Roobarb, 1974

Many years ago in a time before even neighbours, there used to be a short slot at the end of children’s television, just before the evening news.

Over the years this saw some interesting little cartoons, we covered Willo The Wisp.  Here’s another such cartoon with the voice of  a familiar actor from the world of comedy, this time it’s Richard Briers (The Good Life, Ever Decreasing Circles)

Roobarb was a British animated television program for children, originally shown on BBC1 just before the evening news.

Each cartoon was typically five minutes long and the animation was deliberately rough in it’s style, using  the technique,  known to animators as “boiling”.  This used marker pens and  very sketchy drawing techniques, so that the pictures are constantly moving.

The idea was to give an energetic character to the show.  This was in stark contrast to the slick, smooth colouring of the imported Hanna-Barbera shows that were being widely shown on British television.

Thirty episodes were made and shown in 1974.  The show was a huge success and is now considered “must watch” cult TV.

An updated series, titled Roobarb and Custard Too debuted on Five on 8th August 2005.  Whilst using modern computer animation it remained true to it’s original form with the same rough animation.


Roobarb is a green dog, and Custard is a pink cat. Roobarb is always involved in some kind of misadventure which he approaches with unbounded enthusiasm.

Custard is cynical and sets out to sabotage Roobarb’s fun.

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, and siding with whoever is winning. There is also a rather timid, pink mouse.






Starring The Voice Of: Richard Briers


Channel: BBC1
Written And Created By: Grange Calveley
Animated And Produced By: Bob Godfrey
Original Transmission Dates: 21st October – 27th November 1974


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