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Created by Janet Ahlberg
Allan Ahlberg
Written by Jocelyn Stevenson
Starring Griff Rhys Jones
Music by Ernie Wood
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of episodes 12
Producer(s) Naomi Jones
Editor(s) Robert Francis
Running time 5 minutes
Production company(s) William Heinemann Ltd.
BBC Enterprises
Original network S4C/BBC1
Original release 29 September – 15 December 1992

Funnybones (Welsh: Y Sgerbyde), was a Welsh children's television comedy series which was first aired in Welsh on S4C and in English on BBC1 in 1992. It was based on the eponymous series of books by Janet and Allan Ahlberg which were illustrated by Andre Amstutz, and focused upon the adventures of a gang of skeletons known as the Funnybones. There was Big Funnybone (whose catchphrase was "Good idea."), Little Funnybone, (who was the brains of the outfit), and (White, White) Dog ("These Bones") Funnybone (whose catchphrase was "Woof."). Each episode was 5 minutes in length. The voices were provided by popular comedian Griff Rhys Jones who also played Moon Man, who served as the narrator in the TV series.


  • Big - The big skeleton brother who wears the red bowler hat. He admits "good idea" on every idea he likes from Little.
  • Little - The little skeleton brother who comes up with many ideas for the crew to do on the night.
  • Dog - The pet dog of the skeleton brothers who loves bones, digging holes and finds everything that the skeleton brothers need.
  • Dr. Bones - The doctor skeleton that helps Big and Little to stop them bumping in the night.
  • Mr. Bonehead - The owner of the pet store.

Episode guide[edit]

Title of Episode Air Date Summary
1. The Pet Shop 29 September 1992 Big and Little decide to swap Dog for another pet, because all he does is bark and dig holes.
2. Bumps in the Night 6 October 1992 It is a particularly dark, dark night, tonight, and Big and Little keep bumping into each other, making them fall to pieces, and there is only one thing to do: send for Dr. Bones, who does a great job of patching them up.
3. Give the Dog a Bone 13 October 1992 Dog is having his favourite dream - the one about the big, juicy bone.
4. Dinosaurs 20 October 1992 Dog gets left behind when Big and Little decide to visit the dark, dark dinosaur museum.
5. Ghost Train 27 October 1992 Big, Little and Dog are invited to take a trip on the Ghost Train full of monsters.
6. Skeleton Crew 3 November 1992 The Funnybones are on a boat holiday on the dark, dark sea.
7. Mystery Tour 10 November 1992 The Funnybones receive an invitation to the party at the end of the Mystery Tour.
8. Wishbone 17 November 1992 The Funnybones find a huge wishbone, and try to decide which one of them has the best idea for what to wish for.
9. Shake, Rattle and Roll 24 November 1992 The Funnybones decide to put on a show.
10. Cat Chase 1 December 1992 What happens when the white, white Dog disappears in the white, white snow?
11. City Nights 8 December 1992 Little is bored with the quiet life on the dark, dark hill. So he decides to go to the city.
12. Night Fright 15 December 1992 The Funnybones decide to go out and frighten anybody they come across.

A BBC video entitled Funnybones - Bumps in the Night (Cat. No. BBCV 4871) which contained all twelve episodes was released soon after the series ended (but this is now out of print). The VHS tape was also released in Bulgaria and Australia by the companies Proxima Entertainment and ABC Video respectively.


  • Based on a series of books by: Janet Ahlberg, Allan Ahlberg
  • Illustrated by: Andre Amstutz
  • Published by: William Heinemann Ltd.
  • Script: Jocelyn Stevenson
  • Voices: Griff Rhys Jones
  • Storyboard: Clive Dawson
  • Layout: Neil Graham
  • Animation: Graham Griffiths, Chris Webster, Steve Hayne, Reg Lodge, Sue Rowe, Bill Tapp, Robert Brown, Zan Light, Michael Price, Steve John, Ken Hayes, Richard Wasilewski, Peter Arthy, Clive Dawson
  • Trace and Paint/Backgrounds by: The Ink 'n' Paint Co.
  • Production Co-Ordinator: Ceri Griffin
  • Filmed by: Rostrum Cameras Ltd., Pineville Films
  • Editor: Robert Francis
  • Assistant Editors: William Oswald, Jane Murrell
  • Sound: Taran
  • Music: Ernie Wood
  • Director: Gary Hurst
  • Producer: Naomi Jones
  • Executive Producers: Theresa Plummer-Andrews, Christopher Grace
  • Made in Wales by Cartwn Cymru for S4C in association with William Heinemann Ltd. and BBC Enterprises Ltd.
  • © S4C/William Heinemann Ltd./BBC Enterprises Ltd. MCMXCII


This was one of several cartoons dubbed by the then-new Irish post-production company Telegael, to demonstrate children's programming possibilities for a proposed Irish-language television station. The resulting series, Smior agus Smiortán (translating to the English language as Marrow & Smiortán), was broadcast on Ireland's two national television stations, RTÉ1 and 2, in 1993 The series was broadcast by the ABC in Australia (1 February 1994 – 28 January 1999).

External links[edit]