Rupert is a fantasy animated television series based on the Mary Tourtel character Rupert Bear, which aired from 1991 to 1997 with 65 half-hour episodes produced. The series is produced by Nelvana, in co-production with Ellipse Programmé for the first three seasons, in association with YTV Canada, Inc. (Seasons 1-3 and 5), and ITV franchisees TVS Television (Season 1) and Scottish Television (Seasons 2-5).
Rupert is a very intelligent and witty polar 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.
Why It Rocks
- The show is kind of adventurous, imaginative, and even filled with all sorts of excitement.
- Rupert is a likeable protagonist who has a sense of adventure.
- Other characters like Bill Badger, Tiger Lily, the Professor, Constable Growler, Podgy Pig, Algy Pug, and the rest are okay as well.
- Rupert's parents are caring and loving parents. Most episodes never show them get angry at Rupert except for "Rupert in Dreamland" which is the only one where they do get angry with Rupert when he pours a bucket of water on Podgy, although it was because Podgy was having touble with staying awake with a sleeping problem.
- Various and decent antagonists in the show.
- While being the reason why it doesn't stay entirely faithful to its source material, the voice actors voiced some characters with British and Canadian accents.
- The reason why for British accents is that the show is based on a British comic series for the Daily Express made by Mary Tourtel, and as for the Canadian voice actors, the series is co-produced in Canada and most of the voice actor turn out to be Canadian.
- One example for the British accents are for Rupert, his parents, Bill Badger, the Professor, Lilian Pig (Podgy's mum), the Cockney-accented seagull from the third episode, the Sage of Um, the Chess King from "Rupert and Bill in Gameland", the barracuda advisor in the episode "Rupert's Undersea Adventure", Constable Growler, and some more. As for the the characters who were given Canadian accents, they were Tiger Lily, Podgy Pig, Algy Pug, Cedric Pig (Podgy's father), the Bird King, Odmedod, Freddie and Ferdie Fox, Billy Blizard, the Timid Snowman, Edward Trunk, and more.
- The theme songs for the show is spot-on.
- The first and original theme song is one example. While the beginning part used a piece of the tune for "The Happy Farmer Returning from Work", the rest of the piece then evolves into a highly original, wonderfully melodic and well-orchestrated work. In fact, there's even an extended version of the theme song that is far better than the short one.
- The Nick Jr. theme song was decent.
- The theme song for the French dub is amazing.
- The cel animation used in the first two seasons was smooth, as well as the pacing for the season.
- The digital animation for the rest of the series, while not as good as the cel animation, was still okay.
- Ben Sanford did a swell job voice-acting as Rupert in the first season.
- Notable catchphrases, such as the Professor's "Think of the possibilites!" and Rupert's "I have a plan."
- Like the opening theme, the soundtracks are also great. Some of them are orchestrated sountracks, witty music, and even the title card music is jolly!
- The show switched to digital animation after the second season. Although it was okay, it wasn't as good as the first two seasons as mentioned above in WIR #8.
- Although Julie Lemieux's version of Rupert's voice was okay, she wasn't as good as Ben Sanford because it hardly sounded British.
- Speaking of Sandford, whatever happened to him after season 1 was unknown.
- As mentioned in WIR #6, the show doesn't entirely stay faithful to its source material because of the voice acting. Some characters had Britsh accents while some had Canadian accents.
- In fact, Allen Stewart-Coates, who was the voice actor for both Cedric Pig and Growler, used his Canadian accent for Cedric while he gave Constable Growler a Cockney-British accent, which is ironical.
- People who know the story of Rupert originally being from the UK and knowing that the fictional town of Nutwood is obviously set somewhere in England would find this confusing due to seeing that some of the characters speak with Canadian accents because of their voice actors instead of having all of them sound British.
- Some viewers would find it confusing to see that the universe of Rupert has characters who appear as anthropormorphic animals co-existing with non-anthropormorphic animal characters (the human characters such as Tiger Lily, the Professor, the Chinese Emperor, and minor characters in other episodes), as well as mythical creatures and holiday mascots such as King Neptune, Santa Claus, Jack Frost, the Sandman, Father Time, leprechauns, and others, although they're not bad and okay, but still a bit confusing.
- Some characters such as Gaffer George and Odmedod appear out of nowhere with no introduction like if Rupert already knew them.
- The amazing title card music is removed in the French dub.
- The other animated series based on the Rupert Bear adventures isn't as good as this version. Pong Ping's gender was changed to a female as well as her name being swapped to "Ping Pong", Ragetty from the original story went from a cantankerous wood troll to a friendly elf with broken English (while okay it doesn't match its original source), the human characters like Tiger Lily and the Professor are nowhere to be found, and like Pong Ping, one of the fox twins (Ferdie) also got his gender swapped and renamed Freda. Even Podgy Pig makes no appearance as well.
- The characters from the original story such as Bingo Pup, Reggie Rabbit, and Willie Mouse have no major roles (such as serving as a secondary character/deuteragonist for an episode or even having an episode dedicated to them) and have silent roles, meaning there was never a scene where these characters speak.
- In the original Rupert stories, Rupert and the Bird King (who appears in three episodes in the TV adaption) already know each other, but in the Twilight Fan episode, it made it look like they already met (the Bird King also became the former secondary antagonist for the episode as well as his Flamingo Advisor because he made a silly law stating and claiming that only birds are allowed to fly, not flying machines and even prohibits flying machines from his kingdom until one part of the episode where he finally realizes he was wrong).
- According to the trivia of Rupert and the Giants in the wiki where it stated that scene where the two mice call Rupert a "goody-two-shoes" is also used by people who criticize or don't like Rupert's character as they often describe him with that word, meaning some people see Rupert as a Gary Stu depite what happened in "Rupert in Dreamland" as mentioned above in WIR#4.
- In one episode, "Rupert and the Temple Ruins", it had a scene where Rupert mentions the word "killed".
- Most of the episodes are based off of the original comic strips. The episode, "Rupert and the Crocodiles" is based off of "Rupert, Algy, and the Cannibals", which had Rupert and Algy face against dark-skinned cannibals. In order to avoid racisim and creepyness, they replaced the cannibals to anthropormorphic crocodiles. Familiar much?!. Algy was also replaced with Podgy Pig as well.