The Hound says "Welcome to Toonhound!" Toonhound logo
  cartoons, animation, comic strips and puppets in the UK  Union Jack


  british toon
  news & chatter
  animated films
  & shorts

  animated series

  animation studios

  & people

  string, hand
  & finger puppets

  characters, strips
  & comic books

  British animators
  & illustrators


Toonhound presents...






It's A Puppet!

Rupert Bear and Raggety

   small spacer
   The Adventures
  of Rupert Bear

 small spacer
Mary Tuner and John Read
                      for ITC Entertainment
string and radio-controlled puppets

                             SERIES ONE
                             1970-1971 / 26 x 11mins

                             SERIES TWO            
                             1971-1972 / 26 x 11mins

                             SERIES THREE
 1973-1975 / 52 x 11mins 

                             SERIES FOUR

                             1975-1977 / 52 x 11mins

    "There's a million stories to be told,
     of the things that he's done..."


   The sing-a-long title song says it all. Everyone knows and loves Rupert Bear,
   and this ITC production surely remains the definitive adaptation.

   The series was put together by Mary Turner and John Read, who struck out on
   their own after a very successful period working with Gerry Anderson, on his
   various Supermarionation shows. Together, they retooled Mary Toutel's little
   bear into three glorious dimensions, and they brought all his friends along for
   the ride too. Bill Badger, Podgy Pig, Edward Trunk, Constable Growler and the
   rest of the Nutwood gang, stepped straight out of the pages of the Daily Express
   and into our living rooms. Or at least, most did, because Rupert tended to roam
   the countryside in his flying blue chariot - again, fashioned skillfully after the
   original. There were at least two new additions, however, and they came in
   the form of Mr Grimnasty (otherwise known as the Old Man of the Wood) and
   the floating, fiery wood sprite, Willy Wisp. But these were so faithful, you'd be
   hard pressed to notice.

   Some shows are simply note-perfect, from the very opening second. Such
   was the case here. The series had a live-action intro, set in a child's bedroom.
   A woman could be seen, "reading" a Rupert tale to an unseen child, as we
   zoomed in on a toy version of Rupert, propped against a cupboard door. Then
   that snazzy theme song would kick in...

   Though Rupert was the rightful star, his bitter, spiky pal Raggety seems to
   have stolen his own slice of tv fame. He was a bit-part character in the original
   books, but here in three dimensions, this blue-sticked monster positively
   snapped and twitched. Raggety was revealed beneath the roots of a
   toppled tree in the episode "Rupert and Raggety", and duly named because
   - well - he looks so raggety. In the end, he finds a new home, as a "pet" to
   Mr Grimnasty.

    Rupert in his chariot, with Raggety and Willy Wisp

   The first episode, "Rupert and the Flying Machine", was broadcast in October
and ITC never looked back. Okay, so they didn't bring us a million stories,
   but over the course of four triumphant series the producers shared a whopping
   156 adventures with their viewers, with writing duties shared between Anna
   Standon and Marcia Webb. There was a huge range of tie-in apparel and
   toys, and a hit record, in the form of Ron Roker and Len Beadle's spangling
   theme song. Jackie Lee thrilled us all with her vocals, and sang her way to 
   the number 12 spot in 1971.

   Lost Rupert

   Sadly, many of Rupert's adventures appear to have been lost over the years,
   with only half remaining in the ITC archives.
Kaleidoscope's Lost Shows site
   identifies what's missing for you. It appears that
out of a 67 of the 156 episodes
   are currently missing, whilst 42 others exist on formats inferior to the original.
   If you can help plug the gaps, Kaleidoscope would love to hear from you...


  » Pedants will note that Jackie Lee sings about "Rupert... Rupert the Bear..."
      when, in reality, our yellow-scarfed friend is simply "Rupert Bear".

» After Rupert, Mary Turner and John Read turned their talents upon Katherine
      Tozer's "Mumfie" books, and later "Cloppa Castle" and "The Munch Bunch"
      were brilliantly brought to life.


     See also
     Rupert and the Frog Song
     Rupet Bear, Follow the Magic


     Broadcast info

     The series premiered on the ITV network on
28th October 1970.
     It ended its run on 24th August 1977...


     In the news

The Hound: October 2010
     Raggety is a Top 10 Toon Terror....

The Hound: September 2003
     Rupert rights wrangle sorted...

     The Hound: April 2003

     Rupert rights wrangle...

     The Hound: June 2000

     Rupert Annual at auction...


     an ITC production

      based upon the character created
      by the Daily Express

           Mary Turner
   John Read

    Anna Standon, Marcia Webb
      script editor:
    Ruth Boswell
      music & lyrics:
  Ron Roker, Len Beadle
                        sung by Jackie Lee
         Christine Glanville, Sheena Lane
                             Rowena White, David Ross
      art director:
      John Jelly
         Terry Blackall
              David Elliott

           Judy Bennett


     On the web

     Little Gems 
     The Gems give Rupert a splendid presentation here, with lots of
     screen shots, and that theme to hum along to...

     Off the Telly 
     TJ Worthington has contributed this excellent Rupert/Mary Turner article
     to an equally-excellent tv site - well worth a read....

     Off the Telly: Ron Roker
     "Off the Telly" also talk to Rupert's hit-makers...

     Marcia Webb
     Rupert's story queen has her own site...

Jackie Lee
     An excellent guide to Jackie's career...

      index »    next »     

© ITC Entertainment / Express Newspapers / Entertainment Rights / F2010