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Film / Badly Drawn Roy

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This is Crumlin, a densely populated suburb of Dublin. A community not unlike any other working class area in modern Ireland. But it was here, in 1972, that the first Irish animated baby was born, into an ordinary live action family.

Badly Drawn Roy is a twenty minute 2006 short film. Set in Dublin, it chronicles the life of Roy O'Brien, a cartoon born into a live-action family. Through interviews with his family and friends, we learn about Roy's birth, childhood, and the rough patches he has hit as an adult. Instead of being a flat-out comedy (though it can be quite funny at times), it uses a Slice of Life approach filmed Mockumentary style. It would eventually become the basis for the CBBC series ROY, a full length television series set during Roy's younger years, also filmed as a Mockumentary. ROY now has a prequel, called Little Roy.

Notably, the film is an entirely Irish production, from the actors to the director to the various groups that commissioned it.

Not to be confused with the Stage Name of British singer/songwriter Damon Michael Gough.


Can be seen here and here.

This short film (and the spinoff series) has examples of:

  • Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal: While not an animal, the only clothing Roy is ever seen wearing is diapers (when he's a baby) and a bow tie (at his best friend's wedding).
    • He tries to wear a tie in S1E1 New Boy, but fails.
  • Alpha Bitch: Kathy, the girl who constantly gives petty insults to Roy in the series.
  • Anatomy Anomaly: Roy has no nose, four fingers, lacks detail and one hand is smaller than the other. Some of this is due to Stylistic Suck.
  • Basement-Dweller: An instance when this trope is played for drama. Roy continues to live at home because he can't hold down a job, which causes friction and arguments between him and his parents, running away from the camera, and he eventually checks himself into a rehabilitation center because of his depression.
  • Beard of Sorrow
  • Behind a Stick: One of the cartoon tricks Roy shows for the camera.
  • Better as Friends: Roy and his girlfriend Ruth eventually broke up since they couldn't take the relationship to the next level, but remain friends.
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  • Catching Some Z's: This occurs when Roy snores.
  • Dean Bitterman: Mr Hammond, the headmaster of Roy's first school in the series, kind of. He despises the protagonist's Toon Physics and Amusing Injuries.
  • Delusions of Doghood: In an episode of ROY, Roy gets a blow on the head while pretending to be a dog and starts believing that he is actually a dog, to the point of growing a tail and dog ears.
  • Denied Food as Punishment: Happens in an episode of the series.
  • Doomed by Canon: If you've seen the short film and then watch the series, try to ignore the fact that this happy child with a few good friends will grow up to be a depressed Basement-Dweller. Though since he ends up moving to Hollywood to try to find work and get his animation cleaned up, things might look up for him in the future.
  • Dysfunctional Family: Averted; despite one of her children being a cartoon, his mother made sure to treat everyone equally. Roy's brother also mentions that his childhood was relatively normal.
    • Subverted in the series.
  • Eye Pop: From Roy at opportune moments.
  • Free the Frogs: Roy does this in an episode of the series. However, he attempts to keep the frogs in his room instead of releasing them into the wild and Hilarity Ensues.
  • Foreshadowing
  • Goth: In the series, Roy's sister Becky, until they scrapped this in the second series, thus becoming a normal teenage girl.
  • Heart Symbol: When Roy first sees Ruth, this occurs along with Wingding Eyes. She found it to be very sweet.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Several of these come when Roy lists off all his old jobs and how he was let go.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Roy desires to be a properly “cleaned up” cartoon (which would be normal for him).
  • Lighter and Softer: ROY. It's a kid's show based in Roy's childhood.
  • Limey Goes to Hollywood: In-universe. Roy wants to go to Hollywood to try to find work. He's able to because of donations from the community.
  • Mockumentary: The format for the short film and the ROY series.
  • Nonhumans Lack Attributes: The main reason Roy and Ruth broke up (they remain friends).
  • The Noseless: Roy himself.
  • Oireland: Averted since the whole production is Irish. If this trope couldn't be averted, we may as well give up.
  • Personal Raincloud: Occurs when Roy is depressed while looking through the want ads and when he says goodbye to his family before going to Hollywood. They even pull out umbrellas and the driver turns on his windshield wipers.
  • Plot Hole: The film states that Roy was born in 1972. The series states (by the first episode) that Roy was 11. That means that, provided they're actually following the canon of the show, the series is supposed to take place in 1983. So, why does everyone take pictures of Roy with their FLIP PHONES when he first comes to school?
  • Right Behind Me: On an episode of ROY, Roy is doing an impersonation of the headmaster, unaware that the head has just stepped out the classroom behind him. He finally notices his friend's frantic stop gestures and finishes with "He's behind me, isn't he?".
  • Roger Rabbit Effect: The short film and its subsequent spinoffs are about a cartoon living in the real world
  • Sleeping Dummy: Becky does this to sneak out of the house when she is supposed to be down with the flu in the Sick Episode of ROY.
  • Slice of Life: The short film and the ROY show focus on Roy's day-to-day life and interactions with family, friends, and the general public.
  • Stylistic Suck: Both intentional and a major plot point. The animation on Roy is rough and sketchy since he never went through the clean-up process which is why Roy can't find any roles.
  • Wingding Eyes
  • Written Sound Effect


How well does it match the trope?

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