Beetlejuice Animated Series is an animated television series from 1989-91, based on the first Beetlejuice film in 1988. The animated show centers around the characters Beetlejuice and Lydia from the first film. It also includes the recurring characters Delia Deetz and Charles Deetz from the film. Oddly, neither Adam Maitland nor Barbara Maitland appear in the animated series, though the bridge where they died is shown.
For the full list of characters, go here.
Season Guide & Episode Guide
For a list of the seasons and episodes, go here.
"Beetlejuice: The Animated Series" centers around the friendly, but somewhat scheming, Beetlejuice with encounters from his Gothic best friend Lydia. Beetlejuice resides in the Neitherworld while Lydia lives in the Living World with her family. However, she can enter the Neitherworld and visit Beetlejuice by giving the chant in her room:
"Though I know I should be wary,
Still I venture someplace scary;
Ghostly haunting I turn loose ...
Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice!"
Most of the time, Lydia only needs to say Beetlejuice's name 3 times. Doing so is necessary for Beetlejuice to enter the human world; prior to being summoned, he is able to manifest in the living domain, usually as a reflection in Lydia's mirror. The same incantation also allows Lydia to enter the Neitherworld, with the lengthier version shown above apparently done purely for dramatic flair.
The majority of episodes focus around Beetlejuice having a plot or scheme in the works, often inspired by events in Lydia's life. Lydia frequently serves as the voice of reason and assists Beetlejuice when everything gets out of hand. A very small handful of episodes omit Lydia entirely, focusing only on Beetlejuice's afterlife in the Neitherworld.
Differences from The Film
In the film (1988), Beetlejuice is white with green hair covered in mold. In the animated series, the animated Beetlejuice is faintly purple with blond hair. Moreover, the film character is portrayed to be extremely perverted and treated as the villain, while the animated character is mischievous, rather than outright malevolent, though it's implied that this is at least partially due to Lydia's influence. Lydia, in the animated version, is the best friend of Beetlejuice, while the movie version attempted to force her to marry him in order to escape the afterlife.
The location and home the Deetzes moved into are different from the movie as well. According to a 90’s Beetlejuice stickerbook (published by "Panini"), the house the Deetzes live in is Beetlejuice's, but was considered abandoned by the outside world. Beetlejuice used to try and scare the family away at first, and eventually found himself liking and befriending Lydia. There is no mention of the deceased couple Adam and Barbara, because they'd both never appeared in the animated series.
The series is also more family-friendly than the film, and was even shown in reruns on Nickelodeon.
Home video releases
Most of the first season were released on 6 VHS volumes in 1993. On November 5, 2012, it was announced that Shout! Factory had acquired the rights to the series and planned to release it on DVD in 2013. On May 28, 2013, Shout! Factory released Beetlejuice: The Complete Series on DVD in Region 1 for the very first time as an Amazon exclusive; they also released season 1 on the same day to retail stores. Seasons 2 & 3 were released on March 18, 2014.