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Staines Down Drains – Once More Unto the Drains (2005)


Slipping down a plughole portal and shrinking as they go, germ-phobic Stanley Staines and his adventurous sister Mary Jane have discovered a yucky, germy and weirdly wonderful world in the drains below their home. There they find friends like Vegety Bill the tough, mutant carrot, and a villain, Dr Drain, the gas-masked megalomaniac.

In this story, Stanley has his first day at a new school, where he hopes to make new friends. Unfortunately this doesn’t go to plan after a run-in with the local gang the Lupin Lupes, and the humiliation of his mother’s indestructible porridge sandwich. Down in the drains, Mary Jane gets into trouble when she goes adventuring by herself, and Dr Drain tries to destroy the toxic waste 'Cleansing Sea’ forever. Reluctant hero Stanley saves the day, but he also unexpectedly makes some new friends after all, the Drainlanders.

Curator’s notes

This is episode two of the first series of Staines Down Drains, a 2D animated Australian-New Zealand co-production from Yoram Gross’s Australian animation studio Flying Bark Productions and New Zealand producer Flux Animation.

This is a terrific, edgy and refreshing production. It plays around with kids’ natural curiosity and fear of the mysterious and unknown. There is also a strong focus on relationships and personal growth, as seen in this story. The environmental theme is also strong. In a typical Gross touch, environmental messages are constantly embedded and reinforced through the stories, in this case, the consequences of allowing toxic waste into the drains.

The series also has a strong theme of balance underpinning the stories. In this episode, the destruction of the Cleansing Sea that purifies the waste water, will upset the balance of life and power in Drainland unless Stanley can think of a way stop it.

Staines Down Drains was first broadcast on the Seven Network in October 2006.