Surely everyone knows of Mr Bean by now? -
Created by writer Richard Curtis
and performer Rowan Atkinson this monosyllabic,
frustrating but peculiarly
endearing geek has experienced worldwide success,
first through the Emmy
winning live-action tv specials, then courtesy
of the hit feature "Bean:The Ultimate
Disaster Movie". The animated series is produced
by Atkinson's own production
company Tiger Aspect, in a co-production with Richard
Purdum Productions in
the UK and Varga Holdings in Hungary and it has
earned itself a notch in tv
history as the very first prime-time animated
half hour to be commssioned for
The ITV commission was a brave one. 52 stories
to be broadcast as double
bills in a primetime Saturday evening slot. Atkinson
himself lent both his voice
and his body to the production, allowing the
animators to film him as Mr Bean
so they might capture the idiosynchrosy of
the character. Mr Bean's beloved
Teddy takes a more central role in the series.
His mini is there too, and the
unfortunate Robin Reliant we've seen in the
original films now comes a cropper
in almost every episode. Mr Bean also has
an on-off girlfriend, Irma Gobb, and
a crabby old landlady, Mrs Wicket who has
a spitting, clawed moggy called
Scrapper at her side...
What seems on paper to be a risky venture
actually succeeds rather well.
There's some splendid character design - like
the 'floating' feet and the nifty
touch of having the characters eyebrows move like
beads on threads. There's
also lots of extra detail and cases of foreground
character action causing ripple
effects through the background of each tale. In
keeping with the original creation,
dialogue is minimal, just a few audible phrases
and burbles from our star
placed strategically to help decipher the
action. Whilst it's not laugh-out-loud
material, "Mr Bean: The Animated Series"
still succeeds in raising a smile
and keeping it there for the duration of each
episode and there is a special
appealing "cuteness" to procedings
with its pleasant colour palette and,
Mr Bean's on-off affection and disdain for
Teddy. This is a great series
on DVD, where you can freeze frame and step through all those
background details and inclusions at your leisure...
the very first scene of the very first episode - "In
The Wild" - pause your
video as the night
bus trundles past Mr Bean's house. There amongst
the silhouetted passengers
is a guy with his strangling hands around
a second guy's neck!
of houses, notice how the design of Mr Bean's end terrace abode
changes from that
pilot episode to the design used in the rest of the series.
the episode "Missing
Teddy", Mr Bean causes the poor Robin Reliant
to drive into the
back of a removal van. Later, when he goes to the police
station to put up
a Missing Teddy poster, one of the other 'missing'
posters in the background
features - you guessed it - the Robin Reliant.
check out some of the shop names in the background.
A favourite is The
London Sock Exchange. Also, a shop near the cinema
is called Claudia's
Candys - interesting, given that the series producer
is Claudia Lloyd.
Has she a famous sweet tooth?
In the episode "Royal
Bean" we meet The Queen in the halls of Buckingham
Palace which are lined with
royal portraits, including one depicting that
most cunning of royal figures,
the one and only Lord Blackadder!
of Rowan Atkinson's alter egos also stars in "Mime".
had an early star
turn as a comedic Mime, earlier in his career.
In "Dead Cat"
and "No Pets"
Mr Bean pays a visit to Purrrrdoms Pet
Shop - taking its name from
Richard Purdham's animation company,
Bear" we discover that Mr Bean keeps two chamber pots
under his bed: a large
one for him, and a smaller one for Teddy. The
smaller one even has
Teddy's face on it!
In the same episode we discover that Teddy's birthday
is 15th August.
The mole character im "The
is surely based upon Zdenek Miler's
and star of a
favourite imported series from the 70's
for now, when Mr Bean goes to jail in "Wanted",
he's trundled past
inmates who include Hannibal
Lecter and Steve McQueen (complete with
baseball glove and ball!)...
Hound: July 2005
The brilliance of Mr Bean...
Hound: June 2003
Animated Mr Bean returns...
Hound: March 2002
Animated Mr Bean arrives on ITV...
Those animated episodes...
A Grand Invitation Double
A Ray of Sunshine Egg
A Royal Makeover
A Running Battle
The Ball Homeless Royal
Bean in Love Hopping
Big TV In
Birthday Bear In
The Bottle Inventor
Car Trouble Magpie Treasure
Cat Sitting Mime The
Chocks Away Missing
Dead Cat The
Dinner For Two
Mr Bean on DVD
Bean The Animated Series - Vols 1-6
2 box-set / November 2008
Bean: The Animated Series - Vol. 1
2 / Universal / August 2005
Bean: The Animated Series - Vol. 2
Region 2 / Universal / March 2006
Bean: The Animated Series - Vol. 3
2 / Universal / July 2006
Bean: The Animated Series - Vol.4
2 / Universal / November 2006
Bean: The Animated Series - Vol. 5
2 / Universal / March 2007
Bean: The Animated Series - Vols. 1 & 2
1 / A&E Home Video / Sept 2003
Bean: The Animated Series - Vols. 3 & 4
1 / A&E Home Video / March 2004
Bean: The Animated Series - Vols. 5 & 6
1 / A&E Home Video / Sept 2004
Mr Bean with Rowan Atkinson
based on an original character created
by Richard Curtis
and Rowan Atkinson
pilot episode: "In
storyboard, layout Richard Purdum
exec prods: Rowan
for varga: Andras
Erkel, Jan Sawkins
exec dir: Richard
series des: Steve
series dir: Alexei
series prod: Claudia
story editor: Robin
Grace, John Glover,
Martin, Enn Reitel