Surreal children's animation from award-winning British animator Bob Godfrey and writer Grange Calveley. Roobarb the green dog's enthusiasm for inventions and hairbrained schemes to liven ... See full summary »

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1974   Unknown  
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 Narrator (30 episodes, 1974)
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Surreal children's animation from award-winning British animator Bob Godfrey and writer Grange Calveley. Roobarb the green dog's enthusiasm for inventions and hairbrained schemes to liven up life in the garden know no bounds. It's up to Custard the indolent, grinning purple cat, and the rest of the garden animals to make sure nothing comes of them so that their idle tranquility can be preserved, and score points off Roobarb's inflated ego at the same time. Some of the episodes defy belief, such as the one in which Roobarb decided Thursday should be Thor's day, and pretends to be the Norse god of thunder. This only incurs the wrath of the real Thor, who responds by turning the hapless dog into a variety of ludicrous shapes, to the hilarity of the other garden animals. Written by D.Giddings <darren.giddings@newcastle.ac.uk>

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21 October 1974 (UK)  »

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Roobarb and Custard  »

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(30 episodes)

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The animators used marker pens to draw each image, so the animation "wobbled". See more »

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Featured in Adam and Joe's Wonky World of Animation (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

Rough and ready but inventive and funny in terms of story, animation and delivery
3 May 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Roobarb is a yellowy dog that lives in a garden with trees, flowers and lots of things that bounced. For most of his life Roobarb has been eating chairs and shoes and holes in carpets but he just couldn't eat rubber bands and the birds he sees eat them won't tell him how they do it. Custard is a pink cat and really has little time for Roobarb and his silliness.

When you ask someone like Bob Godfrey to make you a children's programme, it should not be expected that he will deliver up a run of the mill cartoon that will be lost in a sea of dross like so many modern computer animated cartoons are nowadays. No, from one of the pioneering figures in British animation it should come as no surprise that he produces something different that works but yet is still uniquely him and thus sticks in the memory. Naturally his animation is colourful, big, bold and touched with his usual inventive style; it looks rough and ready of course but that is just part of its appeal. The stories are strangely silly – best summed up by the first episode where Roobarb tries to eat worms (rubber bands he thinks) by discovering the secrets of how the birds do it; each episode is consistently amusing and shows real invention and wit. As with many of these things, the narration is key and Richard Briers' distinctive voice really helps.

With one of those theme tunes that sticks in your head and matches the material, this is a rough and ready but inventive and funny children's cartoon that I can still watch and enjoy about three decades (and many adult worries) later.


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