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De Bereboot (The Bear Boat) is a Dutch children's programme from the 1970s written by Lo Hartog van Banda. 407 episodes were made for broadcast on NOS (October 2, 1976 - April 29, 1977) and AVRO (October 1, 1977 - September 30, 1978).
- De Bereboot is kept afloat by three bears; the white-moustachioed captain Brom (Grouch), a young panda called Maatje (Buddy) and a technician by the name of Brilbeer (Speccy Bear).
- Neel; hippopotamus landlady of resident pub Het Zeemanshuis (The Sailor's Home). She fancies the captain and loves to give him cuddle names.
- Kokki; the pub's Italian chef. Everytime something goes wrong he says "Santa Hoopla".
- Jimmy Bril (Jimmy Specs); a pop singer.
- Professor Knobbel (Dr. Knob); a mad genius whose gadgets don't work properly.
- Fred de Kei (Fred Rock); a business-pig grabbing every opportunity to make a quick buck.
- Teun; a farmer whose eggs are transported by the bears.
- Guus Hap (Gus Bite); an ostrich who eats anything within eyesight to return it as a real surprise-egg.
- Alida; a seasnake who insists on being addressed as a lady.
- Lorrelies; this mermaid is the only one for whom the captain shows his softer side.
- Juf (Miss); a strict school-teacher. She moved to Stupid Toddler's Island (Dutch; Dommedreumesseneiland) which was in serious need of education.
The three bears enter the pub and start a conversation with Neel; halfway subject switches to one of their adventures which often took place on the silliest of theme-isles such as Stupid Toddler's Island, Cake Island (Dutch: Taarteiland) or Hat Island (Dutch: Peteiland) . These adventures were serialised over the course two to five episodes to fit the five-minute time-slot.
During their AVRO days the bears also hosted the Wednesday afternoon show Berebios (Bear's Flicks) at the local cinema where Fred sold the tickets. Apart from their own adventures they also aired Dutch-dubbed cartoons (from Hanna-Barbera, The Adventures of Tintin, and their Scandinavian peer Rasmus Klump). After De Bereboot was cancelled, the Wednesday slot changed its name into Kinderbios (Kid's Flicks) and remained for about a decade.
Merchandise & popularity resurgence
The images of Brom, Maatje and Brilbeer appeared on merchandise ranging from erasers to balloons; the latter even guesting in one of the episodes. A six tune sampler was available at a now-defunct chainstore-supermarket as a taster of the album-formats.
In 1991, nine year after re-runs of the first season, De Bereboot was introduced to the new generation; this time on TROS. The original theme-tune was replaced with the one used for the AVRO-season and the episodes were slotted together as one. Later children's channel Kindernet (now Nickelodeon) took over with more success; by 2000 new merchandise was available including double VHS-tapes.