Western Animation: The Wombles

The Wombles in their burrow. From left to right: Madame Cholet, Tomsk, Wellington, Tobemory, Orinoco, Bungo, Great Uncle Bulgaria (just offscreen)
This British children's show, based on a series of books by Elisabeth Beresford, followed a group of furry rodent-like critters from Wimbledon Common, who spend their days cleaning up litter that they find. The group included Great Uncle Bulgaria, Tobermory, Orinoco, Bungo, Tomsk, Wellington, and Madame Cholet, each one had their own quirks and dressed a certain way.

A new series was made in the 1990s, introducing new characters such as Alderney and Stepney.

This show features examples of:

  • Apologises a Lot: Wellington, who says 'sorry' a lot mostly because he is often thinking and doesn't hear what people say the first time.
  • Art Evolution: The illustrations to the first book shows the Wombles as resembling teddy bears; in the later books they look like the puppets.
  • Big Eater: Orinoco. Overlaps with The Slacker.
  • Brave Scot: MacWomble the Terrible, leader of one of the Womble Clans of Scotland.
  • Canon Immigrant: The 90s TV series introduced Stepeny (East End Womble) and Obidos (Brazilian Womble). (But not Alderney, who was in the books, but wasn't in the 70s series.)
  • Christmas Song: "Wombling Merry Christmas"
  • Cool Old Guy: Great Uncle Bulgaria
  • Cute Bookworm: Wellington, who spends much of his time in the Library forgetting to come to meals.
  • Fake Band: Mike Batt, the writer of the theme tune had a fair amount of success with the "The Wombles" as a band in The '70s. The band played the Glastonbury Festival in 2011.
  • Gang of Critters: Initially bear like, then more puppet like as the depictions evolved.
  • Green Aesop: Interestingly this was before recycling became popular.
  • I Am Big Boned: "I'm not the fattest, I'm just cuddly!" We believe you, Orinoco, but millions wouldn't.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Tobemory can be very condescending towards the younger Wombles, but when they accomplish something, he'll always give credit where it's due.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Bungo - despite being the youngest he thinks he knows everything.
  • Lovable Jock: Tomsk, who's very keen on keeping fit. He tries to talk Orinoco into doing exercise, without much success.
  • The Masquerade: One entire episode deals with efforts to prevent a human discovering Wellington. The solution involves a daring rescue undertaken by Bungo disguised as a cardboard box.
  • The Movie: "Wombling Free"
  • The Smurfette Principle: Only Madame Cholet appeared in the original series. Averted in the books and second series which feature the female womble Alderney.
  • Stock Ness Monster: Ness the Water Womble. Yes, the Loch Ness Monster is actually a Womble. Mystery solved.
  • Theme Naming: The Wombles are named after places found on an old map!
  • Widget Series: The series can come off very twee to international audiences.