1 9 7 5 (Netherlands)
45 x 5 minute episodes
Were there ever more unlikely cartoon stars than those shape-shifting, multicoloured blobs called the Barbapapas?
A French children’s book series turned into a Dutch cartoon, Barbapapa was the creation of Annette Tison and Talus Taylor, who derived their characters’ names from the French word for candy floss (‘cotton candy’ to our American viewers).
The family was headed by pink blob Barbapapa and his black blob wife, Barbamama.
From this happy union sprang seven offspring: red Barbabravo, orange Barbalib, yellow Barbazoo, purple Barbabelle, green Barbalala, blue Barbabright, and fuzzy black Barbabeau. Rounding out the family was Irving the Dog.
The entire Barba family could change their bodies into any shape imaginable, making them the envy of young readers around the globe.
With the multinational success of the Barbapapa books, Netherlands-based animation company Polyscope produced a cartoon version in 1975 and the TV series was broadcast in more than 40 countries.
US distributor LBS Communications, who had earlier taken the Dutch cartoon Doctor Snuggles to America, imported the series to the US for a brief syndicated run in 1981.
In 1997, Teletoon TV in France re-broadcast this memorable series in answer to popular demand by those who enjoyed watching the series when they were children. Over 300,000 copies of the video cassettes have been sold to date.