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Western Animation / Potatoes and Dragons

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L to R: Riri, Princess Melody, Dragon, King Hugo III, Merlin

Hey ho, away we go, get the dragon, get the dragon
Hey ho, away we go, get that nasty dragon!
—Lyrics in the theme song.

Calm reigns over the kingdom of the potatoes. A castle, rolling hills and ... THE DRAGON'S CAVE. There is a curse on Hugo III, king of the potatoes. To put an end to this calamity, Hugo III calls upon all knights specialized in dragon slaying, promising his daughter's hand to the successful candidate. From that moment on, all manners of knights, for the most part unratified, try to vanquish the beast and win the royal beauty.
—Lifted directly from its homepage.

Potatoes and Dragons is an French-Canadian animated series, created by Jan Van Rijsselberge (best known for Robotboy among many other credits) and produced by Alphanim and Cinar for Teletoon and France 3. The show takes place in a kingdom, run by the moderately competent King Hugo III, with a dragon living in it. The dragon makes a regular game of torching the king; thus, the king hires knights from all over the world (read: whoever shows up gets the job). The king's daughter Melodine, the jester Riri, and a little kid named Juju all know the dragon is harmless, and defend him from the competent knights.

The series premiered in 2004 for a brief run of 78 7-minute shorts. While the show didn't premiere in the US during it's run, it did get some air time there on This TV's Cookie Jar Toons block. The series also used to be on the Canadian streaming service Crave at one point.

This show exhibits the following tropes:

  • Accidental Misnaming: It's Fast Freddy, not Fat Eddie, nor Bad Teddy.
  • All Cloth Unravels: A yeti is defeated in this way in "Ready Yeti?". His fur is unraveled until most of it is gone.
  • Anthropomorphic Food: The entire cast (with the exception of Roger the Talking Carrot) are potatoes. Including the dragon.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Juju's name is (spelling aside) the nursery word for 'toy' in French. Likewise, Riri's name is derived from "ris ris", meaning "laugh laugh".
  • Court Jester: Riri is the castle's jester. He is also in love with Princess Melodine.
  • Dragons Prefer Princesses: The King keeps calling for knights to kill the dragon that lives near the palace, for fear it might kidnap his daughter; unbeknownst to him, the princess has befriended the dragon and is actively thwarting each attempt on its life.
  • Expository Theme Tune:
    "Long ago in Potato Land/There was a king noble and grand/Some revered him/Others did fear him/One dared to jeer him/A dragon, not a man!/Hey-ho away we go/Get the dragon..."
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: Happens in "It Wasn't Me", between King Hugo and the Dragon. Interestingly, whilst the Dragon is in King Hugo, the Dragon retains his ability to breathe fire, leading to King Hugo running around spouting flames.
  • Happy Harlequin Hat: Riri wears a two-point version with bells on the tips. It is also a mask that covers his face. (Or his face is the same colour as his hat. It's hard to tell.)
  • I Call It "Vera": Sir Splash's (magic!) hose is called 'Fido'.
  • Instant Ice: Just Add Cold!: Happens to King Hugo in "Ready Yeti?", and the Dragon in "King Of The Potato Frontier".
  • Jerkass: One could argue that the dragon and King Hugo are both examples of this, and the whole show revolves around watching the two of them harass each other. King Hugo is a bad-tempered, egotistical royal pain of a king, who often acts like a brat despite his age. In comparison, the dragon's idea of fun is to wander on over to the castle and burn King Hugo and/or his belongings to cinders whenever he feels like it, even when the king is minding his own business — which of course is why the king wants to chase the dragon out of the kingdom.
  • The Lancer: Subverted; while Harry does seem to be the King's second in command, he's completely incompetent.
  • Missing Mom: Melodine's mother is never even mentioned.
  • Only Sane Man: Both played straight and inverted; usually, only King Hugo is close to insane. Other times, it flips between Melodine, Riri and Juju.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: One episode has King Hugo unleash a blue-colored dragon that breathes ice instead of fire, hoping it will defeat the Dragon.
  • Running Gag: Dragon torching King Hugo and/or Harry and the knights.
  • Shout-Out: The name of the show is likely a reference to Dungeons & Dragons.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: The idiots being King Hugo, Harry, and about half the knights.
  • Villain Has a Point: Let's face it, King Hugo's not exactly wrong that he shouldn't have to put up with a dragon scorching him and his stuff for its own amusement.
  • William Telling: "Far From Heaven" opens with Hugo attempting to shoot an apple off of Harry's head. Hugo misses and his arrow knocks Hermes out of the sky.