Ruby Gloom

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Ruby Gloom
Rubygloom logo.jpg
Ruby Gloom title card
Genre Fantasy
Goth
Format Cartoon series
Created by Mighty Fine
Written by Carolyn Hay
Nicole Demerse
Alan Resnick
Alex Nussbaum
John van Bruggen
Directed by Robin Budd
Voices of Sarah Gadon
Stacey DePass
Emily Hampshire
Scott McCord
David Berni
Jeremy Harris
Adrian Truss
Peter Keleghan
Barbara Mamabolo
Stephanie Mills
Dwayne Hill
Theme music composer Ray Parker
Tom Szczesniak
Opening theme "Ruby Gloom" by Jeen O'Brien
Ending theme "Ruby Gloom" (instrumental)
Composer(s) Ray Parker
Tom Szczesniak
Country of origin Canada
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 40
Production
Editor(s) Annellie Rose Samuel
Running time 23 minutes
Production company(s) Nelvana
Broadcast
Original channel YTV
Picture format 1080i (HD)
480i (SD)
Original run October 13, 2006 (2006-10-13) – June 1, 2008 (2008-06-01)
External links
Ruby Gloom TV

Ruby Gloom is a Canadian animated television series based on an apparel franchise of the same name. The series was produced by Nelvana and began airing on October 13, 2006 in Canada on the network YTV.[1] It features the voices of Sarah Gadon, Emily Hampshire, Peter Keleghan, and Adrian Truss.

Franchise origins[edit]

The Ruby Gloom franchise that led to the television show was created by the American company Mighty Fine[2] Ruby Gloom began as a stationery line, and was featured on pencil cases, backpacks, clothing, keychains, and plush toys which were sold through doeworld a subsidy of Mighty Fine.[3] Books were also made for the series, the first being Ruby Gloom's Keys to Happiness in 2004,[4] as well as two calendars for 2004 and 2005.[5] Ruby Gloom was depicted as a small girl with bright red hair, who wears a black dress and red and yellow striped socks. She has a pet cat named Doom Kitty, and was described as "The Happiest Girl in the World." Ruby was originally marketed to the goth subculture, but was later adapted for kids. The product line had an interactive website where users could chat in a forum, and click around for free things such as desktop icons and screensavers. The words: "Ruby Gloom is happy in her own way. Even though she is frowning, to her, a frown is only a smile upside down. In fact, Ruby is so happy, she could just die" greeted viewers as they entered the website.[6] Towards the end of 2004 the website changed to forum only dubbed "The Mansion"[7] By the end of 2004 the website had been redesigned and featured an interactive mansion to explore and user submitted artwork. Ruby is shown on the roof with her cat Doom and was given a smile for the first time.[8] By 2006 "The Mansion" forum was removed, and the website had taken on its show format geared more towards kids.[9]

Main characters[edit]

Ruby Gloom[edit]

Ruby is a young girl who can find happiness in anything. "Look on the bright side" is her mantra. There isn't a single thing in the world that gets her down or a single negative that she can't turn into a positive. Her positive attitude has been shown to be helpful, as it allows Ruby to act as the voice of reason in the mansion, while her friends tend to lose focus on real issues. Ruby also has a crush on Skull Boy, who is one of her friends. One episode, "Sunny Daze", involves Ruby, Skull Boy, and Iris trapped in a cave looking for Misery. This caused Ruby to nearly reveal her feelings to Skull Boy. Also at the end of the episode "Happy Yam Ween", while having fun with paper, she kept on cutting Skull Boy holding hands with her and him alone. There have been several moments that confirm that Ruby has a crush on Skull Boy, such as in the episode "Quadro-Gloomia" when Frank and Len get inside Ruby's head and experience her feelings for Skull Boy first hand. Her positive outlook also makes Ruby very loyal to her friends and there's nothing she wouldn't do for any of them. She likes to have quiet time to write in her diary and knit.

Doom Kitty[edit]

As Ruby's pet cat, Doom Kitty has a complete free run of the mansion and is therefore usually the only one with total knowledge of what is going on in any given area of the house. This keeps her one step ahead of Ruby and the others most of the time, because whenever something strange happens in the mansion, Doom Kitty will usually have all the facts already while everyone else is still trying to figure things out. Unfortunately, since Doom Kitty can't talk, her only hope of communicating with the others is through mime with violin noises. Ruby usually has an easy time understanding her, but it doesn't always work. This shows that Doom Kitty hates it when she is trying to communicate, and her friends think that she is playing charades.

Iris[edit]

Like Ruby, Iris goes through life without a care in the world, but in a much different way. Where Ruby finds happiness in anything, Iris finds adventure. From safaris to fighting wild animals to even shooting herself out of a cannon, there isn't a single thing this cyclops girl won't try at least once, as long as she thinks it's fun. Unfortunately, Iris's adventuresome nature also makes her quite impulsive and she has a bad habit of jumping into a situation without considering potential consequences. This usually results in trouble she doesn't expect. However, as soon as the trouble is gone, she's off again on another adventure.

Misery[edit]

Misery doesn't mean to be a walking disaster area. Her mishaps are usually a combination of clumsiness and extraordinary bad luck. Evidently, these traits run in her family, as Misery has had relatives who have been present at every single major disaster in recorded history. Fortunately, her friends are all kindhearted enough to take this in stride. Misery spends most of the time in a state of detached apathy and with ever-present trails of tears running from her eyes. She does have tiny moments of happiness throughout the series, but unless they're few and far between, her bad luck rears its ugly head and strikes her down with a vengeance, usually in the form of lightning bolts. She sometimes also states to be happy, although she is in her usual melancholic mood. Friday the 13th is the only time her inherent bad luck gives her a break; nothing but good things happen to her while everyone around her gets a day-long dose of Misery's bad luck, but she seems to hate the good luck as it is a day that's completely different from what's she's used to. Sugar is also something that Misery needs to stay away from, because whenever she has any sweets, she goes into a hyperactive frenzy, running around spouting everything that has ever gone wrong in the history of the world, from major catastrophes like an earthquake in China to small non-events like stubbing her toe in the kitchen. She keeps dust bunnies as pets, though she is allergic to them and blows them away with her sneezing. They appear to like her, as they return to her every time. Despite these problems though, Misery has actually been revealed to be an incredibly gifted singer. However, this talent only shines through whenever she's asleep. Otherwise, her singing just comes out as banshee-like screams. This made Frank and Len recruit her as lead singer for their band, R.I.P., during a major concert event, Gloomapalooza. Their performance was a huge success. Her family is surprisingly large, considering how often they find themselves in or responsible for disasters, and when the entire family meets, the destruction can be impressive, for example, in the episode "Misery Loves Company", Misery's cousins Malady and Malaise come to visit. When both of them are in the same place at once, destruction occurs. Ruby manages to arrange it so one cousin could be with Misery at a time, while the other cousin is doing something else. Also, in the episode "I'll Be Home For Misery", when Misery's family comes to call, only her female relatives come (with the exception of "Cousin Murky", Skull Boy's persona during the episode). It is stated in the episode "Disaster Becomes You" that all the males in Misery's family but one, who is suggested to be her father, died in quicksand.

Skull Boy[edit]

A man of many talents, Skull Boy is the mansion's official Jack of All Trades. From film directing to private investigating, Skull Boy can pretty much do it all. His only problem is that he can't seem to find one thing and stick to it for any serious length of time. But if Skull Boy doesn't know where he's going, it's mostly because he doesn't know where he comes from. This is referred to in many episodes when each time he finds a new skill he surmises his must come from a long line of others with that same skill, indicating he knows little to nothing about his origins. There have been several moments that confirm that Ruby has a crush on him, such as in the episode "Quadro-Gloomia" when Frank and Len get inside Ruby's head and experience her feelings for Skull Boy first hand. Even though Skull Boy doesn't know where he is from, he has a family - his friends are his family.

In Skull Boy's endeavor to discover his roots, he has undergone many personae and occupations. These include:

  • Painter
  • Pilot
  • Film Director
  • French Investigator
  • Explorer
  • Scientist
  • Chef
  • Documentary Filmmaker
  • Jazz Musician
  • Architect
  • Shakespearean Actor
  • Astronomer
  • Etiquette Expert
  • Head Shrink
  • Inventor
  • Sculptor
  • Action Hero
  • Army General
  • Ringmaster
  • Mechanic
  • Animator
  • Tailor
  • Magician
  • British General
  • British Drummer
  • Detective
  • Train Conductor
  • Train Engineer
  • Ice Sculpture
  • R.I.P's band manager
  • Layabout
  • Psychologist
  • Malt Shop Entrepreneur

Frank and Len[edit]

Rockers by nature, these conjoined brothers live in the mansion's garage. They have their own garage band, known as R.I.P (pronounced "RIP"). Frank and Len's strength lies in performing music. Unfortunately, this seems to be all that is their strength, since they both tend to lose focus on anything that isn't their music. They can hardly focus on something if it doesn't have a beat.[citation needed] Frank is actually the more intelligent of the two, often getting annoyed at Len's lack of understanding. Len is the more sentimental one, who seems to have a thing for small animals and things that don't exactly matter to anyone else. Even though they seem upbeat for their music, the two of them are almost never on the same page, even though they're conjoined. Despite this fact, Frank and Len are close. For example, in the episode "Quadrogloomia", when the brothers needed a way to become unconscious, they were unable to hit each other over the head with planks. Another example of this is in the episode "Iris Springs Eternal" where Ruby, Frank, and Len were sliding down a mud slide when Frank states, "Len, if we don't get out of this I just want you to know that you've been the best brother a brother could have for a brother." Len replies with "same here." Also, as of the episode "Quadrogloomia", Frank and Len are the only housemates (other than Doom Kitty) who know about Ruby's crush on Skull Boy.

Poe, Edgar, and Allan[edit]

Poe, along with his brothers Edgar and Allan, live in an attached addition to the mansion. However, out of the three, Poe is the one seen most often. Edgar and Allan are rarely seen and when they are, they never speak but act as Poe's bodyguards and servants since they are taller than him.[citation needed] Poe meanwhile, as a man of culture and sophistication, likes to think of himself as a role model to the rest of the mansion's residents. Unfortunately, he tends to be a little too attached to his image and likes to cover up the parts of him that make him look like less than what he makes himself out to be. For example, he'd rather tell people he's performing in an actual opera than admit that he's staying home to listen to opera records. Poe's pampered nature also tends to make him overreact to things that everyone else would more or less take in stride. There is at least some evidence that Poe's cultured accent is an affectation. In episode "Unsung Hero", Poe reverts to an East End accent while speaking to Skull Boy. Skull Boy remarks that Poe's Oxford accent has vanished much to Poe's discomfort. Poe is fond of claiming to be a descendant of Edgar Allan Poe's pet budgie Paco, which is proven in the episode "Time Flies".

Scaredy Bat[edit]

Scaredy Bat is a bat with an Indian accent who is afraid of almost everything. Where Ruby finds happiness and Iris finds adventure, Scaredy Bat finds only fear. Despite being a bat, he's afraid of flying and is also afraid of the dark. He's also afraid of his own reflection. This constant state of fear is perfect for Boo Boo, the mansion's ghost, since Scaredy Bat is the only one who is afraid of him. The only thing he's not afraid of is a crumpet. Even if his fear sometimes gets the better of him, Scaredy Bat is the loyal and talented drummer of Frank and Len's band, R.I.P. When he is behind the kit, Scaredy Bat is a beat machine and forgets his fear. He also enjoys eating mosquitoes.

Boo Boo[edit]

The mansion's ghost, Boo Boo sees it as his job to haunt. However, it's a little difficult for him to do that when everyone thinks he's cute, and he hates being thought of as cute. In the episode "Doom With A View", (Boo Boo's first appearance in the series), he takes exception to the other characters referring to his cuteness when they first see him. When he first arrived at the mansion, Boo Boo wasn't an official ghost in that he couldn't phase through walls and only Doom Kitty, Ruby's cat, could see him. According to the leaders of the Ghost Family (two large, mobster-type ghosts who go by the names of Mr. White and Mr. White), Boo Boo couldn't become a full ghost until he had scared at least one person and Ruby's mansion was the house they'd selected for him. But since Boo Boo couldn't go through walls and Doom Kitty was the only one in the house who could see him, his job was very difficult. However, when Doom Kitty splashed milk on him to reveal his presence, Boo Boo got a slight scare out of Misery when he almost splashed milk onto a tablecloth once owned by her "great-great-really-great-grandmother." However, it was enough of a scare for Boo Boo to become a full fledged ghost, since he can now phase through walls and everyone can now see him. After that though, his only real motivation for staying in the mansion has been to scare Scaredy Bat, as he hasn't been able to scare anyone else since. However, Boo Boo enjoys pranking more than he enjoys scaring. Despite this, he and Scaredy Bat have shown to be good friends.

Mr. Buns[edit]

Mr. Buns is a stuffed rabbit that Ruby created from one of her leftover socks. The floppy, yet enigmatic Mr. Buns loves tea cozies and pretty much finds himself in the middle of almost all the action in the mansion. He also has a strange tendency to show up anywhere and do random tasks off screen.

Minor characters[edit]

Mr. White and Mr. White[edit]

These two large ghosts are the mentors and teachers of young Boo Boo in his learning to be a ghost. Distinguished by their glasses and high rank within "The Family", they typically act in a mafia orientated manner (even having their own pasta making skit and Italian music playing in the background), often threatening to take Boo Boo away if he does not complete enough scares or if he is pulling pranks, such as the line "Less Taunt. More Haunt." Noticeably, the Mr. White with the hat is a higher rank than the other Mr. White, who is usually driving their mode of transport.

Squig[edit]

A large flying worm that Iris made friends with in her travels. Although he is not often seen, he accompanies Iris on all her adventures as both her companion and sometimes her mode of transport. He is about five times as big as Iris, and is black and red with patterns down his back, and has a small set of wings at the end of his tail. According to Iris, he can fly because nobody ever told him he can't.

Venus[edit]

Another of Iris's many pets, Venus is a venus flytrap. When Venus first appeared, she was very voracious and typically acted as a pet. However, after she ate the heart that Skull Boy made in the episode "Science Fair or Foul", she became much more caring and knowledgeable, eventually becoming a successful writer and being able to speak very eloquently, as seen in the skit "Suspense Writing with...?". Venus speaks with a thick French accent, because the record Iris used to teach her was dictated by a French man.

Mr. Mummbles[edit]

Ruby's nextdoor neighbour, Mr. Mummbles[10] lives in a glass house with his pet, a frog named Socrates. Mr. Mummbles received his name from Poe in the episode "Poe-Ranoia", where Poe thought that he was a murderer, and since then the name has stuck. After a revelation that Mr. Mummbles designs and creates amusement park rides, he can be seen in later episodes testing these new rides. His rides are designed to make people happy, sometimes having features that tickle the passengers. Mr. Mummbles also follows the rule "Safety First", however his rides seem to bend in the opposite direction to being safe, which includes massive spirals, gaps and fire on the tracks.

Malady and Malaise[edit]

These two sisters are Misery's cousins, who, when both are together, cause a localized ice age. Malady is the one character that is more disease-prone than her cousin, Misery. She apparently suffers from every known disease, ailment, illness, symptom, and allergy almost simultaneously, and when asked about them, she runs through all the events and procedures that lead to one injury, which usually lasts hours until the conclusion. Malaise suffers from narcolepsy and can often be seen lying on a couch or bed or even asleep on the floor randomly. She is accompanied by many creatures including a snake, spiders, an octopus, snails, and butterflies, which usually attach themselves to the full-body veil she wears. Despite their faults, Misery loves her cousins.

The Skele-Tunes[edit]

A group of Jazz/scat/Cajun musicians that befriend Skull Boy (referring to him as "SB"). The band contains four skeletons. The vocalist is the jazzy Skele-T, instantly recognized by his outfit, ear hole rings and gold tooth. The other skeletons each have a different instrument, one with an accordion, one with a tuba and one using his rib cage as a xylophone. They are shown to be "Jokers", disappearing and joking around with Skull Boy. Skele-T does most of the talking, using jazz slang and phrases, such as "You're straight from the fridge daddio" and throwing in skeleton puns like "You fracture me" instead of "You crack me up". When Skull Boy leaves to try and find his roots, Skele-T even invites him to join their band, but he refuses due to a case of homesickness.

Misery's Cousins and Ancestors[edit]

In addition to Malady and Malaise, the episode "I'll Be Home For Misery" introduces Misery's other relatives throughout the ages for their "once in a millennium" family reunion. Other cousins besides Malady and Malaise are:

Mayhem - A cavegirl that resembles Misery. It is shown that she possesses great physical strength and little intelligence. It is implied that she chased away the dinosaurs, and is very sad that they're gone.[citation needed] She chases Scaredy Bat throughout the episode "I'll Be Home For Misery", shouting "Here Birdy, Birdy, Birdy". She is also seen in the episode "Time Flies".

Mildew - A Japanese geisha that resembles Misery. She speaks in respectful tones but clashes the most with Mayhem and Migraine. Unlike her relatives, Mildew has normal colored eyes and skin.

Migraine - Arriving on the Titanic, Migraine usually has her arms back yelling "I'm the queen of the world". She also talks like a valley girl and has a Hawaiian flower in her hair. She is also seen in the episodes "Time Flies" and "Disaster Becomes You".

Morose - Truly goth, Morose has dyed green/black hair and green and black striped stockings. Very thick streaks of eyeshadow run down her face because it mixes with her tears. She is also a singer who unlike Misery, can sing while awake and performs a song with Frank & Len while playing keyboards. The boys love it until their house falls in around her. One of Morose's only happy moments in Gloomsville is when she said "cool... another verse?". Misery calls her "Aunt Morose" in the episode "Sunny Daze".

Mopey - The optimistic member of Misery's family, she has hair just like Ruby's, which Ruby compliments and Mopey says "Right back atcha".

Motley - Burnt in the great fire of London, Motley has almost no hair left and seems generally singed all over with the bit of remaining hair on fire.

Myopic, Malice, and Misbegotten - The triplets are little kids that seem pretty happy for members of the misery family. They dance and laugh around Morose leading Morose to wail "Children, Cheerful, Playful Children... Why?! Why?!"

In addition to these named family members, four others are shown. A relative that resembles Misery in a French Peasant Maid's outfit, who plays drums while Morose sings and plays her keyboard, another relative in a Medieval Princess gown and pointy hat (who appeared in the episode "Disaster Becomes You"), one dressed as a 1970's soul sister with a white streak of hair like Frankenstein's bride, and one with white hair in braided pigtails curved up like bullhorns with a spider web in the middle.

The end of the episode suggests that the entire reunion was a dream, so the question remains how many of them are actually Misery cousins (such as Malady, Malaise, Mayhem, etc.) and how many are from Misery's imagination as they just look like Misery in different getups from other episodes (Motley, Mopey, the 1970s Soul Sister, etc.).

Bunny[edit]

A pink bunny with red eyes, he pretends to be a cute and loving bunny with a cold, but is actually evil. He wanted to steal everything from Ruby's mansion. Doom Kitty was the only one who knew he was evil. Later everyone else finds out this bunny is evil when Doom Kitty cages him and everyone saw their stuff in his carriage, so they kicked him out.

Episodes[edit]

These are the episodes that have aired on television. Most of the episodes contain a short skit at the beginning and end of the episodes, "Gloomer Rumor" is the only episode to have no opening skit, but an ending skit.

Broadcast[edit]

Ruby Gloom premiered on YTV in Canada on October 13, 2006. In the United Kingdom, the series aired on Pop and Pop Girl in 2008. Channel RTÉ Two in Ireland broadcast the series in 2011. Australian channels ABC1 and ABC3 carried the series in 2008.

Awards and honors[edit]

Ruby Gloom was nominated for a 2007 Gemini Award in the category of "Best Animated Program or Series."[11]

DVD releases[edit]

Region 1[edit]

Canada - There are 2 DVDs available from Nelvana (in association with the TV station YTV). The DVDs present the episodes in NTSC 1.85:1 (16x9) anamorphic widescreen, with English Dolby Digital 5.1 sound and French Dolby Digital 2.0 sound. There are no subtitles or closed captions. The opening title sequence on the DVDs is the full version, and not the trimmed version that airs on YTV.

The DVDs in release order are:

Ruby Gloom: Grounded in Gloomsville - Contains the first four episodes of the series (as listed above), along with a behind-the-scenes special feature showing the voice recording of the Hair(Less): The Musical parts 1 and 2 episodes.
Ruby Gloom: Misery Loves Company - Contains the episodes "Iris Springs Eternal," "Poe-ranoia," "Skull Boys Don't Cry," and "Misery Loves Company," with no extra special features.

Following this, a third DVD entitled Ruby Gloom: Pet Poepulation was scheduled for release on June 9, 2009,[12] but never became available.

Brazil - Seasons one and two were released on 3-disc DVD box sets, however, the box sets do not include all of the episodes from each season (despite the DVD covers indicating this). Both box sets are presented in NTSC 1.33:1 (4x3) full screen (the sides of the widescreen image are cut to create the full screen ratio, also known as pan and scan) with Portuguese and English Dolby Digital 5.1 sound. The opening title sequence is the trimmed version that airs on most TV channels (such as Canada's YTV). Neither box set includes any special features.

The box sets are:

Ruby Gloom: Full season 1 - Contains the first thirteen episodes from season one.

Ruby Gloom: Full season 2 - Contains thirteen episodes (the remaining eight episodes from season one plus the first five episodes from season two).

Region 2[edit]

France - Ruby Gloom: 1 is available from France Télévisions Distribution (in association with the TV station France 3) and contains the first 6 episodes of the series (as listed above). The episodes are presented in PAL 1.33:1 (4x3) full screen (the sides of the widescreen image are cut to create the full screen ratio, also known as pan and scan) with French Dolby Digital 2.0 sound.

Germany - Two DVDs were made available from SPV GmbH (in association with the TV station Super RTL) containing the first 8 episodes of the series (as listed above), with each DVD consisting of 4 episodes. The episodes are presented in PAL 1.33:1 (4x3) full screen (the sides of the widescreen image are cut to create the full screen ratio, also known as pan and scan) with German Dolby Digital 2.0 sound.

On October 15, 2010, Edel Germany GmbH will be releasing Ruby Gloom - Willkommen in Gloomsville (Ruby Gloom - Welcome to Gloomsville) which will contain the first 7 episodes of the series (as listed above). This DVD's specifications are not yet available.

Japan - A DVD box set entitled Ruby Gloom's Bible is available from Sony Music Entertainment and contains twenty of the series' first 24 episodes (as listed above) in random order on five DVDs. The episodes are presented in NTSC 1.85:1 widescreen with Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 sound.

Region 4[edit]

Australia - There are four DVD volumes available from Magna Pacific containing the first 16 episodes of the series (as listed above), with each volume consisting of 4 episodes. The episodes are presented in PAL 1.33:1 (4x3) full screen (the sides of the widescreen image are cut to create the full screen ratio, also known as pan and scan) with English Dolby Digital 2.0 sound.

References[edit]

  1. ^ YTV
  2. ^ "Mighty Fine". Mightyfineinc.com. Retrieved 2011-12-07. 
  3. ^ "Doe by Mighty Fine". Mightyfine. Retrieved 2013-07-16. 
  4. ^ Black, Deirdre. "Ruby Gloom's Keys to Happiness: Clam Lynch, Martin Hsu: Books". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2011-12-07. 
  5. ^ "Ruby Gloom's Keys to Happiness 2005 Wall Calendar (9780810979628): Mighty Fine Inc.: Books". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2011-12-07. 
  6. ^ "Ruby Gloom 2004 Image". rubygloom.com. Retrieved 2013-07-16. 
  7. ^ "November 2004 screen capture". www.rubygloom.com. Retrieved 2013-07-16. 
  8. ^ "December 2004 Ruby Gloom Website image". www.rubygloom.com. Retrieved 2013-07-16. 
  9. ^ "Ruby Gloom Website February 2007 screen capture". www.rubygloom.com. Retrieved 2013-07-16. 
  10. ^ Ruby Gloom Skit: "The Mr. Mummbles How-to Show"
  11. ^ Gemini Awards website
  12. ^ "Ruby Gloom Pet Population: Amazon.ca: DVD". Amazon.ca. 2009-06-09. Retrieved 2011-12-07. 

External links[edit]