Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Roobarb was an animated television show for children, shown on BBC ONE just before the evening news. Each cartoon, created by Grange Calveley and animated by Bob Godfrey , was about 5 minutes long. Thirty episodes were made, and were first shown in 1974.
Roobarb is a green dog, Custard is a pink cat. Roobarb is always up to some misadventure or other, which he approaches with unbounded enthusiasm. Custard is cynical, and is always trying to stop him, but usually Custard comes off the worse in the end. Other characters in the series are The Birds, who watch the antics of the other two from the safety of a nearby tree, often making snide remarks.
The series features a deliberately rough style, drawn using marker pens and a very sketchy drawing technique, so that the pictures are constantly jiggling around. This effect gives a great energetic character to the show, and was a welcome contrast to the slick smooth colouring of the imported Hanna-Barbera shows that were being widely shown. The jiggly effect was new, and any similar effect in animation is called the "Roobarb and Custard effect" to this day. The series was voiced by actor Richard Briers. The series was an enormous success, greatly loved by children and adults alike, and winning numerous awards. It is now viewed as "must watch" cult TV. Contrary to popular belief, the show was not called 'Roobarb and Custard'.
Recently, Calveley has been trying to raise interest in a new series of Roobarb, created using computer animation techniques.
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