Mr. Rossi was not your typical type of cartoon. It wasn’t about a group of mechanised warriors taking on an evil foe. It wasn’t about a bunch of cuddly fun loving animals who love everybody unconditionally. It wasn’t even about a bunch of teenage kids and their strangely human like pet investigating mysteries, although it did feature a talking dog. Nope, Mr. Rossi was about an ordinary little man bored of his hum drum life and seeking something exciting to occupy his time.
Sounds pretty dull for a cartoon right? Well, of course it wasn’t purely about an every day man. He was friends with his neighbours talking dog, Harold, and a witch who makes his wishes come true. It was pretty bizarre really, but a generally gentle cartoon full of imagination, as Mr. Rossi would wish for all manner of things and would then go on an adventure with Harold thanks to the friendly witch.
Whilst I distinctly remember watching this show on Children’s ITV whilst doing my homework, which would mean it aired during the 1980’s in the UK, the cartoons were actually made in 1976 as feature length cartoons by Italian animator Bruno Bozetto. The series I remember seeing was entitled The Fantastic Adventures of Mr. Rossi, but this was actually the short film Il Signor Rossi Cerca La FelicitÃ (Mr. Rossi Looks For Happiness) broken down into 20 minute chunks.
I don’t remember an awful lot about the adventures Mr. Rossi went on, but I do remember generally feeling sorry for the poor guy as his dreams slowly broke down around him. Sadly it doesn’t appear to be available on DVD either, so no chance of refreshing my memory that way either. One thing I do remember though was the really laid back theme tune, Viva Viva Happiness, which you can listen to below. Unfortunately the video doesn’t have the rather psychedelic title sequence that accompanied the tune, but at least it’s in English…