Tuesday, 3 September 2013

King Rollo (1980)

David McKee is, in my mind, one of Britain's top children's writers / illustrators with a great many books and characters under his belt - Elmer the Patchwork Elephant, Mr Benn and of course King Rollo. The latter, in fact, was the name that David used when he started up his own animation studio, King Rollo Films Ltd, which saw adaptations of his stories, and that of Tony Ross. The company continues to create new shows for today's young generation - Maisy, Humf and Poppy Cat - each a little gem in their own right using the latest technology but maintaining the classic, gentle look of shows gone by.
King Rollo was one of the first characters the studio created. From the original series of books, it tells of the young-at-heart king who is always in need of assistance from his friends - the Magician, the Cook, Queen Gwen and King Frank. The stories were very simple but wonderfully read by Ray Brooks and animated superbly by Leo Beltoft in their (then) trademark cut-out style. It's a nice little series which shows the skill David McKee's crew could produce at such a small number involved.

Arguably, whenever this series is brought up, fans would always remember Hamlet the Cat, and with good reason - there's no fear of viewers getting bored with Hamlet close by, trying to get involved in the story with his on-screen antics!

A few of David McKee's programmes have been put to DVD already - Anytime Tales and the complete Mr Benn - but just recently folks have reported that a few more shows will be following suit this coming September...including, I'm happy to report, King Rollo himself. So whether you remember the series from old or am keen on sharing some "old school" with your little ones, you can't go wrong here!

Pre-order the following DVDs to come from Amazon!

1 comment:

  1. Had to stop whatever I was doing and watching this classic show! Just as I remember it! Also remember the one of Rollo climbing a tree so high he found it difficult to get down I think.