Zapper jiffy squincher scrum, make me into Thelma Thumb!"

The Adventures of Thelma Thumb was a series of animated segments on Sesame Street, dating at least to 1978, according to CTW archives. Designed to teach pre-science concepts, the series was produced by John Korty using his Lumage system, which utilized fabric cut-outs.

The central character was Marcia Middlewell, a seemingly average girl who harbored a secret alter-ego. When accidents appeared inevitable or other trouble spots occurred, Marcia would enter a phone booth. With the utterance of her magic phrase, "Zapper jiffy squincher scrum, make me into Thelma Thumb!", she would shrink to the size of a salt shaker and fly to the rescue. Thelma's size allowed the segments to examine objects and places from a unique perspective. Also featured was Marcia's pet magpie, Cyrus, designed by Brian Narelle. As with other Korty shorts, the dialogue was partially improvised by San Francisco-based actors; Judith Kahan supplied the voice of Marcia/Thelma, and James Cranna was Cyrus.

While the segments have not aired on the US Sesame Street in decades, they still occasionally surface in the Netherlands, on Sesamstraat. Marcia Middlewell/Thelma Thumb is renamed Marijke/Selma Duim and voiced by Marijke Merckens. Cyrus, now Kobus Kraai, is voiced by Sesamstraat voice veteran Paul Haenen. In Spain she was renamed Espita Gorgorita/Pepita Pulgarcita, and in Germany she was called Däumelinchen (Thumbelina).

Sketches

Picture Summary / EKA Description
ThelmaThumb-BikeinDark
In the Dark
Episode 1187
A friend of Marcia's is in danger: he's riding his bike at night without lights. Thelma asks the fireflies for help.
Folge2299-13
Binoculars
Episode 1213
Thelma looks for a pair of binoculars that Cyrus has lost.
ThelmaThumbMeetsCyrus
Thelma Meets Cyrus
Episode 1240
Thelma meets Cyrus the magpie, who, after getting covered with yellow paint, had been mistaken for a canary and locked in a cage in a pet shop. Thelma rescues him and becomes his friend.
ThelmaThumb-Giraffe
Giraffe
Episode 1254
A giraffe in the zoo has swallowed a whistle. Thelma flies inside the giraffe's throat to find it.
ThelmaThumb-Racer
Soapbox Racer A soap box racer loses its front wheel. Thelma comes to the rescue by pulling the racer.
ThelmaThumb-StolenBikes
Stolen Bikes All the children's bicycles are stolen. Marcia asks Cyrus to watch her bike, but the thieves steal the bike and kidnap Cyrus. Thelma locates the thieves, locks them up in the garage, and calls the cops.
ThelmaThumb-Ship
Broken Ship A ship is about to crash on the rocks: there's a bolt missing from the helm. Thelma flies inside the engine to find it and repairs the ship.
ThelmaThumb-OnThinIce
On Thin Ice Thelma saves an ice fisherman when the ice around him cracks.
ThelmaThumb-Bees
Bees A beehive is disturbing a little girl in her treehouse, so Thelma convinces the bees to move their hive to another tree surrounded by flowers.
ThelmaThumb-Airplane
Airplane A boy’s toy airplane’s controls break. Thelma comes to the rescue by steering the plane.
ThelmaThumb-SandCrab
Beach Crab At the beach, a man’s hat falls onto a crab, who crawls into a boy’s sandcastle. The man wants to destroy the sandcastle to get his hat back, but instead Thelma asks the crab to return the hat.
ThelmaThumb-Baseball
Lost Baseball During a baseball game, a kid's baseball falls into a rabbit's hole. Thelma travels through the hole to get it back.
ThelmaThumb-Piano
Piano During a piano recital, a string snaps. Thelma flies inside the grand piano to hold the loose ends together.
Noimage
Fallen Bridge Marcia and her friends are looking for D words, and Cyrus brings them a "DANGER" sign from a fallen bridge. Thelma must put the sign back before the school bus tries to cross the bridge.
Noimage
Boys vs. Girls The boys try to sabotage a game of baseball because they don't want the girls to play along. Thelma helps the girls set things straight by letting them win.
Noimage
Wrecking Ball Thelma rescues a kitten from a building that's about to be destroyed with a wrecking ball.
Noimage
Trapeze Thelma rescues an acrobat in the circus when the trapeze breaks.


Credits

  • Director/Producer: John Korty
  • Designer/Writer: Brian Narelle
  • Art Director/Set Designer: Harley Jessup
  • Editor: Michael Rosenthal
  • Animator: Amanda Bereny
  • Ink and Paint: Kevin Richardson

Sources

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