Lizzie McGuire is an American live-action teen sitcom, which features an animated version of the title character performing soliloquy. The animated sequences were interspersed with the show's live-action sequences. It premiered on the Disney Channel on January 12, 2001 following the premiere of Zenon: The Zequel and ended February 14, 2004. A total of 65 episodes were produced and aired. Its target demographic was preteens and adolescents.
The series was created by Terri Minsky. The show's working title was What's Lizzie Thinking? before being changed to Lizzie McGuire. The show's producer Stan Rogow says the visual look of the show was partly inspired by Run Lola Run. The show's pilot, "Pool Party", was filmed in March 2000 and once the series was picked up, production resumed in September 2000. Production was completed in June 2002 after the show fulfilled its 65 episode order. The first several episodes were aired out of production order.
Elizabeth Brooke "Lizzie" McGuire (Hilary Duff): is the shy main character of the show. She is portrayed as a clumsy teen who dreams to fit in and be popular, although her animated alter ego displays her true feelings from time to time. Lizzie constantly gets into arguments with her younger brother Matt, but knows right from wrong. She's a straight-B student.
Miranda Isabella Sanchez (Lalaine): is Lizzie's best friend; she, Lizzie, and Gordo form a trio of friends. She is the most self-conscious of the three. Her family is Mexican American, but she speaks very little Spanish. Like Lizzie, Miranda struggles with being a teenage girl, and growing up. She did not appear in the last six episodes, nor in The Lizzie McGuire Movie, in order to pursue other projects. During this time, her character was said to be vacationing with her family in Mexico City. Miranda plays the violin.
David "Gordo" Gordon (Adam Lamberg): is Lizzie's other best friend and has been since they were babies. He usually offers sarcasm and good advice. He is portrayed as being very intelligent, practical, and he is a straight-A student. Gordo's dream is to become a director. Gordo will usually carry his video camera with him and his favorite game is Hacky Sack. He was revealed to be Jewish American, as shown in one episode where he had a bar mitzvah. Gordo likes to have unusual interests such as unicycling and the Rat Pack because he does not want to be seen as part of the herd. In the episode "The Untitled Stan Jenson Project", it was revealed that Lizzie had a crush on him in the fourth grade. In the episode "Dear Lizzie", it is revealed that Gordo has a crush on Lizzie. In The Lizzie McGuire Movie, Lizzie kisses him for the way he stood by her throughout their entire trip to Rome.
Matthew Shane "Matt" McGuire (Jake Thomas): is Lizzie's little brother. He is a clever troublemaker who never tires of hatching schemes, whether to annoy his sister, confound his parents, or increase his creature comforts. He has a best friend named Lanny, who does not speak on-screen. Despite Matt and Lizzie constantly fighting with each other, they are shown to genuinely care about each other. Matt's catch phrases are "You rang?" and "Talk to me."
Joanne "Jo" McGuire (Hallie Todd): is Lizzie and Matt's mother. She cares deeply about Lizzie, but was still trying to figure out how to raise a teenager. As a result, she sometimes tended to "mess up" situations in Lizzie's life while trying to help make them better. At the end of each episode, Jo and Lizzie tend to come to an understanding and portray the unfaltering love of a mother-daughter relationship. Jo always figures out what her kids are up to and is one step ahead of them.
Samuel "Sam" McGuire (Robert Carradine): is Lizzie and Matt's father. He could be best described as a bit goofy and quite clueless about raising his kids. However, he always tried his best to help Lizzie out and understand her, and was always available to lend a helping hand. Like Lizzie, Sam is a klutz.
Katherine "Kate" Sanders (Ashlie Brillault): is the most popular girl at Lizzie's school. Originally one of Lizzie, Miranda and Gordo's best friends, Kate becomes popular because she got a bra after summer camp was over; as a result of her new-found popularity, Kate becomes Lizzie's enemy. Kate enjoys trying to make Lizzie's life miserable by teasing her, but Lizzie always manages to outsmart Kate and come out on top. Several episodes show the friendlier side of her nature, showing that she possibly doesn't really hate Lizzie. References in episodes and other items such as novelizations released by Disney are inconsistent about her last name being Sanders or Saunders. While Kate was mean to Lizzie in the series, she eventually becomes Lizzie's friend again in The Lizzie McGuire Movie.
Ethan Craft (Clayton Snyder): is the good looking, athletic boy who Lizzie, Miranda, and the rest of the girls at school have a huge crush on. He lacks in the intelligence aspect, but he is kind and friendly to everyone. In season one, he is portrayed as more of a bad boy or a class bully. In the season two episode "Just Friends", it is revealed that Ethan loves golf, and that his favorite movie is Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.
Lawrence "Larry" Tudgeman III (Kyle Downes): Referred to as "Tudgeman" (or simply Tudge), Larry is portrayed as the stereotype of the school geek. He is treated like an outcast by everyone except Lizzie and her friends. He has also been known to wear the same shirt since the fourth grade. In the season one episode "Scarlett Larry", Larry asks Lizzie out on her first date. Lizzie accepted his invitation to make him feel liked, but actually has a good time. Afterwards Larry believes that they are boyfriend and girlfriend. Lizzie sets Larry straight that she does not like him that way, and the two remain friends. It is later revealed that Larry now has an unrequited crush on Miranda. He is not featured in the The Lizzie McGuire Movie.
Claire Miller (Davida Williams): is Kate's new best friend. She is not very kind to Lizzie and the gang. She can sometimes even be unkind to her friends, including Kate, as shown in the episode "The Rise & Fall of The Kate Empire." Unlike Kate, Claire is more or less completely one-dimensional. She represents the stereotypical popular girl portrayed on many TV shows.
Lanny Onasis (Christian Copelin): is Matt's best friend. He never speaks on-screen, but Matt seems to have no problem communicating with him. In Season 2 it's revealed that Lanny is a direct descendant of Crispus Attucks. His favorite ice cream flavor is pumpkin.
Melina Bianco (Carly Schroeder): is Matt's other best friend who loves getting him into trouble. Later in the series, they both begin to have feelings for each other. She is the only one of Matt's friends to appear in The Lizzie McGuire Movie.
Digby "Mr. Dig" Sellers (Arvie Lowe, Jr.): is Lizzie's cool, laid-back substitute teacher. In his lessons, he often implies that he educated celebrities like Frankie Muniz and Christina Aguilera. He befriends Lizzie's dad in one of the episodes and dates Matt's teacher, Miss Jasmine Chapman.
Edward and Daniela Sanchez (Armando Molina and Dyana Ortelli): are Miranda's parents and appear in only a few episodes, including "Night of the Day of the Dead" in which they play a prank on Kate. It is implied that they are very goodfriends with Lizzie's parents.
Howard and Roberta Gordon (Michael Mantell and Alison Martin): are Gordo's parents, who are both psychiatrists.
Parker MacKenzie (Chelsea Wilson): is a girl in Lizzie's class. In an episode, Gordo has a crush on her. She is a vegetarian, as shown in the episode "Obsession". In an episode, Gordo asks Parker for a dance. She refuses because, in her opinion, he is too short for her. Parker dislikes Lizzie because she sneezed on her Macaroni Art in the 2nd grade and sat on her Titanic lunch box in the 5th grade, but still friends with the trio.
Daniel "Danny" Kessler (Byron Fox): is Lizzie and Miranda's first heart-throb. He appears in the first few episodes. His family owns a water park called "The Slip Slide". After Season 1, Danny isn't seen or mentioned again. Lizzie mentions Danny one last time in "The Lizzie McGuire Movie".
Veruca Albano (Rachel Snow): An over weight nerdy girl who appears once in Season 1 and more often in later seasons when Lizzie enters the eighth grade. In "Dear Lizzie", she asks Lizzie for help with a bully problem, and even confides to her that "nothing gets out goulash". Veruca's on the Mathletes Team. Near the end of the series it's hinted that Veruca and Larry have a crush on each other.
Amanda "Amy" Sanders (Haylie Duff): Kate's 18 year-old cousin, who plays in a rock band. Kate and Amy have a rocky relationship. In the episode "Party Over Here", Amy disregards Kate's plan for her birthday by having a huge party where someone smashes Kate's face into her cake. Lizzie sees how unhappy Kate is, and goes to comfort her. After Kate explains that just she wants everyone to leave, Lizzie calls her mother to come over and end the party.
Coach Kelly (Dot Jones): The strict but supportive gym teacher at Hillridge Junior High. She helps Lizzie in the episode "One of the Guys" when she explains that girls can be both feminine and good at sports. She uses herself as an example, because she teaches gym and likes to sew her own dresses and goes ballroom dancing.
Principal Tweedy (Phill Lewis): The no-nonsense principal of Hillridge Junior High. He punishes Lizzie, Kate, and Larry for believing they started a food fight, but the trio ended up writing a letter explaining how none of them started the fight but are grateful for the opportunity to know each other and cleaning the cafeteria (an homage to Breakfast Club), which the principal became proud of.
Mr. Escobar (Daniel Escobar): The drama/chorus teacher at Hillridge Junior High. Mr. Escobar also runs Detention. He is shown in the beginning of The Lizzie McGuire Movie, where he tells Lizzie that she will have to make the valedictorian speech at graduation.
Jeremy Bargiel: Sam's best friend. In "Rated Aargh!" Jeremy is choking and Lizzie saves his life.
David Rosen: Sam's other best friend. Jeremy and David own a chimp named Fredo.
Fredo: Jeremy and David's pet chimpanzee. Fredo gets Matt in trouble and they hate each other at first. Matt eventually becomes friends with Fredo. Fredo's a math whiz, but he's terrible at Fractions.
Animated Lizzie is an animated character who represents the title character's inner thoughts, addressing the audience directly in the manner of a Greek chorus. The show was not the first series to use animation to reflect a live-action character's innermost thoughts. McGee and Me and Student Bodies, two syndicated programs about the struggles of a cartoonist for a school newspaper, often used the artist's surrealisticcaricatures of himself and his friends to visually illustrate his interior monologues. Animated Lizzie was voiced by series star Hilary Duff.
The show was completed after 65 episodes. Disney considered continuing the franchise in further films and a prime-time television series with Lizzie, Miranda and Gordo attending high school, which was to be broadcast on ABC, but the plans were never implemented due to contract disagreements with Duff's representatives.
A film based on the show, The Lizzie McGuire Movie, debuted on May 2, 2003 at number two at the box office behind X2: X-Men United. It earned $42.7 million at the American box office. and eventually grossed $55.6 million worldwide. It received mixed reviews with one critic calling it, "an unabashed promotion of Duff's image, just as Crossroads was for Britney Spears." Other reviews were generally positive and encouraging.
The character of Lizzie continues to be merchandised by Disney, especially through a large set of Lizzie McGuire books, which include novelizations of the episodes, original Nancy Drew-style stories in the Lizzie McGuire Mysteries series, and "Cine-manga" pictorial adaptations (published by TOKYOPOP) with still shots from the show presented in manga style.
A Lizzie McGuire doll was released in 2002 by Dakin Toys. The 10" doll featured many of Lizzie's outfits. A plush doll of the Cartoon Lizzie was made by Dakin in 2002.
Fortune magazine estimated in 2003 that Lizzie McGuire merchandise had earned the Walt Disney Co. nearly $100 million. In the show's heyday, Radio Disney continually promoted Lizzie McGuire and regularly gave away the show's CD.
The Volume One DVD set of Lizzie McGuire. The only full-length DVD release to date, in the U.S.
Several home video and DVD versions of the show have been released in various countries. In the United States, some thematic episode collections were first released and later a DVD box set consisting of 22 episodes from the first season (mostly, but not entirely, corresponding to the first 22 episodes in production order). It is designated as "Volume 1", but no plans are known for the release of volumes 2 and 3 of the series, and poor sales of the first box set may prevent further releases. As of April 2006, a box set of 12 DVDs with all the 65 episodes of the show is available in Spain, and box sets (grouped into three 22-episode "seasons") IrelandTG4 are available in Australia and the UK.
Lizzie-themed toys were included in a 2004 McDonald'sHappy Meal series, which included CD-ROM discs containing Lizzie-related games and graphics and audio versions of Lizzie (not voiced by Duff) reading stories based on episode plots of her show.
There is a Lizzie McGuire bedroom set offered by furniture stores as one of several Disney-themed children's bedrooms and a What Would Lizzie Do? board game where players must judge Lizzie's likely response to various situations. Three Lizzie McGuire video games have been released for the Game Boy Advance: Lizzie McGuire: On the Go (2003), Lizzie McGuire 2: Lizzie Diaries (2004), and Lizzie McGuire 3: Homecoming Havoc (2005).