Roobarb Family Fun at Surrey History Centre

Roobarb and Custard are featuring in a  family history display at the Surrey History Centre from August 4th, complete with family activities such as create your own masks.

Roobarb was originally created in 1974 by Grange Calveley, based on his own dog, produced by Bob Godfrey Films. Roobarb also featured in ‘I Love 1974’. I Love 1974 was an episode from the BBC produced series ‘I Love the Seventies’, which was broadcast in 2000. The series took a nostalgic trip back to the decade of the seventies, exploring the main cultural and commercial products of the time.

A new series consisting of 39 episodes was written and broadcast on Channel Five in 2005, also written by Grange Calveley and narrated by Richard Briers. However, this series was produced by Adam Sharp and Bernadette O’Riordan for A&Btv, and directed by Jason Tammemagi.

For further information on records see our catalogue

You can also see some of our educational packs for schools based on Roobarb here

Roobarb and Custard poster

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Ways of using Animation Archives in Studio Practice

Adam Sharp, Producer from A&BTV explains how the archives of Roobarb, created by Grange Calveley and animated by Bob Godfrey, helped to develop a new series, Roobarb and Custard

 

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‘Roobarb was created by Grange Calveley in the early 1970’s. Grange’s first sketch of Roobarb (on top of a piano with a brush) encapsulates beautifully the concept and character of the show – based entirely on Grange’s own pet dog.

 

From this early drawing, Grange wrote the entire 30 episode series.

 

Grange worked with animation director, Bob Godfrey, to create a test animation of what would later become episode 1 and set about getting a commission from the BBC. Once commissioned a team of animators, including students from St Martin’s started to draw the series. There was no style-guide as such other than employing the wobble or boiling effect, which was both economically and logistically pragmatic.

 

The series was a critical and commercial success garnering awards and a massive audience of 7 million within weeks of first transmission.

 

Unfortunately, all the original artwork for the 1974 series was lost in a studio fire in the 1980’s.

 

In creating a new show 30 years later, we decided we had to go back to the original episodes to help create the style-guide using screen grabs. Interestingly the TX quality of the original shows is nowadays deemed substandard and would not pass QC. There were discussions at the time to bring the animation bang up to date and clean the entire look and feel up. We decided however to take the best elements of the original series and retain the loose style and boiling effect in order to make the new series look and feel as much as possible like a natural progression from the original show.

 

Grange had already written the 39 new episodes. Each script starts with a sketch / image of what Grange is trying to portray in that particular story. These and other images that Grange creates at this stage are used to convey a look and feel for the finished animation – a pre-storyboard guide. It was imperative that we found a new animation team that;

  • Understood the history and heritage of the characters involved
  • Could work with us and the original series screen grabs to create the style-guide
  • Understood the humour and subtleties of Grange’s writing and characters

 

After a long and exhaustive, global search we landed with Gerard O’Rourke’s Dublin-based, Monster Animation. Gerard’s animation director Jason Tammemagi was then tasked with the new series.

The style sheets and storyboards were then used in a relatively straight-forward manner to create the new show with Flash. The only real issues were then deciding on how much of a wobble to include and how the marker-pen colour changes could be implemented best.

The new series “Roobarb and Custard Too” was first broadcast to critical acclaim in 2005 on Channel 5’s Milkshake strand and continues to be shown today.

For more information go to http://www.roobarbandcustard.tv’

Images of the storyboards produced from the original archives of Roobarb are available to internal students and researchers to UCA http://imagebank.ucreative.ac.uk/?c=535

The Bob Godfrey Studio Archive catalogue can be found here http://archives.ucreative.ac.uk/CalmView/Record.aspx?src=CalmView.Catalog&id=BG&pos=1

 

 

 

Bob Godfrey Talk, Farnham Public Library, 28th January 2014

Farnham library on Tuesday 28 January at 7.30pm

General information

A talk by James Walker, Lecturer of visual theory at UCA, on the Bob Godfrey archive held at the University of the Creative Arts.

The Bob Godfrey archive includes his animations from Henry’s Cat and Roobarb and Custard which will be familiar to everyone who grew up on the 1970’s and 80’s.  

It also holds some collaborative work with Steve Bell, political cartoonist on the series Margaret Thatcher – Where I am now, 1999

Bob Godfrey taught animation at West Sur­rey School of Art and Design.

Tickets

Tickets are £5  including tea or coffee.

Book online using debit or credit cards.

Telephone debit/credit card bookings on 01483 543599. A small handling charge may apply.

Tickets can also be bought in person from any Surrey library. 

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