Rex the Runt

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Rex the Runt is an animated (claymation) television show produced by Aardman Animations. Its main characters are four Plasticine dogs: Rex, Wendy, Bad Bob and Vince.

The series began with a short, "Ident", in 1989 directed by Richard Goleszowski. After a long gestation period this developed into two unaired shorts and then thirteen ten-minute episodes that first aired over two weeks on BBC2 from December 1998. A second thirteen episode series aired from September 2001 on the same channel. As well as the core cast guest voices included Paul Merton, Morwenna Banks, Judith Chalmers, Antoine De Caunes, Bob Holness, Bob Monkhouse, Jonathan Ross, Graham Norton, Arthur Smith, June Whitfield and Eddie Izzard.

The animation is unusual in that the models are almost two-dimensional and are animated to exaggerate this - they are flattened in appearance and animated on a sheet of glass with the backgrounds behind the sheet.

Plots also regularly make reference to the fact that characters are made of Plasticine, such as one episode where Wendy goes to a hair salon and starts melting when under the hairdryer.

Series One has been released on VHS in the United Kingdom and on DVD in South Korea. A DVD of all 26 episodes has been released in the United States.

Contents

[edit] Characters

  • Rex the Runt Esq. (Andrew Franks in series one, Colin Role in series two) - The title character and head of the household. Rex often leads the others through their adventures, which always take a more surreal turn.
  • Bad Bob (Kevin Wrench in series one, Andy Jeffers in series two) - Bob is "a big, fat, jelly, wobbley, fat bastard." Although he has two eyes, he wears an eyepatch, which switches from one eye to another. He also likes guns and sheds.
  • Wendy (Elisabeth Hadley) - Rex's fiercely independent female companion, although they have never really been romantically together. She often comes up with good ideas with Rex steals.
  • Vince (Steve Box) - The closest the others have to a pet, Vince has uneven teeth, mismatched and vacant eyes, and often blurts out random words, especially "jam", "Tuesday", and "trousers". He suffers from Random Pavarotti Disease, which causes him to burst into a short snatch of opera at random moments.

[edit] Random Pavarotti Disease

Random Pavarotti Disease is a psychological disease that mainly affects plasticine dogs. The condition causes the random blurting out of opera-like singing. The only known cure is to go into either the victim's brain or bum, using a shrunken submarine. It rarely works, and, on the rare occasion it does work, causes the random blurting out of programmes from BBC Radio 4 instead (the Shipping Forecast and Gardeners' Question Time were used to demonstrate this).

[edit] References to other Aardman productions

Several episodes of Rex the Runt contain inside references to other television programmes created by Aardman Animations:

  • In the episode "Adventures on Telly Part I", Wallace (from the Wallace and Gromit series) is washing the windows on Rex's house, until Bad Bob pushes his ladder over (in the film "A Close Shave", Wallace operates a window washing business).
  • Pib and Pog, two of Aardman's lesser known creations, are present in the spectator gallery during the courtroom scene from "The Trials of Wendy".
  • The exorcist called upon in "Patio" is actually Morph, a character from an Aardman children's show, wearing a trench coat, hat, and large mustache.
  • There are two references in the episode "Wayne the Zebra": A Chicken Run-style chicken is rejected during the auditions (with Bad Bob making a comment regarding the recent popularity of chickens, referring to the film's success), and Bad Bob consults a book entitled Cracking Animation (which lists zebras as one of the top five hardest things to animate, due to their stripes), which has the same distinctive yellow cover as Aardman's how-to book, Creating 3-D Animation.

[edit] Episode list

Season 1

  1. "Holiday in Vince"
  2. "Adventures on Telly Part I"
  3. "Adventures on Telly Part II"
  4. "Adventures on Telly Part III"
  5. "Bob's International Hiccup Centre"
  6. "Easter Island"
  7. "Too Many Dogs"
  8. "The Trials of Wendy"
  9. "Stinky's Search for a Star"
  10. "Under the Duvet"
  11. "Johnny Saveloy's Undoing"
  12. "The City Shrinker"
  13. "Carbonara"

Season 2

  1. "Mouse in Me Kitchen"
  2. "Wendy's Hot Date"
  3. "Patio"
  4. "Crap Day Out"
  5. "Slim Bob"
  6. "Private Wendy"
  7. "Rocket Raymond"
  8. "Plasticene Gene"
  9. "Wendy's New Hairdo"
  10. "Wayne the Zebra"
  11. "Art of Cooking"
  12. "Bob Joins a Gang"
  13. "Hole in the Garden"

[edit] Rex The Runt merchandise

  • Rex The Runt: The Complete First Season (VHS) (B00005NB24)
  • Rex The Runt: The Complete Collection (DVD) (US only) (B000068QOF)
  • Rex The Runt: Rainy Day Companion (Book written by Andrew Franks and Kevin Wrench, a.k.a the voices of Rex and Bad Bob) (ISBN 0-340-74862-1)
  • Aardman's Darkside (a compilation DVD featuring episodes of Rex The Runt, to be released on October 18th 2006) (DVD) (B000FS9SDM)

[edit] External links

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