Rupert (TV series)
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|Voices of||See article|
|Opening theme||The Happy Farmer Returning from Work|
|Country of origin||Canada|
|No. of seasons||5|
|No. of episodes||65 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Picture format||480i (4:3 SDTV)|
|Original release||September 7, 1991 –|
June 19, 1997
Rupert is a very intelligent and witty white bear, and he has many friends from every corner of the world. Although he lives in a small medieval origins village called Nutwood, he enjoys traveling around the world, discovering new cultures, living great adventures, unraveling mysteries and unmasking villains. The Nordic culture of the European countries influences the visual of the cartoon, with many castles, citadels and clothes, besides personages, like elves and the monster of Loch Ness, that they refer to the European culture. The landscapes of Rupert's books, which inspired the series, were based in the region of Snowdonia and Vale of Clwyd, in the northern part of Wales.
- Rupert Bear - A considerate, smart, resourceful, brave, trusty, good-spirited white bear who is extremely popular with all the residents in Nutwood. On occasion, he breaks the fourth wall in addressing his observations and making comments to the viewer.
- Bill Badger – Rupert's best friend, who, unlike Rupert, often presents a lot of flaws, such as cowardice, impatience, clumsiness, a quick temper, and a horrible singing voice. He has a baby brother named Toby, who appears to be fond of Bill's singing voice.
- Mr. Bear – Rupert's father. He is much more clumsy and forgetful compared to Rupert. He often smokes a pipe. Mr. Bear (as shown in the episode "The Firebird") and Podgy's father are part of the Nutwood Fire Brigade.
- Mrs. Bear – Rupert's mother. Like her son, she is wise and often offers advice to Rupert who later uses it during his adventures.
- Podgy Pig – A jolly, yet greedy and not very bright pig with a large appetite. He is very friendly to others and appears not to see that his friends sometimes find him annoying. His appetite at times can lead him and his friends into trouble, but Rupert can look past this to go out of his way to help Podgy.
- Pong Ping – A Pekingese from China who owns an elevator that can travel underground all the way to China. He has a wealth of knowledge of his culture including dragons and various magical objects. He's also good at math.
- Professor – A very friendly and eccentric human scientist who resides in an old castle tower in Nutwood, who invents many incredible devices during the series. Rupert often helps out with his experiments. Once the Professor starts an experiment, he never rests. He has the catchphrase, "Think of the possibilities, my boy(s)!" whenever he is explaining his experiments and all the benefits that can come from it to Rupert and his friends.
- Tiger Lily – Rupert's female and Chinese friend. The only human student in school and the member of one of few human families in Nutwood. She and her family have a lot of knowledge on magical and mystical objects.
- Algy Pug – Rupert's friend, a pug who often overestimates his abilities and takes a lot of pride in himself. Despite his flaws, he is shown to be a good and helpful friend for Rupert and others.
- Edward Trunk – Another friend of Rupert. An elephant, very kind, sensitive and strong. He is often seen helping his father who works in plumbing.
- Gregory Guinea Pig - A very kind guinea pig and another friend of Rupert. Sometimes he can be nervous and scared, but he meets the challenges head on when his friends need help.
- Ottoline Otter – Rupert's friend who is an otter of a Scottish descent who loves Shakespeare and lives in an old castle that belonged to her ancestors. The castle has many secret entrances hidden all over. Ottoline has vast knowledge of each entrances' location and will prefer to use them instead of the stairs.
- Freddy and Ferdie Fox - Two mischievous twin foxes who spread mischief around the village of Nutwood.
- Constable Growler - A dog and local policeman who rides a bicycle. He constantly says he needs to do "everything by the book, you know" and is always turned to by Rupert and his friends whenever they need help catching a criminal.
- Sage of Um - A jolly wizard who comes from the island of Um and flies in an upside-down umbrella. He is a friend of Tiger Lily's father; The Conjurer.
- Billy Blizzard - An ambitious villain, who with the help of a magic whistle, plans to freeze the villagers of the North Pole and become the leader of the place.
- Sir Humphrey Pumphrey - A greedy, ruthless explorer who tries to find or plunder riches for his own selfish desires.
- Ben Sandford (Rupert Bear 1991)
- Julie Lemieux (Rupert Bear 1992–1997)
- Guy Bannerman (Mr. Bear)
- Lally Cadeau (Mrs. Bear 1991–1992)
- Valerie Boyle (Mrs. Bear 1992–1997)
- Torquil Campbell (Bill Badger)
- Hadley Kay (Podgy Pig)
- Keith White (Algy Pug)
- Oscar Hsu (Pong Ping)
- Stephanie Morgenstern (Tiger Lily)
- Wayne Robson (Sage of Um)
- Colin Fox (Professor)
- Chris Wiggins (Chinese Emperor, Chinese Conjuror, Captain Bill, additional voices)
- Ho Chow (Tung Lai)
- Jeremy Ratchford (Botkin)
- Peter Wildman (Mr. Ribbons, Captain Sir)
- Dan Hennessey (Tom)
- Kristin LeMunyon (Clarice)
- Allen Stewart-Coates (Cedric Pig, Constable Growler, additional voices)
- Keith Knight (Timid Snowman, Mr. Chimp, the Sandman, additional voices)
- Rick Jones (Yum ‘’)
|Season||Episodes||First aired||Last aired|
|1||13||7 September 1991||23 November 1991|
|2||13||13 September 1992||9 December 1992|
|3||13||3 March 1994||26 May 1994|
|4||13||3 September 1995||26 November 1995|
|5||13||27 March 1997||19 June 1997|
Production and broadcast
It was broadcast in syndication on YTV in Canada. In the United States, the show first aired on Nickelodeon before moving to CBS during Saturday mornings; repeats of the series came to Disney Channel on the Playhouse Disney block, Toon Disney, and on Qubo's digital service in January 2007. That show is also aired on Nick Jr. The show was broadcast in the UK on CITV and has recently been re-airing on the satellite and cable channels Tiny Pop and KidsCo. In Australia, the show was broadcast on the ABC public broadcasting network and later on the Australian Nickelodeon network and on TV2 in New Zealand as part of the Jason Gunn Show. It was also shown on RTÉ in Ireland as part of their children's block The Den. In South America, the series was broadcast in Brazil by TV Cultura from February 2, 1998 to 2006, with audience peaks, according to the Folha de São Paulo portal, between 2002 and 2004. In South Africa, the series was broadcast on Bop TV and M-Net as part of their wrapper programme for children K-T.V.. The series was also played in Namibia on NBC. It also aired in the United Arab Emirates with the show being broadcast on the English free for air channel Dubai 33. In Portugal, the series was broadcast during the 1990s on the RTP channel.
The theme music (the overture) played at the beginning of the show (and, with slight modifications, during the closing credits) was composed by Milan Kymlicka. The opening notes of the melody (particularly the first four notes) appear to be based on Robert Schumann's The Happy Farmer Returning from Work, Op. 68, No. 10, but the piece then evolves into a highly original, wonderfully melodic and well-orchestrated work.
When this series aired on Nickelodeon in the U.S., a different theme was written for it and used. This song was performed in a peppy, rollicking, ragtime style, with lyrics and vocals in the intro, and an instrumental of this same tune in the outro. This composition, Rupert's Number One, was co-penned by Sheree Jeacocke and Gerry Mosby, and was possibly also sung by the former.
Scenes in the intro used in this version were different from the original as well. Here, scenes used for it were taken from various episodes mostly and the ending credits differed (aside from the scene of a silhouette of one of Rupert's friends releasing the box kite as it's lifted up by the wind and Rupert pulls it away while running) from the initial, in that in the Nick Jr. version, after getting a close up of the kite, the scene switches to various scenes of Rupert with another, different character (or other different characters). In the initial, after the kite has been lifted and there's a close-up shot of it, it's zoomed in so far that all that is seen is the color red, over which the credits are superimposed. Then there's a zoom-out of the kite and the only still scenes of either Rupert on his knees and crawling on the grass while Tiger Lily tries to bring down the kite from a tree, Rupert bends over lifting Bill to get kite, or Rupert trying to get the kite while Podgy eats the apples in the trees. Playhouse Disney has also aired Rupert in the early 2000s in the United States, but used the original intro.
Feature film version
According to BBC News, in 2000 Nelvana made plans to produce a feature film about Rupert at Hollywood studios but the project was not implemented. The film would be released possibly between 2001 and 2002.
- Josef Adalian (December 13, 1998). "Nick vet CBS-bound as nets alter kidvid skeds". Variety. Retrieved October 6, 2017.
- NewsPrime. "Programação de TV de 2 de fevereiro de 1998 (SP)". Retrieved 2018-06-22.
- "Folha de S.Paulo - Programação de TV - 21/05/2003". www1.folha.uol.com.br. Retrieved 2018-06-22.
- "Rupert the Bear turns 80". 2000-11-08. Retrieved 2018-06-21.