Rayman: The Animated Series

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Rayman: The Animated Series
Based on Rayman; original characters 
by Michel Ancel
Developed by Jonathan Greenberg
Written by
  • Jonathan Greenburg
  • Michelle Jabloner-Weiss
Story by
  • Vanessa Coffey
  • Jonathan Greenburg
  • Alexis Nolent
Directed by Laurent Jennet
Creative director(s) Vanessa Coffey
Starring
Country of origin
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
  • France
Original language(s)
  • French
  • English (dubbed)
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 4 (26 planned)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s) François Pétavy
Editor(s) Alexis Nolent
Running time 13 minutes
Release
Original network YTV (Canada)
Toon Disney, Nickelodeon (United States)
SpaceToon (Indonesia)
CITV (UK)
Original release December 20, 1999 – January 10, 2000

Rayman: The Animated Series (also known as Rayman: The TV Series, or just Rayman) is a 3-D animated children's television series created by Ubisoft in 1999, based on the Rayman adventure game series, following the success of Rayman 2: The Great Escape. Twenty-six episodes were planned, but only four were completed when it was cancelled mid-series, leaving a fifth episode near to completion. The series was only broadcast in France, Germany and the Netherlands, but was released on VHS in the United States, and later on DVD in France.[1][2]

Plot summary[edit]

LacMac is the star of a galactic circus, run by Rigatoni and Admiral Razorbeard. He and his friends are forced to live life as circus freaks, only to be hit by whips, and generally mistreated. They only wish they can be free from their dreadful unfair lives. One night, after LacMac has just done a great performance, the circus closes for the night and Rigatoni picks up a new circus recruit, Rayman. Rayman is forced to stay at the circus because he can do amazing tricks with his floating limbless hands. He discovers that the other performers are forced to stay in this prison despite not having done anything wrong. Rayman won't take this. That night, he helps them escape. Rigatoni hires the bumbling detective, Inspector Grub, to bring the "fugitives" back. Rayman leads the circus freaks in outsmarting Grub and living in the city of Aerotropolis, the populated world the traveling circus landed on.

Episode 1: LacMac Napping[edit]

The series opens with the a mobile circus floating in a dark forest. This circus is owned by the sinister Sir Rigatoni, and his minion Admiral Razorbeard (the villain from Rayman 2). Inside the circus is a group of imprisoned performers: LacMac, a blue rabbit-like humanoid; Betina, who is presumably a fairy but looks more human; Cookie, a pompous humanoid mole (who always questions Rayman's ideas), and Flips, a dragonfly-like little fairy girl. LacMac is then called to perform for the customers, and after the performance, is thrown into a cage with his fellow performers by Razorbeard as Rigatoni laughs maniacally.

Later on, Rigatoni and Razorbeard bring in a new performer, Rayman, who can do many tricks with his limbless hands which he does behind Razorbeard's back. However, Rayman is a rebellious performer, and refuses to perform for Rigatoni, ultimately ending up caged with the other performers.

It is then that LacMac demonstrates his incredible strength by twisting strong metal bar into the shape of a dog. At Rayman's suggestion, LacMac uses his ability to bend the cagebars open for them to escape while Flips flies around the surveillance cameras, preventing Rigatoni from seeing them. They barely manage to escape Razorbeard's grasp by tearing a hole in the circus wall and jumping out while the circus crashes into the ground.

But Rigatoni doesn't give up there, enlisting the help of Inspector Grub to hunt down and capture Rayman and his friends. Meanwhile, on land, Rayman and the gang stumble across a faulty car, whose owner agrees to hand it over should they fix it. Cookie succeeds, and they all drive off in search of a hiding place. Unfortunately, Grub sees them and gives chase in his police car, but Rayman manages to evade Grub by making a sharp turn and causing Grub to crash into a nearby stack of crates.

Episode 2: No Parking[edit]

After escaping from Inspector Grub, Rayman and the gang stop at a park to rest for a while, but a disgruntled Cookie starts to regret joining Rayman on "this foolish adventure", and decides to write a will, believing that he will die soon. Unfortunately, he rudely shuns the playful Flips while writing, causing Flips to fly sadly into the car and cry herself to sleep under the sunroof.

However, the gang turns around to see the car being taken away by a tow-truck. At first, they are unconcerned after seeing the "No Parking" sign above them, but give chase after LacMac points out that Flips is trapped in the car. Eventually, they run into a nearby train station, where Rayman spots Inspector Grub outside. Rayman disguises himself and asks Grub where the tow-truck would take a car. Grub tells him that it is headed for the Scrapyard which can be reached by the 7 Train, but then recognises Rayman. After a brief chase in the station, Rayman and the gang manage to escape from Grub by catching the 7 Train just in time. While the train is moving they spot Flips on another scrapyard train going right next to them. LacMac attempts to get her but the train speeds up and he can't reach.

They arrive at the Scrapyard. There, Rayman and the others see that the cars are being loaded on a conveyor belt and dumped into the mouth of a giant monster. Worse, Rayman sees Inspector Grub park his car outside the Scrapyard, so they all get inside a towed car and hook Grub's car to it, pulling Grub's car into the Scrapyard and leaving him with no transportation. Rayman manages to climb up the conveyor belt and use his magic hands to save Flips in the nick of time, just as Grub finds them. Getting into a nearby steamroller, LacMac drives away after chasing Inspector Grub with the latter, but the Lacmac doesn't see drop below and falls off a pier. Although Rayman manages to keep everyone in the air with his Helicopter Hair for a few moments, he loses concentration and they all fall into a chasm.

Waking up, they all see that they actually landed in a cosy bedroom, and it is now daylight. However, what they do not know is that they are actually in the room on the first floor of Inspector Grub's house.

Episode 3: High Anxiety[edit]

Due to the collision they experienced earlier on, Cookie finds himself with a splitting headache, so they all borrow Betina's new taxi and drive him to the doctor, where he is strapped to a chair and experimented on in a few hilarious moments.

After the experiment, the doctor comes out with the results, and breaks the news that Cookie has only been imagining it all and needs to be committed immediately. Cookie is then taken by the orderlies into the mental asylum basement, where he is thrown into a cell with a roommate: an old lady with mood swings (she seems sweet at first but can sometimes have a quick temper).

In the waiting room, Rayman and the others talk about how to spring Cookie out of the asylum. Then, to their horror, Grub enters the building, and they all hide behind chairs to see what Grub is up to. They don't hear him, so after Grub goes into the hospital, Rayman and the others pose as Grub's family and ask where he went. Unfortunately, they take a wrong turn, and end up checking all the cells for Cookie. Meanwhile, Grub arrives at Cookie's room, to visit the old lady, who it turns out is his mother. Rayman and the others arrive just as Grub recognises Cookie. Thanks to the intervention of Grub's mother, Rayman and the gang finally manage to escape from the asylum after being chased for a long time by Grub. Eventually, Grub is caught by two orderlies, who mistake him for a similar-looking patient who escaped earlier on, and is thrown into the patient's cell, while protesting that he is a detective.

Episode 4: Big Date[edit]

Arriving back at their flat above Grub's home, Rayman, Betina, Flips, LacMac and Cookie complain about not having anything to eat. Rayman suggests going to the grocery store, but Cookie refuses, fearing Grub is still at home. Rayman starts pacing the room thinking when he trips over LacMac, LacMac suggests that they check by looking through a gap in the floorboards. Cookie invents a periscope that looks into Grub's flat. Betina sees Grub enter the house carrying a bouquet of flowers, and immediately assumes Grub has a date. Rayman realizes that if Grub has a Girlfriend, the gang won't have to worry about him trying to arrest them.

The normally messy Grub starts to clean his house and brush his hair, but when his date arrives, he makes a complete buffoon of himself by accidentally hitting her with her umbrella and leaving the oven on for too long, burning the meal in the process.

Feeling sorry for Grub, Rayman suggests helping him out despite being his enemy, much to Cookie's annoyance. After Grub accidentally breaks his date's nose with a bottle cap, she storms into the bathroom to fix it while Grub sulks. Initiating their plan, Rayman deliberately sets off the fire alarm, and hides behind the door as Grub comes into the kitchen, giving Rayman, Betina and Flips the chance to tidy up the living room.

As Grub comes back into the dining room with his date, Rayman, Betina and Flips sneak back into the kitchen, and notice Grub's awful attempt at cooking. With the help of Cookie and LacMac, they prepare a secret feast, but LacMac clumsily drops the plates and breaks them, attracting Grub's attention.

Grub goes into the kitchen just as Rayman and his friends go out. Grub then sees the feast on the table and takes it to his date as Rayman watches them from the first floor. Unfortunately, Grub foolishly ties the tablecloth to his neck and gets up to get some soda, accidentally pulling the tablecloth off the table and making a complete mess, much to Rayman's dismay.

Grub's date then storms out of the house, so Rayman, in a last-ditch effort to save Grub's happy evening, Rayman poses as a singing telegram and delivers flowers and a "romantic message" from Grub, asking her to the movies. The date then phones Grub, and he excitedly agrees to take her to the cinema the following day.

Rayman and his friends smile in triumph.

Characters[edit]

Heroes[edit]

Rayman[edit]

Main article: Rayman (character)

The main character and protagonist of the show, Rayman, has magical abilities and powers which he uses to help his new friends defeat Grub. He has no neck, legs, or arms. His feet stand on the ground and his hands, torso and head float in the air. He comes up with plans to get away from Grub.

Betina[edit]

A human-like girl, possibly a fairy. She can perform great acrobatics and can land perfectly. She takes care of Flips like an older sister. She has a similar personality to Rayman and is kind and caring.

Cookie[edit]

A paranoid, anthropomorphic dog-like creature. Cookie is whiny and dramatic, and constantly questions Rayman's ideas. He is also a good handyman, fixing the group's car, and making a periscope to keep an eye on Grub, as well as being a great cook. At first it seems like he doesn't care about others' feelings, however, this is not so.

Flips[edit]

A young fairy, Flips can't speak, and instead communicates by squeaking, which it seems the others understand, as she does the others. Flips rarely walks, and flies everywhere instead. She is always trying to help. She is always with Betina, sleeping in the same cage as her during their time at the circus, despite being small and easily able to fly away through the bars. Flips refuses to run away and save herself because if she did, she would have to leave Betina behind; she explains that they need each other.

LacMac[edit]

A slightly dumb, linguistically challenged anthropomorphic rabbit-like creature that can juggle and bend cast iron steel bars. LacMac is sometimes clueless to the world around him and is dragged into doing things by Cookie, who takes advantage of him. His appearance and personality may be based on Globox, a character in the Rayman video games. LacMac can be described as naïve and even shy, but he means well, even if his trying to help ends in catastrophe. There are subliminal hints across the series that he may have a crush on Betina, but this is only hinted at and never mentioned.

Villains[edit]

Rigatoni[edit]

The cruel owner of the flying Circus and responsible for Rayman and his friends' statuses as fugitives. Rigatoni is the main villain and main antagonist of the show. He is obsessed with catching Rayman, who is constantly getting his name wrong, calling him "Linguini" or "Ravioli". His name is derived from an Italian pasta of the same name, though he has more of a Brooklyn accent.

Razorbeard[edit]

A robot pirate working for Rigatoni, who first appeared in the video games as the main antagonist of Rayman 2: The Great Escape. He is in charge of making sure that the "freaks" are in their cages and behaving.

Inspector Grub[edit]

A policeman and detective hired by Rigatoni to capture Rayman and his friends. He lives on his own in a tree house high up in Aeropolis forest, which Rayman and the gang happen to fall into and then have to keep themselves out of Grub's sight. In the fourth and final episode, he apparently got himself a date with unnoticeable help from Rayman and his friends, in hoping that he'll be off their backs because of it. It's also worth noting that out of the three villains in the show, he's the only one to appear in more than one episode after the first before the show's cancellation.

Voice cast[edit]

Character French English German
Rayman Emmanuel Garijo Billy West
Betina Patricia Legrand
LacMac Patrice Baudrier Danny Mann
Cookie Michel Elias Carlos Alazraqui
Rigatoni Michel Elias Danny Mann
Inspector Grub Michel Elias Danny Mann
Admiral Razorbeard Patrick Guillemin Carlos Alazraqui
Additional voices

Production[edit]

A total of twenty-six episodes were planned, but after the fourth episode was completed, the show was cancelled, despite being funded by the government of Quebec, Canada.[3] They were aired in very few countries in Europe, notably France, Germany and the Netherlands. The fifth, unfinished episode was to be called "My Fair LacMac", earning much fan speculation about the episode's content. This episode was almost done in production, but was stopped at the last minute.[4]

VHS & DVD releases[edit]

Although very rare, the Rayman animated series is available on VHS and DVD. An English-dubbed VHS was released in the United States, while a French one can be found in France and Belgium. A DVD is also available, but only in France. Though the text on the cover is in French, the English and German-dubbed versions are included as well as the original French version.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Rayman Hits Video". IGN. December 1, 1999. Retrieved February 8, 2016. 
  2. ^ Davis, Ashley (August 14, 2009). "From the Console to the TV Station: Part 5". Destructoid. Retrieved February 8, 2016. 
  3. ^ Rayman: The TV Series (trailer). IGN. 1999. Event occurs at 1:46. Retrieved February 8, 2016. 
  4. ^ http://emilio3dgraphics.50megs.com/animation_Rayman.htm

External links[edit]