Friday, March 20, 2009

They don't make 'em like that anymore

I've just been showing the kids episodes of "Roobarb and Custard" on YouTube, a show I used to watch back in the 70s when I was young. They loved it.
For years, just before the 6 O'Clock news on BBC1, a five-minute cartoon was broadcast that acted as a bridge from children's television to the news. One such show was 'Roobarb' which began in 1974, and was narrated by none other than Richard Briars of "The Good Life" fame. It was completely off the wall. The star of the show was called 'Roobarb', a greenish colored dog who lived in a garden along with 'Custard', a shocking pink cat and some hyperactive multi-colored birds. The plots usually followed a pattern - Roobarb would have a great idea, such as trying to fly with the aid of homemade wings, manufacturing fizzy lemonade, or becoming a great musician, retire to his shed to put his idea into practice, emerge triumphantly and the whole thing would then fall apart in seconds, much to the amusement of Custard and co. It was created and written by Grange Calveley, and often contained humorous quotes that were surely lost on its typical 6-10 year old audience.
As this was made well before computers became commonplace in animation, the whole thing looks like a child's drawings come to life. Marker pens were used to create the illustrations, which resulted in an wonderful 'wobble' effect, giving the show much of its charm. Only one series was made, but its popularity kept it being repeated for years. Here's a couple of classic quotes from the show:

"Roobarb paused for a moment, as all dogs do before embarking up the wrong tree.."

"Roobarb decided that the whole idea of disguising himself as a loaf of bread had gone a bit stale"

"Sound travels at night...because its cheaper"

No comments:

Post a Comment