Sunday, 20 November 2011

When Animation Goes AWOL - Roobarb - Season 2 (2005)

Another blog post about plans that were stopped before they could begin or releases that never came to fruition:

 Roobarb was the creation of Grange Calveley, and the outline of the first series was as simple - yet brilliant - as the animation.

1974 saw the adventures of Roobarb, a green dog who was a mad as a box of hazelnuts, always daydreaming or inventing some daft new creation while also being mocked / assisted by the chattering birds and Custard, the fat pink cat next door. Narrated by the ever-charming Richard Briers (The Good Life, Ever Decreasing Circles, Skylark, Bob the Builder) and animated by Bob Godfrey (with his trusty marker pens that gave the series its original "wobbly" style), it was the first fully animated television series to be made in the UK, and has, as with many British Shows, gained a great cult following since.
So it came to pass that, over 30 years later, a brand new series, Roobarb and Custard Too, was produced by Irish company Monster Animation & Design (of Fluffy Gardens fame). And it has been one of those rare chances when a revival of a classic kids series has succeeded!!!

With Grange Calveley to write 40 further stories to accompany the 30 before, Richard Briers returning as the joyful storyteller, and the animation - though animated with Flash on the computer - retaining its trademark "wobbly" look with simplistic backgrounds, very little else had been changed - including its unforgettable theme song.
Some minor characters were tweaked and some new ones added, but above everything else Series 2 has maintained much of what made Series 1 so memorable in the first place :D

 And with Series 1 already on DVD, Series 2 was soon to follow suit - and then comes the mystery of this wonderful, successful revival...

Rather than released as a massive box set as with the likes of Shaun the Sheep, Series 2 was planned as a series of 4 separate DVDs. And no matter how much I have asked or looked, only Volumes 1 and 2 have been made available...
So what has happened to Volumes 3 and 4??

We've seen a series of books based on the new episodes published by Mogzilla, and while Series 2 has continued to be rerun on Channel 5's Milkshake block, it's a mystery why the rest of it has yet to make it to DVD. Perhaps they just got mislaid or forgotten somehow...who knows...?

The Official Roobarb & Custard website!
Toonhound's Roobarb Page
Grange Calveley's home page!

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