Rupert Bear

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Rupert Bear
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Rupert Bear is an anthropomorphic children's cartoon character created by Mary Tourtel. First appearing in British nespaper The Daily Express on November 8, 1920, the character endures to this day.


Rupert has a series of friends, Bill Badger, Algy Pug (a dog) and Edward Trunk (an elephant) being the most enduring. He also had a foe called Raggety, a creature made from twig. Mary Tourtel's last Rupert story was 'Rupert and Bill's Seaside Holiday' published in 1935. She was replaced by Alfred Bestall, who was previously an illustrator for Punch.

Bestall improved the stories and plots of Rupert but more importantly he created the most beautifully crafted illustrations in the Rupert Annuals. Bestall drew Rupert until 1973, when he retired. Much of the landscape in Rupert is inspired by the Snowdonia landscape of North Wales, the Sussex Weald and East Devon.

Rupert appears each day in the Daily Express; his new adventures are illustrated by John Harrold. A Rupert Annual is still produced every year, with Harrold's drawings coloured usually by Gina Hart.

The story's setting is the village of Nutwood, which resembles an idealised version of an English village in the early 1930s. Some critics of the strip have claimed that it is out of touch with the modern world and reflects an unrealistic view of rural life.

Rupert appeared in Paul McCartney's 1984 music video "We All Stand Together"; McCartney also made an animated video starring Rupert called Rupert and the Frog Song.

On October 31, 2005, UK Media Group Entertainment Rights secured majority interest from the Daily Express on Rupert Bear. There are plans for a film, books, Limited Edition Prints and DVDs that will see Rupert joined by new friends in addition to established characters.

The character is usually drawn wearing a red jumper and bright yellow plaid trousers, with matching yellow scarf. In modern British slang plaid trousers, such as those worn on a golf course for visibility, are often called "Rupert Bear trousers". [1]

Television series[edit]

The Adventures of Rupert Bear (1970-1974)[edit]

Rupert first appeared on television in an ITC series, produced for the ITV network which ran for over 100 ten-minute episodes. The characters were all puppets, although the opening sequence memorably featured a toy Rupert bear sitting in a live-action child's bedroom. Rupert's friends and flying chariot appeared straight from the Daily Express pages, although he was joined by some new friends including a sprite called Willy Wisp.

One of the most memorable elements of the series was the catchy theme song, sung by Jackie Lee, which reached number 14 in the UK charts in 1971. Infamously, the song includes the erroneous lyric "Rupert the Bear", even though Rupert has never had the definite article in his name.

Rupert (1991)[edit]

In 1993, Rupert Bear was given his own animated television series, with 39 episodes produced by Nelvana (Canada) and Ellipse (France)and another 27 episodes by Nelvana to bring the total to 66. It was broadcast in syndication on YTV in Canada. In the United States, the show first aired on Nickelodeon before moving to CBS [2]; repeats of the series came to qubo's digital service in January 2007.

The show was broadcast in the UK on CITV. In Australia, the show was broadcast on the ABC.

Rupert Bear, Follow The Magic... (2006)[edit]

A new Rupert Bear animated television series. Notable changes to the characters are Rupert will wear trainers and his fur will have a slight tan. Pong Ping has become a girl and Raggerty is now an elf.

Rupert Bear, Follow The Magic... was broadcast on Five from November 8 - December 7, 2006. Thirteen ten-minute original episodes were broadcast and subsequently repeated.


External links[edit]