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Franchise / Tabaluga

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Tabaluga, a small green dragon, is the protagonist of a franchise of the same name.

He was created in 1983 by German singers Peter Maffay, Rolf Zuckowski, and Maffay's songwriter Gregor Rottschalk. Originally only created for one concept album, the franchise has spawned so far: 6 concept albums, 4 musicals based on them, a novel, the Game Show ''Tabaluga tivi'', an animated series with a spin-off movie, audio drama adaptations of this series, several smaller books, Board Games, and an award for charitable work (the "Golden Tabaluga"). And to top it off, a new movie is being released in December 2018.

To make matters more complicated, the many concept albums and musicals have a rather different continuity than the cartoon, which is more well-known internationally, with the second musical (Tabaluga und das verschenkte Glück, "Tabaluga and the Fortune that was Given Away"), features both characters from the former and the latter.


Common connections between the continuities are Tabaluga, his father Tyrion (often as a ghost), and the villain Arktos.

     Notable Works in the Franchise 
  • Tabaluga, oder die Reise zur Vernunft ("Tabaluga, or the Journey to Reason"), 1983; first concept album
  • Tabaluga und das leuchtende Schweigen ("Tabaluga and the Shining Silence), 1986; second concept album
  • Tabaluga and the Magic Jadestone, 1988; Shortened English adaptation of Shining Silence, by Chris Thompson
  • Tabaluga und Lilli ("Tabaluga and Lilli"), 1993; third concept album
  • The Tabaluga und Lilli musical, 1994; an adaptation of the third concept album (also incorperates elements from the first)
  • Tabaluga, 1994, novelization of Tabaluga story by Helme Heine and Gisela von Radowitz
  • The Tabaluga cartoon, 1997-2004; a cartoon based on the Tabaluga story, taking many inspirations from the novel and musical
  • Tabaluga tivi, 1997-2011; children's game show with Tabaluga characters as hosts
  • Tabaluga und das verschenkte Glück ("Tabaluga and the Fortune that was Given Away"), 2002; fourth concept album
  • The Tabaluga und das verschenkte Glück musical, 2004; an adaptation of the fourth concept album
  • Tabaluga und die Zeichen der Zeit ("Tabaluga and the Signs of Time"), 2011; fifth concept album
  • The Tabaluga und die Zeichen der Zeit musical, 2012; an adaptation of the fifth concept album
  • Tabaluga - Es lebe die Freundschaft ("Tabaluga - Long live Friendship"), 2015; sixth concept album
  • The Tabaluga - Es lebe die Freundschaft musical, 2016; an adaptation of the sixth concept album
  • Tabaluga der Film ("Tabaluga The Movie"), 2018; upcoming move adaption of the Tabaluga story, taking inspiration of many previous adaptations, especially various incarnations of Tabaluga and Lilli

This franchise provides examples of:

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     General Tropes 

     Tabaluga und Lilli 
A musical about Tabaluga's struggles to free Arktos' "daughter" Lilli, based on the concept album of the same name.

     The Game Show 
Two teams of 4 to 6th graders participate in mostly action-oriented minigames (a quiz-round was introduced later). The team winning more games has to win the final round to win the Grand Prize. (Roller skates/a skateboard/a bike + the latest gaming console + a T-Shirt). Later they also played for money for benevolent institutions.
  • Confetti Drop
  • Consolation Prize: a T-Shirt, a basket full of merchandising and a board game
  • Dueling Shows: Tabaluga tivi vs. Tigerenten-Club. Both gameshows for children about a popular franchise (Tabaluga and Janosch) interrupted twice for episodes of popular kids shows.
  • Game Show Appearance: A variation. A Tabaluga-animatronic was one of the hosts.
  • Soundproof Booth: Used for a while in the very first round: The kids had to answer questions about their teammate, who was in a Sound Proof Booth, then they swapped places. Replaced later with a "typical" quiz in the very last round.

     The Animated Adaption 
  • And I Must Scream: Arktos' final fate in the cartoon after having own powers rebound upon him, freezing him solid in a block of ice. He can't be defrosted like his previous victims, melting the ice would melt him as well, which would be lethal. So he's just stuck there frozen forever.
  • Art Evolution: While the character designs remained consistent, the animation has gotten better over the years. The pilot trailer marks the only time Tabaluga was animated with hand-painted cels. When the series got greenlit, the Yoram Gross Film Studio decided on digital ink and paint with the UK's Animo software. (It's also the first Yoram Gross series, along with Samuel & Nina to use this technique.)
  • Big Bad: Arktos in Season 1 and 3, Humsin in Season 2.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Tabaluga shows shades of this. As does Happy. Also Happy's cousin, Bobby.
  • The Chick: Happy.
  • Disney Villain Death: Humsin falls off the waterfall by the end of the second season. His death is very similar to that of an actual Disney villain, Percival McLeach from The Rescuers Down Under.
  • Eviler Than Thou: In the very first episode he comes in, Humsin immediately pulls it on Arktos who seeks allegiance with him, and shows him who now is the main villain.
    • In Season 3, Queen Isadora pulls it on Arktos. He falls in love with her and she uses his love for her to make a potion for her that would make her more powerful and suck the power out of him in the process.
    • To put it straight, despite being the Big Bad of the franchise and Tabaluga's (and his ancestors) arch-nemesis, Arktos is far from the most dangerous threat/ most evil villain that Tabaluga faces. That is, until the last episode of Season 3, where Arktos does manage to get a hold of dragon's pendant and use to it to make Tabaluga completely powerless.
  • Expository Theme Tune: The English version.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Kayo, by the end of Season 3.
  • Interim Villain: Humsin in Season 2. While Arktos still prominently appears in Season 2, he has been reduced to a Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain who mostly just whines about not being able to conquer Greenland (and sometimes even teaming up with Greenlanders against Humsin, albeit for his own benefits) and Humsin is the real threat to Greenlanders. However, since Humsin dies in the end of Season 2, Arktos has his status as the main villain restored, though he is still quite incompetent and not as cunning as he was in Season 1.
  • The Jeeves: James.
  • Killed Off for Real: Humsin
  • The Mentor: Nessaja, Shouhou and Tyrion. If Tabaluga would listen to them...
  • The Movie: A movie adaption titled "Tabaluga and Leo" was released in 2005. It served as the show's Christmas Episode.
  • Minion with an F in Evil: Vulture, by far.
  • Never Say "Die": Averted, e.g. the plot of one episode is driven by the fact, that Happy might die of fever.
  • Panty Shot: Happy in spades.
  • Platonic Life-Partners/ Not Love Interest: Tabaluga and Happy. Granted, they are very different species of animals.
  • Prophecy Twist: In a series 2 episode, Shouhou's crystal ball shows that a great stone thrown by Humsin will destroy a net protecting Greenland. Greenlanders try to fight destiny. At the end, the stone destroys the net and then Humsin's land, because Kayo had stolen the net.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: James and Vultur who have nothing personal against Tabaluga, and sometimes happen to work and cooperate with the Greenlanders.
  • Seers: Shouhou is held captive by Arktos for his ability to see to faraway places using a crystal ball.
  • Sliding Scale of Continuity: Level 4 (Arc-Based Episodic) in season 3. Earlier seasons had only some changes, mostly near the beginning and end of series.
  • The Vamp: Queen Isadora is Season 3's episode "The Last Grasp" does this on Arktos. He falls in love with her and she promises to rule the world with him while in reality, she plans to rule it herself and only uses him to make the potion for her (when he breathes inside the potion, the energy gets sucked out of him).
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Chocolate ice cream for Arktos, carrots for Happy and sunflower seeds for Tabaluga.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Unlike Kayo, all the Humsin's other servants like Hyena, the ostrich, and others, do not come back in Season 3. So it is unknown what happened to them after the death of their master.

     The movie "Tabaluga & Leo" 
  • Christmas Episode: the movie serves as the Christmas special for the animated series.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: In this movie we find out that one of Arktos' motivations for the conquest of Greenland is because his mother wanted to do it and he wants to do it all for her. He even sheds icy tears.
  • Happily Adopted: Leo at the end of the movie; the foster family that took him home for Christmas decides to adopt him permanently.
  • Harmless Freezing: Being frozen in a block of ice by Arctos has no ill effects on Leo. Granted, he was thawed out by Tabaluga less than a minute later.
  • Human Popsicle: Shortly after arriving in Tabaluga's world, Leo is confronted and frozen solid by Arctos. Good thing Tabaluga was nearby and came to his aid.
  • The Klutz: Leo.
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: a lightning eventually powers up the giant toy dozer Arctos build (which previously wouldn’t start since it was modeled after a battery powered toy), allowing him to start his rampage. Justified since it needed electricity to work.
  • MacGuffin: the green crystal that is essential to completing the Greenland Day ritual for another 1000 years of good luck. It gets broken, forcing Tabaluga and Leo to get a replacement.
  • No Waterproofing in the Future: Arctos’ giant version of Leo’s toy dozer is eventually taken out with water, which causes it to short out.
  • Rage Breaking Point: During most of the movie Tabaluga remains calm and understanding with Leo even when the other Greenlanders turn on the boy, but after Leo’s clumsiness causes one accident too many even Tabaluga gets mad. He calms down again rather quickly when he finds out Leo is an orphan though.
  • Token Human: Leo is the only main Human character from the movie and, in fact, the first human to ever show up in Tabaluga’s world. Hence why the Greenlanders are rather suspicious of him.
  • Trapped in Another World: Leo is threatened with this if he doesn’t go back to his own world before the Greenland star disappears, because then the portal will close for another thousand years.
  • Walking Disaster Area: Not as bad as most versions of this trope, but Leo is rather clumsy and accidentally causes a lot of trouble because of it.


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