And this, folks, is animation…
A producer acquaintance just shared this on Facebook, and I had to do the same on here. I’ll never forget the first time I met Bob, mid 90s in a pub in Soho, we had a long conversation about negative equity. He was talking, but all I could hear in my head was the Roobarb theme.
I met him a few times after that, for work and in the pub, sometimes both at the same time. One time I remember going round to his studio in King’s Cross and he had Roobarb on pause on the TV and was tracing over the scene and then signing the results so he could sell them, because all the original Roobarb layout sheets had been dumped before he realised he could make money out of them.
We almost worked together once – I was working on ‘Amazing Animals’, a Disney Channel/Dorling Kindersley/Partridge Films series that had just been Emmy-nominated. Within it were these little self-contained 2D animated segments that I was having a lot of fun with, thirty second Looney Tunes stuff, or an attempt at it at least. Partridge and DK were interested in expanding these into a spin-off series, and I said the only person to direct that if it happened was Bob. They agreed very quickly, once they’d been reassured that he was still alive! The producer and I met Bob for a boozy lunch round the corner from his studio, and he didn’t take much persuading. Sadly Disney Channel decided not to do it, or rather, not to let Partridge/DK do it, possibly because they were considering doing it themselves. They never did, of course. It was a good lunch though.
Bob was a gloriously mad genius who made you realise that actually it was the world that was mad, and he was the only sane person in it.