Whilst checking out the new series of the Mr. Men on Channel five I came across another old favourite that has been recreated, Roobarb and Custard. Unlike the new Mr. Men the creators have wisely decided not to alter very much at all with Roobarb. The characters look the same as I remember them, and sound the same too since they got Richard Briers, the original narrator, back in to do the new series.
The animation style of the original was very wobbly, due to the fact that each frame of animation was drawn by hand and didn’t quite match up to the previous frame in terms of outline and consistency of the colouring in. This gave the original cartoon a really odd shimmering effect. The new series is presumably still hand animated but now created using computers, and it’s good to see that they’ve tried their best to recreate the wobbly look. It’s not quite the same as the original, and may even be an improvement.
Roobarb was a bizarre green coloured dog, who was also a bit of an inventor. He would sit in his shed and come up with all manner of strange ideas and weird contraptions, most of which usually failed dismally, much to the enjoyment of Custard the lazy purple cat, who was usually to be found lying on the fence watching Roobarbs antics and generally being sarcastic. He was often joined in his scorn for Roobarb by the birds who sat in the old conker tree in Roobarb’s garden, who sat twittering and laughing at Roobarb’s many failures.
One of the best things about Roobarb was the theme music, which was a mixture of rock guitar and harmonica. Check out the following clip of the opening titles to bring the memories flooding back…