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Encyclopedia > The Magic Roundabout
The Magic Roundabout
Genre Children's television series
Created by Serge Danot
Starring Eric Thompson (original narrator)
Nigel Planer (Channel 4 narrator)
Country of origin Flag of France France
No. of episodes 441
Production
Running time 5 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel BBC (UK)
ORTF (France)
Original run 18 October 1965 – January 1977
External links
IMDb profile

The Magic Roundabout (Known in the original French as Le Manège enchanté) was a children's television programme created in France in 1963 by Serge Danot. Some five hundred five-minute-long episodes were made and were originally broadcast between 1964 and 1971 on ORTF. Magic Roundabout Characters This work is copyrighted. ... Childrens television series are television programmes designed for and marketed to children, normally aired during the morning and afternoon hours, mainly before and after school. ... Eric Thompson - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... Nigel George Planer (born February 22, 1953 in London) is an English actor, novelist and playwright. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... The British Broadcasting Corporation, which is usually known as the BBC, is the largest broadcasting corporation in the world in terms of audience numbers, employing 26,000 staff in the United Kingdom alone and with a budget of more than GB£4 billion. ... The Office de Radiodiffusion-Télévision Française (ORTF) was the national agency charged, between 1964 and 1974, with providing public radio and television in France. ... is the 291st day of the year (292nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1965 (MCMLXV) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the 1965 Gregorian calendar. ... Also: 1977 (album) by Ash. ... Childrens television series are television programmes designed for and marketed to children, normally aired during the morning and afternoon hours, mainly before and after school. ... Year 1963 (MCMLXIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1964 (MCMLXIV) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1964 calendar). ... Year 1971 (MCMLXXI) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the 1971 Gregorian calendar. ... The Office de Radiodiffusion-Télévision Française (ORTF) was the national agency charged, between 1964 and 1974, with providing public radio and television in France. ...


It was in the United Kingdom that the series became best known. The English version was narrated by Eric Thompson, the father of Emma Thompson, and broadcast from 18 October 1965 to January 1977. This version of the show attained cult status, and was watched as much by adults for its dry humour as by the children for whom it was intended. Eric Thompson - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... Emma Thompson (born April 15, 1959) is an Emmy-, BAFTA- and Academy Award-winning English actress, comedian, and screenwriter. ... is the 291st day of the year (292nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1965 (MCMLXV) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the 1965 Gregorian calendar. ... Also: 1977 (album) by Ash. ...


The characters were given different names in the different languages. The main character was Dougal or Pollux, (a Maltese dog, albeit of a non-standard colour). Other characters are Zebedee or Zébulon, a jack-in-the-box, Brian or Ambroise (a snail), Ermintrude or Azalée (a cow), Dylan or Flappy (a rabbit, who in the French version was Spanish). There are two notable human characters; Florence or Margote, a young girl, and Mr Rusty or le Père Pivoine, the operator of the roundabout. For other uses of the term Jack in the Box, see Jack-in-the-Box (disambiguation). ...


The show had a distinctive visual style. The set was a brightly coloured and stylized park containing the eponymous roundabout (a fairground carousel). The programmes were created by stop motion animation, which meant that Dougal was made without legs as it was felt that with them he would be too difficult to animate; Zebedee was created from a giant pea which was available in the animation studio and was re-painted. The look of these characters was the responsibility of British animator Ivor Wood, who was working at Danot's studio at the time (and who subsequently animated The Herbs, Paddington Bear and Postman Pat). In the French version Pollux had a comical English accent as a result of Wood's role as co-creator. An eponym is the name of a person, whether real or fictitious, who has (or is thought to have) given rise to the name of a particular place, tribe, discovery, or other item. ... Carousel in Bobbejaanland, Belgium] (Bobbejaan Schoepen Archive) A carousel (or carrousel) is an amusement ride consisting of a rotating platform with seats for passengers. ... Stop motion is an animation technique which makes things that are static appear to be moving. ... Ivor Wood (May 4, 1932 — October 13, 2004) was a British stop-motion animator who is best known for his work on childrens television series. ... The Herbs was a BBC TV series for young children. ... Paddington Station-Bronze of Paddington Bear Paddington Bear is a fictional character in childrens literature. ... Postman Pat is a BBC stop motion so rose hows champions sister animated childrens television series aimed at pre-school children, concerning the adventures of Pat Clifton, a postman in the fictional village of Greendale (inspired by the real valley of Longsleddale in Cumberland). ...

Contents

English language version

The British (BBC) version was especially distinct from the French version in that the narration was entirely new, created by Eric Thompson from just the visuals and not based on the script by Serge Danot that accompanied the original animations. The British Broadcasting Corporation, which is usually known as the BBC, is the largest broadcasting corporation in the world in terms of audience numbers, employing 26,000 staff in the United Kingdom alone and with a budget of more than GB£4 billion. ...


The first BBC broadcasts were stripped across the week (shown at 5.40pm, just before the early evening news each day), which was the first time an entertainment programme had been transmitted in this way in the UK. Since BBC1 did not start broadcasting in colour until November 1969, the series was seen only in black and white in the UK until then. Stripping is an industry term used to refer to the practice of running a syndicated television series every day of the week. ... BBC One (or BBC1 as it was formerly styled) is the oldest United Kingdom, and indeed, the world. ... For the Stargate SG-1 episode, see 1969 (Stargate SG-1). ...


52 additional episodes, not previously broadcast, were shown in the UK during 1992 by Channel 4. Since by that time Thompson was no longer alive, the job of narrating them in a pastiche of Thompson's style went to Nigel Planer. Year 1992 (MCMXCII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display full 1992 Gregorian calendar). ... Channel 4 is a public-service British television station, broadcast to all areas of the United Kingdom (and also the Republic of Ireland), which began transmissions in 1982. ... The word pastiche describes a literary or other artistic genre. ... Nigel George Planer (born February 22, 1953 in London) is an English actor, novelist and playwright. ...


The British Dougal was grumpy and loosely based on Tony Hancock. Ermintrude was rather matronly and fond of singing. Dylan was a hippy-like, guitar-playing rabbit, rather dopey. Florence was portrayed sensibly. Brian was unsophisticated but well-meaning. Zebedee was an almost human creature in a soldier's uniform with a spring instead of feet; he frequently went "Boing!" and regularly closed the show with the phrase "Time for bed." In the original French pilot he was seen emerging from a jack-in-the-box, which explains the spring.) In the foreword to the recent re-release of the books Emma Thompson explains that her father had felt that he was most like Brian of all the characters and that Ermintrude was in some respects based upon his wife. Biography published in 1978 (1983 paperback reprint shown) Anthony John Hancock, best known as Tony Hancock (May 12, 1924 – June 24, 1968) was a major figure in British television and radio comedy in the 1950s and 1960s. ... For other uses of the term Jack in the Box, see Jack-in-the-Box (disambiguation). ...


Other characters include Mr MacHenry, Mr Rusty and the train. Three other children, Paul, Basil and Rosalie, appeared in the early episodes and in the credit sequence, but very rarely in subsequent episodes.


Part of the show's attraction was that it appealed to adults, who enjoyed the world-weary Hancock-style comments made by Dougal, as well as to children. The audience measured eight million at its peak.


There is speculation about possible interpretations of the show. One theory is that the characters represented French politicians of the time (Dougal being De Gaulle for instance, although he was named Pollux in the French version). Another is that each character was addicted to a different type of psychotropic drug, mainly because of the very laid-back rabbit, Dylan, named after Bob Dylan, but also because the whole show had a psychedelic look to it, and many of the characters chewed on flowers and sugar cubes. However, Eric Thompson's widow, Phyllida Law, denied any reference to drugs was intended. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... A psychoactive drug or psychotropic substance is a chemical substance that acts primarily upon the central nervous system where it alters brain function, resulting in temporary changes in perception, mood, consciousness and behavior. ... The name Dylan is a Welsh name, from the Welsh elements dy, meaning great and llanw, rising tide. A given name in Wales, where the first syllable is pronounced closer to dull than to dill (IPA: ), it is now also a surname in other parts of the world. ... Bob Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman, May 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter, author, musician, and poet who has been a major figure in popular music for five decades. ... Phyllida Law (born 8 May 1932) is a Scottish actress. ...


In 1998, Thompson's stories were published as a series of four paperbacks, The Adventures Of Dougal, The Adventures Of Brian, The Adventures Of Dylan and The Adventures Of Ermintrude with forewords by Emma Thompson (Eric's daughter). The paperbacks were a major success for Bloomsbury Publishing plc. Emma Thompson (born April 15, 1959) is an Emmy-, BAFTA- and Academy Award-winning English actress, comedian, and screenwriter. ...


For years, the series had re-runs on Cartoon Network, and was later moved to its sister channel, Boomerang. Cartoon Network (commonly referred to as CN) is a cable television network created by Turner Broadcasting which primarily shows animated programming. ... Boomerang is the name of at least four television networks owned by Cartoon Network. ...


Theme tunes

Both the French and the British versions had distinctive theme tunes. The French tune was quite an upbeat pop tune played on a Hammond organ with child-adult vocals. The English version, by Alain Legrand, removed the vocals and increased the tempo of the tune while making it sound as if it were played on a fairground organ. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


Film versions

Dougal and The Blue Cat

Danot made a longer film, Pollux et le chat bleu, in 1972 which was also adapted by Thompson and shown in Britain as Dougal and the Blue Cat. The cat, named Buxton, was working for the Blue Voice who wanted to take over the garden. The Blue Voice was voiced by Fenella Fielding and was the only time that Eric Thompson called in another person to voice a character. The Blue Cat heard of Dougal's plan and made him face his ultimate weakness, and locked him in a room full of sugar. Film is a term that encompasses individual motion pictures, the field of film as an art form, and the motion picture industry. ... Year 1972 (MCMLXXII) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Fenella Fielding (born November 17, circa 1930) is an English-born actress. ...


2005 film

In 2005, a film adaptation (also called The Magic Roundabout) was released. It was made using modern computer animation, and adopted the French approach of each character having its own voice rather than using a narrator. The Magic Roundabout (released in North America as Doogal) is a film based on the television series of the same name. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Magic Roundabout (released in North America as Doogal) is a film based on the television series of the same name. ... Computer animation is the art of creating moving images via the use of computers. ...


In 2006, the film was released in the US as Doogal. Most of the voices from the British version were redubbed using American voice actors, such as Jon Stewart and Chevy Chase. Only two original voices remained- those of Kylie Minogue and Ian McKellen. The US version also featured narration by Judi Dench. The Magic Roundabout (released in North America as Doogal) is a film based on the TV series of the same name, This film version was released in 2005, with both languages using the French style of each character having its own voice. Voice artists are: The characters as seen in... Jon Stewart (born Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz on November 28, 1962) is a nine-time Emmy-winning[2] American comedian, satirist, actor, writer, author, and producer. ... Chevy Chase (born October 8, 1943) is an Emmy Award-winning American comedian, writer, and television and film actor. ... Kylie Ann Minogue (born 28 May 1968) is an Australian dance-pop singer-songwriter and occasional actress. ... Sir Ian Murray McKellen, CBE (born May 25, 1939) is a veteran English stage and screen actor, the recipient of a Tony Award and two Oscar nominations. ... Dame Judith Olivia Dench, CH, DBE, FRSA, (born 9 December 1934), usually known as Dame Judi Dench, is an Academy Award, Golden Globe, Tony, three-time BAFTA, and six-time Laurence Olivier Award-winning English actress. ...


The film flopped in America, although in the UK it is better known.


Musical spinoffs

In 1975 Jasper Carrott recorded a short, risqué comic monologue, parodying The Magic Roundabout, which was released on a single as the B-side of his comic song "Funky Moped". The record was a hit, but Carrott always claimed people were buying it for the B-side and not for the song, which he soon came to hate. The show's theme music also featured on two minor UK hit singles in 1991, "Summer's Magic" by Mark Summers and "Magic Style" by The Badman. Year 1975 (MCMLXXV) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Jasper Carrott OBE (born Robert Davis, March 14, 1945) is an English comedian (declaring himself world famous in Birmingham). // Born in Acocks Green, Birmingham, he was educated at Moseley Grammar School and later attended Aston University in the heart of Birmingham. ... A monologue, pronounced monolog, is a speech made by one person speaking his or her thoughts aloud or directly addressing a reader, audience, or character. ... Year 1991 (MCMXCI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the 1991 Gregorian calendar). ...


Road traffic spinoff

The name "Magic Roundabout" has been applied in the United Kingdom to large road traffic circulation systems with unconventional layout - at Swindon, for example. The popularity of the TV show coincided with the introduction of such schemes and soon became associated with any complex traffic roundabout. The complex in Hertfordshire at Hemel Hempstead, with its large central roundabout surrounded by six smaller ones, has attracted this nickname. * [1] The large roundabout and two mini roundabouts The Magic Roundabout in Swindon, England, was constructed in 1972 and consists of one large roundabout containing 5 mini-roundabouts. ... A roundabout or rotary is a type of road junction (or traffic calming device) at which traffic enters a stream around a central island after first yielding (giving way) to the circulating traffic. ... The Magic Roundabout or Funny Roundabout in Hemel Hempstead is the familiar name given to a complex road junction also known as the Moor End roundabout. ...


In popular culture

The Goodies was a surreal British television comedy series of the 1970s and early 1980s combining sketches and situation comedy and starring Graeme Garden, Tim Brooke-Taylor and Bill Oddie. ... The Goodies Rule - OK.? is an episode of the British comedy television series The Goodies. ... It Might as Well Be String is an episode of the British comedy television series The Goodies. ... Bill Bailey is also the name commonly used to refer to a popular song with the full title of Wont You Come Home Bill Bailey. Mark Bill Bailey (born 24 February 1964, Bath, Somerset) is an English comedian, actor, and musician known for appearing on Never Mind the Buzzcocks... Richard Pryor hits the money line A stand-up comedian or stand-up comic is someone that performs in comedy clubs, usually reciting a fast paced succession of amusing stories, short jokes and one-liners, typically called a monologue. ... Dante in a fresco series of famous men by Andrea del Castagno, ca. ... The Divine Comedy (Italian: , later christened Divina by Giovanni Boccaccio), written by Dante Alighieri between 1308 and his death in 1321, is widely considered the central epic poem of Italian literature, and is seen as one of the greatest works of world literature. ... A middle eight is a technical term referring to a standard song format used in many pop songs. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Eye of Sauron. ... Teratology (from the Greek teras (genitive teratos), meaning monster, and logos meaning study) is the medical study of teratogenesis or grossly deformed individuals. ... Dictator is originally the title of a magistrate in ancient Rome appointed by the Senate to rule the state in times of emergency. ...

References

  1. ^ History of the roundabout at the Hemel Hempstead Today website of the Hemel Gazette Newspaper . Accessed July 2007.

External links

  • Official Homepage/TV Info

  Results from FactBites:
 
Magic Roundabout (Hemel Hempstead) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (402 words)
The Magic Roundabout in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, England is the familiar name given to a complex road junction also known as the Moor End or Plough roundabout.
It was constructed in 1973 to reduce the congestion at the original standard layout roundabout where seven roads intersected, it was one of the first bi-directional roundabouts to be constructed in the UK.
The roundabout is widely believed to be the only roundabout with a surface river running through it, however, this is not the case.
The Magic Roundabout (822 words)
The Magic Roundabout was created by Serge Danot in 1965 and was entitled 'Le Manege Enchante', but the stories transmitted by the BBC were completely rewritten by Eric Thompson (father of Emma).
Perhaps the smallest, cheapest and most fun Magic Roundabout items to collect are the sets of plastic figures that were given away free with Kellogg's cereal in the late 1960s and early 70s, and with Nabisco biscuits in the mid-70s.
Magic Roundabout party tableware by Sweetheart was also available, but as these items were generally spoiled after a few uses, they have tended not to last in great numbers today.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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