Western Animation / The World of David the Gnome


Soy un gnomo (I am a gnome)
Y aquí en el bosque soy feliz (and I'm happy here in the forest)
bajo un árbol vivo yo (I live under a tree)
Junto a su raiz... (Together with its root[s])

In every wish and dream and happy home,
you will find the kingdom of...

The World of David the Gnome (1985) was a Spanish animated television series based on the children's books Gnomes and The Secret Book of Gnomes, by the Dutch author Wil Huygen and illustrator Rien Poortvliet. The English dub aired on Nickelodeon in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and followed the adventures of one David the Gnome, who in most episodes traveled through the forest on his pet fox Swift and rescued animals that were injured or in danger.

The series was followed by a Spin-Off, The Wisdom of the Gnomes, featuring different gnome characters but set in the same universe. A retelling of the original series, The New World of the Gnomes, features David and his nephew Tomte as they travel the world to save animals and preserve nature as it is endangered by problems of modern-day pollution and environmental dangers.

This series provides examples of:

  • Automaton Horse: Swift the fox, to the extreme. In one episode he takes David from Europe to the Himalayas without much of a problem.
  • Battle Couple: David and Lisa in "The Shadowless Stone".
  • Bittersweet Ending: In the last episode, David and his wife Lisa die of old age. Traumatized and lonely, Swift moves on to make new friends with a glasses-wearing David look-a-like named Christopher and his vixen Agnes.
  • Bowdlerise: A lot of the gorier medical scenes were cut from the English dub, as well as a few that might be taken as sexual.
  • Cats Are Mean: Played with. It's not that they're mean, gnomes just have a hard time communicating with them so cats will sometimes (not always, however) treat them like prey.
  • Cheerful Child: David's granddaughter Susan, who appears in a number of episodes and is very close to her grandfather.
  • Combat Medic: David was a doctor by trade, but it didn't stop him from battling the trolls.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: In the wedding episode, the trolls try to crash said wedding, but the gnomes escape. One of the more dim-witted trolls, Pat, then falls into a pit trap and refuses to tell the gnomes who was behind the party-crashing. David then declares that Pat has decided to stay behind and get an education, to which the other gnomes agree and start listing off the subjects he'll learn, good manners included. Pat starts pleading for mercy and that he'd "rather die" after Lisa mentions he'll graduate with flying colors. After she says she'll teach him to wash with rose-scented soap, he's ready to talk.
  • Distressed Dudes: David and Swift get imprisoned by the trolls in the second episode, requiring Lisa to find and rescue them.
  • Eye Scream: In the first episode, David is recalling several cases he's had as a doctor, one in particular, tending to a badger who got a splinter stuck in his eye.
  • Friend to All Living Things: The gnomes as a whole, David perhaps in particular.
  • Happily Married: David and Lisa. Although every Gnome couple seems to be happily married. The only possible exception being the fur thief Ivan and his wife, and even then it appears one-sided his wife still shows care for him.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Gnomes do have a few human friends and allies but generally view them as this trope.
  • Human Snowball: A group of gnomes, including David, deliberately invoke this trope to get back at the trolls for ruining a wedding ceremony.
  • Translation Convention: It's mentioned several times that gnomes speak their own language, and humans are forbidden from knowing it, except one word...
  • Unto Us a Son and Daughter Are Born: "Gnomes only have children once in our lives, and they're always twins," albeit not always a boy and a girl.


Alternative Title(s): David El Gnomo