Western Animation: Will-o'-the-Wisp
aka: Willow The Wisp
Hello children, would you like to hear a horrid story of dreadful folk?
Willo The Wisp is the title of a 1981 BBC
children's programme, and The Remake
in 2005. It tells the story of various magical beings living in an enchanted forest, Doily Woods, all voiced by Kenneth Williams
, and whose adventures were narrated by Willow the Wisp, a ghostly creature caricature of Kenneth Williams
. In the remake, they were voiced by James Dreyfuss of The Thin Blue Line
and Gimme Gimme Gimme
- Willo The Wisp: The Narrator, a Will-o'-the-Wisp.
- Arthur: H'an h'opinionated caterpillar who never quite turned into a butterfly. A Know-Nothing Know-It-All.
- Mavis Cruet: A very overweight fairy who can't fly. A bit of a romantic.
- The Moog A very dim dog-like being. Arthur's pet.
- Carwash: A highly intelligent cat. Usually too intelligent to actually be involved in the story, and just snarks from the sidelines.
- The Beast: A handsome prince who gets turned into a beast by Evil Edna in the first episode. Generally obsessed with becoming a handsome prince again.
- Evil Edna: A Wicked Witch. Also, a talking television set with legs. (In the remake, she transforms herself into a flatscreen in the first episode.)
- Twit: A small yellow bird. Intelligent, but quietly so.
- The Astrognats: A group of insect-like space explorers. Their ship is a huge rocket-powered mushroom.
This show contains examples of:
- And I Must Scream: In one episode Edna turns the Beast into an iced lolly ("And in your old shape, too!"). Then he starts to melt...
- Beauty to Beast: The Beast, turned from handsome prince to shaggy beast in ep1 and from there any attempts to turn back meet with Failure Is the Only Option.
- Blind Without 'Em: Carwash apparently has no eyes at all without 'em.
- British Brevity: Both versions lasted for one season of 26 5 minute episodes, making a total run time of four hours and twenty minutes.
- Cats Are Snarkers: Carwash the Cat, who provides sarcastic commentary on how the current storyline and people in it are acting like idiots.
- Dogs Are Dumb: The Moog.
- Elmuh Fudd Syndwome: The Beast. The magic words he must recite to revert to his true form are, of course, "Round and round the rugged rocks the ragged rascal ran".
- Fat Comic Relief: Although pretty much everyone takes a turn on being the idiot, Mavis is this more than normal due to her weight and being a bit of a deluded romantic.
- Inept Mage: Mavis. Seldom do her spells go right, or even work at all.
- Ink-Suit Actor: Willo the Wisp is clearly modelled on a caricature of Williams.
- Fat Girl: Mavis. She is insecure about her weight, and also a hopeless romantic.
- Furry Confusion: The caterpillar has a pet dog. Let's not even get into the size discrepency between the characters.
- Larynx Dissonance: Mavis and Edna.
- Lemony Narrator: Kenneth Williams trademark snark is on full display during his narration duties.
- Smart People Wear Glasses: Carwash.
- Spin-Off: In a way; the character design of Willo has its origins in an animated advermentary about British Gas, in which he was a talking blob of natural gas (still played by Williams), initially mistaken for a will o' the wisp.