Max and Ruby is a Canadian animated series that debuted in 2002 (following a pilot episode in 2001) that is aimed at a preschool audience. Created by children's book author/illustrator Rosemary Wells and based on the world of her Max and Ruby books, the episodes present stories about Max, a rambunctious and determined three-year-old bunny, and his big sister, Ruby, a patient, goal-oriented, sometimes restrictive seven-year-old bunny. The show presents an uplifting message for its audience by showing Max and Ruby playing together and exercising respect and love in resolving their conflicts. A pilot episode for this series aired in 2001 and the program appeared as a regular series on October 21, 2002, Season Two was aired during 2003, Season Three was aired in 2006 and a fourth season recently debuted on September 7, 2009. According to Rosemary Wells on the Nick Jr. site, "Max & Ruby celebrates the relationship between Ruby and her younger brother, Max, and the universal nature of sibling relationships."
Each episode consists of three self-contained vignettes. Within each, Ruby is typically engaged in some sort of project or activity (which usually involves Max whether he's willing or not), while Max has a particular interest of his own which either runs counter to his sister's or distracts her. Generally, Max's dialog within each story is usually limited to just one word or a two-word phrase, which he repeats periodically for the rest of the episode until the end, sometimes saying a different word (or in rare occasions a full (three-word) sentence). Since he only uses the same word when communicating, what he is trying to say is often misinterpreted. By the end of the story, Max usually ends up helping Ruby in some way, to her benefit and delight.
It features Samantha Morton as the voice of Ruby, Billy Rosemberg as the voice of Max and Julie Lemieux as Louise. In season three, Rebecca Peters replaced Morton as the voice of Ruby. The voice of Grandma is played by Kay Hawtrey. The voice of Valerie is played by Joan Cusack. In season four, Tyler Stevenson replaced Rosemberg as the voice of Max.
For season 1, Jamie Whitney was the director, and all 39 episodes were written by Kate Barris and Paddy Granleese. While some of the stories were adapted from the books, the number of TV episodes eventually surpassed the number of books written by Wells.
- The show is broadcast in Hindi with its original title.
- In Italian, Max and Ruby were both voiced by the same voice actress.
- In Czech, the show is called Mše a Rubý.
Max & Ruby on Stage
Max & Ruby Live (Our Favorite Things) is a live touring show of the series' two stars.
A 3-year-old bunny who is the brother of Ruby. He usually says just one repeated word per episode, such as "Froggy" and "Faster", and says a full sentence sometimes like "Bad Egg". This makes communicating with others difficult as they often misinterpret him. Usually if Ruby is involved in something Max wants to be part of it. He wears blue overalls with a red-striped white shirt. Max has a huge selection of wind-up toys and is usually playing with them. His toys appear to have minds of their own sometimes - as proven in "Max's Birthday" when Ruby believed that Max's birthday present, "A Wind-Up Lobster", was asking to play tag and share Max's birthday cake while cleaning up the birthday mess. His Christmas gifts includes A "Screaming Green Alien Gorilla", and "A speed Sled" which he once had a mistaken belief that he will be allowed to go down "Rocket Run" the biggest sledding hill. Ruby forced Max to go down the smallest hill, "Bunny Hill", which makes Max angry. He has lots of monster and dragon masks, but it appears the dragon mask is his favorite mask and he says "Monster! Roar!" or "Dragon!! ROAR!!". His favorite toys are his firetruck, Wind-Up Lobster, Tow Truck, Dragon mask, Can't-sit-up-Slug, "JellyBall Spitting Spider", and "Ear-Splitter Space Cadet". He is good at losing his toys and trying to force Ruby to help him find them. He also loves the Radio show "Super Bunny" and he would pretend to be Super Bunny using his cape. However, his obsession once lead him to want to play Super Bunny all day in one episode even though his show was over. He has a surprising streak of deviousness for someone his age and often manages to be more clever than his older sister.
- A typical "Max and Ruby" skit has Max and Ruby both coming up with ideas and Ruby trying to talk Max out of his idea. The show normally ends with Max losing hope of getting what he wants (and Ruby seemingly winning the argument) but Max always outsmarts her and gets what he wants. Their parents are never seen or mentioned, although a few episodes feature their grandmother.
A 7-year-old bunny and Max's older sister. She wears a yellow dress with flower patterns in the first two seasons and a pink dress in the following seasons. She behaves in a protective and almost maternal manner to Max, for example persuading him to do something against his will because "it's what's best for him" and trying to force him to be handsome or beautiful characters for Halloween and not scary or disgusting. She appears to hate Dragons when she reveals that Max has been "Playing Dragon for three days" in one episode. She is known for having tea parties, or regular parties with her dolls as guests. She is also known for being afraid of the biggest sledding hill, "Rocket Run" and forcing Max to go down the smallest and which hardly is a hill, Bunny Hill, which made Max angered. She's often bossy, smug, and rude to Max, especially when she doesn't get her way, nonetheless she loves Max all the same.
A grandmother to Max and Ruby, she lives quite near to them. She likes to have fun and has an attic full of clothes. She wears a blue dress and is frequently involved with her grandchildren (whereas Max's and Ruby's parents are unseen characters in the show). She loves her grandchildren equally but Max is often Grandma's confidant when she plans something special, as she knows Max can keep a secret. She sides with Max when Max outsmarts Ruby and when Ruby assumes Grandma will love her ideas better than Max's.
Ruby's friend, and a frequently-recurring character. She likes to have fun and has a younger cousin named Morris. She has reddish-brown fur and wears a green tartan dress. Physically, she looks almost exactly like Ruby except she's slightly taller.
Another friend of Ruby's, she wears a red and gold dress and is dark brown. She wears glasses is shorter than the others and is pudgy.
Another friend of Ruby, though not seen as often as Louise or Valerie. She goes to, and is usually seen, at Bunny Scouts with Ruby, Louise, and Valerie, but sometimes joins them when playing. She has blonde fur and is the only character with eyelashes.
A family consisting of Mrs Huffington, Mr Huffington and Baby Huffington. Baby Huffington has yet to be given an actual name. Mrs. Huffington is a talented Baton twirler and she helped teach Ruby and Louise. Ruby sometimes babysits Baby Huffington.
A family who work at the Market consisting of Roger and Mr. Piazza. Roger is about eight years old, considers Max a little brother and is into sports and racing cars. Louise and Ruby are infatuated with him. In the first two seasons all he ever says is "Uh-huh" and "Uh-uh", but speaks completely in season three. He often helps his father at his store.
Bunny Scout Leader
The leader of the Bunny Scouts, a bunny version of Girl Scouts, to which Ruby, Louise, Martha, and Valerie are members. She is only referred to as 'Bunny Scout Leader'; her real name is unknown. She is seen infrequently, usually testing the girls to earn badges.
Max's best friend and Louise's younger cousin. His exact age is unknown, but he appears to be slightly younger than Max. He doesn't know how to talk as much as Max who says one word per episode of sentence. Upon their first meeting, he was unfriendly towards Max, but they quickly became friends and he is Max's sidekick, going along with whatever Max is doing. He once joined Max in wanting to play "Dump Truck" in Max's sand box, which he refers to as "Vroom Vroom!".
A friend of Max and Ruby's and a shop owner. She owns a candy and vampire-teeth shop. Her stuff sh sells includes, candy, Lemonade, Vampire-Teeth with Oozing Cherry-Syrup, and Glow-In-The-Dark Vampire Teeth. She seems to know that Max was buying vampire teeth a present for someone's birthday sometimes.
A friend of Max and Ruby's and a shop owner. She sells, Music Boxes with Skating Ballerinas, plates and earrings. She attends tea parties and loves Gellatin Salads with Bugs. Her store is next door to Candi's.
A boy bunny that Ruby and Louise seem to have a crush on. He likes sports, sledding, and cars. He has a cameo appearance in "Max's Rocket Run" when he goes down Rocket Run with a sled as well with a group of bunnies, but has his main apparance in "Roger's Choice". He typically says "Uh huh" or "uh-uh" (in the first two seasons) but occasionally says other words and sentences.
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- Max and Ruby merchandise available at The Nick Shop
- Theatreworks/USA production
- Max and Ruby at the Internet Movie Database
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