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

"The Adventures of Thelma Thumb" was a series of animated segments on Sesame Street, first introduced in season 9. 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 spring into action. 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.

The segments remained in rotation on the show through season 14, but 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.jpg
In the Dark
Episode 1171
A friend of Marcia's is in danger: he's riding his bike at night without lights. Thelma asks the fireflies for help.
ThelmaThumb-Giraffe.jpg
Giraffe
Episode 1174
A giraffe in the zoo has swallowed a whistle. Thelma flies inside the giraffe's throat to find it.
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Binoculars
Episode 1178
Thelma looks for a pair of binoculars that Cyrus has lost.
ThelmaThumb-Picnic.jpg
Ant's Picnic
Episode 1183
Marcia readies a picnic for herself and Cyrus, when she sees her cheese being absconded by some ants. Turning into Thelma Thumb, she discovers the ants are using it as a sideshow in a carnival. Thelma has some fun, until she finds Cyrus has been eating the carnival (thinking it was their picnic).
ThelmaThumbMeetsCyrus.jpg
Thelma Meets Cyrus
Episode 1184
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-StolenBikes.jpg
Stolen Bikes
Episode 1311
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.jpg
Broken Ship
Episode 1312
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-Wrecking.jpg
Wrecking Ball
Episode 1313
Thelma rescues a nest of baby sparrows from a building that's about to be destroyed with a wrecking ball.
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Fallen Bridge
Episode 1314
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.
ThelmaThumb-Circus.jpg
Trapeze
Episode 1389
Thelma rescues an acrobat in the circus when the trapeze breaks.
ThelmaThumb-Bees.jpg
Bees
Episode 1393
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.jpg
Airplane
Episode 1423
A boy’s toy airplane’s controls break. Thelma comes to the rescue by steering the plane.
ThelmaThumb-SandCrab.jpg
Beach Crab
Episode 1438
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.jpg
Lost Baseball
Episode 1465
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.jpg
Piano
Episode 1482
During a piano recital, a string snaps. Thelma flies inside the grand piano to hold the loose ends together.
ThelmaThumb-Fire.jpg
Fire
Episode 1507
Thelma rescues all the animals from the pet shop when a nearby shoe store catches on fire.
ThelmaThumb-OnThinIce.jpg
On Thin Ice
Episode 1510
Thelma saves an ice fisherman when the ice around him cracks.
ThelmaThumb-Construction.jpg
Construction
Episode 1513
Thelma saves a little girl's kitten that has wandered onto a long, high beam at a construction site.
ThelmaThumb-Racer.jpg
Soapbox Racer
Episode 1516
A soap box racer loses its front wheel. Thelma comes to the rescue by pulling the racer.

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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