Big Bag (partially found Cartoon Network live-action animated puppet series; 1996-1998)

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Title card.

Status: Partially Found

Big Bag was a relatively short-lived preschool TV series that aired on Cartoon Network from 1996 to 1998, co-produced by Turner and the Children's Television Workshop, and created by Nina Elias-Bamberger. Notable for being Cartoon Network's first live-action series (preceding its infamous CN Real block that would debut on the channel over a decade later), the series combined live-action stories featuring humans and Muppet characters with various animated cartoons (very similar to CTW's flagship series Sesame Street.) Also unique for Cartoon Network, it originally was aired as an hour-long program without commercial breaks during its first season. For the second season, it was reduced to a half-hour program (but still without commercials.) The show was taped at the Disney-MGM Studios Park in Orlando, Florida.


The premise of the show featured human cast member Molly and her Muppet friends Chelli (a patchwork dog performed by Joey Mazzarino) and Bag (a sentient cloth tote bag whose gender is inconsistent, performed by Rickey Boyd) who own and live in a general store.

Behind the Scenes Picture

Working with them are two anthropomorphic socks, Lyle (also performed by Mazzarino) and Argyle (also performed by Boyd), who usually work in the store's stockroom and hang out in the sock bin, with Lyle often telling Argyle knock-knock jokes (substituting "knock-knock" with "sock-sock.") In the first season, local residents that often appeared included Chelli's human kid friends Kim and Joey, and a group of adult villagers including the shy Martha, mail carrier Josie, exercise instructor Trudy, wacky inventor Waldo, crossing guard Bernard, and veterinarian Dr. Furrball. All of these supporting characters were dropped after the first season, and the show's second season introduced a new humanoid Muppet girl, Sofie. Various cartoon short series (referred to as "shorties") were presented on the program, often coming from different parts of the world, including some co-produced with CTW for the series. Animated segments included Troubles the Cat, Koki, Willam's Wish Wellingtons, Slim Pig, Tobias Totz and His Lion, Samuel and Nina (the latter four only appearing in the first season) and Ace and Avery (this one exclusive to the second season.)

Chelli on New York Times Television Cover[1]

Also in the first season, a "Big Bag Beat" music video would play halfway through the episode, which would encourage kids to get up and dance or play along.

The show was also noted for its' intended interactivity with viewing children. Kids watching the series were encouraged to watch it with a bag containing a pair of socks, two spoons, a hat, and a cardboard tube. The characters in the live-action portions and Troubles the Cat would cue the viewing audience to take one of the items from the bag and use it (such as using the cardboard tube as a "Troublescope" in the Troubles cartoons.) It would also teach important life lessons such as cooperation, honesty, sharing, respect, persistence, use of imagination, and friendship. The show also won the Parent's Choice Silver Medal after its' first season.

One famous episode was in the second season when Elmo of Sesame Street came to visit Chelli, revealing they were pen-pals.


The show originally aired on Cartoon Network on Sunday mornings beginning in June 1996. In early 1998, the second season began, when the show was cut down to a half-hour and aired on weekday mornings (reruns of first season episodes were also edited down to a half-hour), before finally being cancelled in September 1998, and ended up in reruns on very early Sunday mornings (usually at 5:30 or 6:00 AM Eastern) until March 2001, and has never been rerun since. Only five episodes (three from the first season, and two from the second season) were officially released on VHS during the show's run, along with an additional video, "Sing With Us," which compiled all of the "Big Bag Beat" musical segments. These videos have since gone out of print.

Additionally, the show received two localizations, one in the UK sharing the same name as well as one in France titled Les astuces de Sacatruc. Each show shared a similar format to the US version, however, both replaced the human actors and puppeteers with local actors. (UK version has Matthew Lewis, the actor for Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter movies, performing as one of the child actors in a role uncredited on his IMDb). The UK production replaced Cartoon Network with Yorkshire Studios, and the French production replaced them with Canal J - all three are co-productions with the Children's Television Workshop. Little is known about the runtime of these two localizations, though research indicates that the UK Version ran in 1998 for 2 seasons, whereas Sacatruc aired from 1997 until possibly 2003; a French Satellite TV media writeup indicates that it's third season aired in November of 2003, suggesting it ran longer than both the US and UK versions. Most we have in terms of Sacatruc visual content is an website with a few screenshots

In addition to localizations, the original US Big Bag received a dub in Portuguese that aired on both Portuguese Cartoon Network and the TV channel TV Cultura, as well as a Spanish dub that aired on Latin American Cartoon Network and the TV channel FETV

Season 1 Intro (Portuguese Dub)

Season 2 Intro (Portuguese Dub)

Season 1 Intro (Spanish Dub)

In 2009, the Big Bag episodes were released on home video, which were uploaded on YouTube in their entirety by a YouTube user known as "BigBag9"[2]. Later on, all the "Big Bag Beat" segments were uploaded (in the form of the "Sing With Us" video) and any known footage of the show the owner could obtain, including partial episodes. Additionally, on YouTube, all of the individual Koki[3] and Tobias Totz and His Lion[4] segments were uploaded, along with several Troubles the Cat shorts. The rest of the show is currently considered lost.

Episode List

Season 1

# Episode Title Air Date Status
1 Let's Work Together Jun 2nd, 1996 Partially Found (Portuguese Dub)
2 One Little Lie Jun 9th, 1996 Partially Lost
3 Bag O' Tricks Jun 16th, 1996 Partially Found (half-hour re-cut)
4 Good-Bye to Feeling Shy Jun 23rd, 1996 Partially Found
5 Birthday Bash Jun 30th, 1996 Lost
6 Key, Key, Where Can You Be? Jul 7th, 1996 Found
7 The Apple Corps Jul 14th, 1996 Lost
8 Win, Lose or Draw Jul 21st, 1996 Found
9 The Imaginary Treasure Jul 28th, 1996 Found
10 My Crayons, My Crayons Aug 4th, 1996 Found
11 Practice, Practice Aug 11th, 1996 Lost
12 Piano Roll Blues Aug 18th, 1996 Lost
13 Bringing Up Puppy Aug 25th, 1996 Lost

Season 2

# Episode Title Air Date Status
1 Join the Club! April 6th, 1998 Found
2 The Sock Hop Unknown Found
3 Birthday Blahs Unknown Found
4 Zoom to the Zoo Unknown Lost
5 The Showdown Unknown Lost
6 Elmo's Visit Unknown Found (Missing Cartoon Segments)
7 Afraid of the Dark Unknown Partially Found (Portuguese Dub)
8 Presto Change-O Unknown Lost
9 To See or Not to See Unknown Lost
10 Giggle Cookies Unknown Lost
11 Royal Bag Unknown Lost
12 It's Showtime Unknown Lost
13 Case of the Missing Sock Unknown Lost
14 Chelli's in Charge Unknown Partially Found
15 Fair Play at the Country Fair Unknown Lost
16 Bathtub Blues Unknown Found
17 Parrot Patrol Unknown Found
18 Where's Harriet? Unknown Lost
19 Oatmeal Man Unknown Lost
20 You Don't Look Bluish Unknown Lost
21 Mrs. Everard Returns Unknown Lost
22 Attention Shoppers Unknown Lost
23 Sofie the Champ Unknown Lost
24 Dr. Bag Unknown Lost
25 Doing My Share Unknown Lost
26 I Ought to be in Pictures Unknown Lost


The Season 1 Big Bag intro.

The Season 2 Big Bag Intro

The "Big Bag Beat" segments.

A promo for the show's premiere in 1996.

Elmo's visit on the show.

3 Bumpers for Big Bag

Promo for Season 2 of Big Bag US

Very early promo for Big Bag


UK Version

Season 1

Episode Count Confirmed on a Main Puppeteers Website
# Episode Title Air Date Status
1 Poly Gone! Unknown Found
2 Friends Unknown Found
3 So Far So Good Unknown Found
4 Showtime Unknown Found
5 Captain Porridge Unknown Found
6 Missing Sock Unknown Found
7 Afraid of the Dark Unknown Found
8 Invisible Bag Unknown Found
9 Generous Bag Unknown Found
10 Showdown Unknown Found
11 Unknown Unknown Lost
12 Unknown Unknown Lost
13 Unknown Unknown Lost

Season 2

# Episode Title Air Date Status
? Win, Lose or Draw Unknown Partially Found
2 Unknown Unknown Lost
3 Unknown Unknown Lost
4 Unknown Unknown Lost
5 Unknown Unknown Lost
6 Unknown Unknown Lost
7 Unknown Unknown Lost
8 Unknown Unknown Lost
9 Unknown Unknown Lost
10 Unknown Unknown Lost
11 Unknown Unknown Lost
12 Unknown Unknown Lost
13 Unknown Unknown Lost

French Version (Les astuces de Sacatruc)

This episode list is not confirmed but is from a French Film Magazine website
# Episode Title Air Date Status
1 Le facteur est triste Unknown Lost
2 Comment faire? Unknown Lost
3 Sois patient, voyons! Unknown Lost
4 L'enfant marqué Unknown Lost
5 Un vieux répondeur Unknown Lost
6 Cirque à domicile Unknown Lost
7 Une journée Baba Doum Unknown Lost
8 Modernité Unknown Lost
9 Rage de dents, rage de faim Unknown Lost
10 Mini postière Unknown Lost
11 Plante verte ou stylo Unknown Lost
12 Zoo Unknown Lost
13 Essaie! Unknown Lost
14 Carnaval à domicile Unknown Lost
15 Sonnettes et klaxons Unknown Lost
16 Paysages sonores Unknown Lost
17 Peur, moi? Jamais! Unknown Lost
18 Quelques propositions Unknown Lost
19 Rangement musical Unknown Lost
20 La chaîne Unknown Lost
21 Lettre à Barnabé Unknown Lost
22 Préparatifs de vacances Unknown Lost
23 Ne te fatigue pas! Unknown Lost
24 Quelle tenue! Unknown Lost
25 Chellie 1er Unknown Lost
26 Prisonnier des corsaires Unknown Lost
27 Panne d'électricité Unknown Lost
28 On est tous amis Unknown Lost
29 Oups berk pouah Unknown Lost
30 Cloche-pied Unknown Lost
31 Le gâteau surprise Unknown Lost
32 Comme des oeufs de Pâques Unknown Lost
33 Carnaval vénitien Unknown Lost
34 Mes lunettes Unknown Lost
35 Il faut bien reconnaître Unknown Lost
36 Il faut se couvrir chaudement Unknown Lost
37 Moonboots en été Unknown Lost
38 Quel poète! Unknown Lost
39 Supporters Unknown Lost
40 Sons de Pâques Unknown Lost
41 Sois poli Unknown Lost
42 Vrai ou faux Unknown Lost
43 Je vais t'aider Unknown Lost
44 Je vais t'aider Unknown Lost
45 Peignes et brosses Unknown Lost
46 Une promesse est une promesse! Unknown Lost
47 Le magnétophone de tante Annette Unknown Lost
48 Voyage spatio-temporel Unknown Lost
49 Feu de tout bois Unknown Lost
50 T'as d'beaux cheveux, tu sais! Unknown Lost
51 Réveil perdu Unknown Lost
52 Cirque et pizza Unknown Lost
53 Le carillon Unknown Lost
54 En rollers Unknown Lost
55 Tolérance et respect blessé Unknown Lost


External Links

See Also

Jim Henson Company Media

Sesame Street Related Media