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Western Animation / Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure

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The Greedy on the far left? He's not as stable and cute as the poster makes him out to be.

"This is really weird."
Raggedy Andy (summing up the movie in general)

Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure is a 1977 animated film (with a few live-action segments) directed by Richard Williams, based on the doll characters created by Johnny Gruelle, and best known for being really freaking weird.

The plot is based on the book Raggedy Ann and Andy and the Camel with the Wrinkled Knees, by Johnny and Marcella Gruelle. Raggedy Ann and her brother, Andy, are dolls who live together in little Marcella's room with other friendly toys. The day of her birthday, Marcella gets a Jumeau doll, Babette, who is quite vain. A pirate captain in a snowglobe is immediately stunned by her and decides to elope with her to make her his bride. Ann and Andy decide to go rescue her, and on their journey, they meet a depressed blue camel doll (The Camel With The Wrinkled Knees), a lake of sentient taffy that keeps eating itself (The Greedy), an insane knight who plays practical jokes (Sir Leonard Loony), and a diminutive king who inflates when he laughs (King Koo Koo) until a final confrontation on the pirate's ship.


Raggedy Ann is voiced by Didi Conn, known for later playing Frenchie in the Grease films, and Denise on Benson, and Stacy Jones on Shining Time Station. Joe Raposo (Sesame Street) wrote the songs (one of which would also end up on Shining Time Station). It was Eric Goldberg's first professional animation gig, and Dan Haskett's first work on a feature.

Followed by the TV holiday specials Raggedy Ann and Andy in The Great Santa Claus Caper & Raggedy Ann and Andy in The Pumpkin Who Couldn't Smile in 1978 & 1979, both directed by another legendary animation director, Chuck Jones. Compare to Toy Story, which was released 18 years later and follows many of the same story beats (toys coming to life when humans not looking; new toy coming in and having to be recovered on their owner's birthday; toy that is sad about being left away from its owner).


A book about the making of the film, The Animated Raggedy Ann & Andy by John Canemaker, can be read here as well. You can read the the WordPress review of it here.

Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Babette is very much a Damsel in Distress in the earlier parts of the story but by the climax has taken over the pirate ship and is wielding a whip!
  • Affably Evil: The Greedy literally wants to eat Ann's heart, but he is polite to the heroes and bears them no ill will - at least at first.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: Looney Land has a purple knight and a salmon-pink king.
  • And I Must Scream: The robotic denizens of Looney Land used to be regular human beings (or perhaps toys) tasked with making King Koo Koo laugh, but when they stopped amusing him, they were reduced to giggling, mindless contraptions that now can do nothing but cackle.
  • Animated Musical: It's the main genre of the film, emphasis on the musical. Every scene has at least one three-minute song.
  • Animation Bump:
    • The entire Greedy sequence, which was animated by Golden Age veteran Emery Hawkins (sans the ending part, which was done by a different animator), is very fluidly animated and loaded with so much detail that your jaw will drop just from taking it all in. Keep in mind, stuff like this was an extreme rarity for animation back then!
    • The animation of the Camel by Art Babbitt, another animation great, is noticeably more solid and restrained than the rest of the movie.
  • Anti-Villain: The Captain just wants a female companion. Tellingly, Babette is far more antagonistic toward the heroes than the Captain is—when she takes over the ship and captures Ann and Andy, the Captain is immediate to help them as they'd helped him before.
  • Apologizes a Lot: The Greedy intersperses Jabba Table Manners with constant apologizing and going "excuse me" even in the middle of his song.
  • Balloon-Bursting Bird: Queasy the Pirate Parrot pops King Koo Koo, who has blown himself up to gigantic proportions. The explosion is so powerful it sends everyone back home.
  • Banana Peel: Sir Looney uses a banana skin to keep Andy from escaping his prank-loving clutches.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: The Captain kickstarts the plot by kidnapping Babette, although she ends up overthrowing him and becoming the new, even more antagonistic captain. Meanwhile, although he doesn't appear until later, King Koo Koo also provides a major antagonistic force by trying to use Raggedy Ann and Andy as pawns in his goal of becoming the biggest king in the world.
  • Big Red Button: On the speedboat stolen by the twin dolls is a big lever with a hand at the end and the sign "Don't pull me". Knowing how Looney Land works by this point — its entrance is marked "Exit", "Stop" actually means "Go", etc. — they do pull it, and it causes the speedboat to go berserk and fling its crew all the way to the pirate ship they were headed for.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": King Koo Koo is constantly calling for "SILENCE!" when his loony subjects have a laughing fit.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: The Greedy initially presents himself as an affable Tragic Monster who needs a "sweetheart" to cure his depression. When Raggedy Ann reveals that she has a candy heart, the Greedy gets very clingy and insists that she and her friends "have" to help him. When Raggedy Ann refuses, the Greedy goes into a full-on rage and chases them, seemingly trying to kill/eat them.
  • Blackground:
    • Unlike the rest of the film, the scenes taking place in the Taffy Pit and Looney Land have completely black backgrounds. This highlights how unsettling and uncomfortable they are.
    • King Koo Koo, ruler of Looney Land, gets a black background with only a single spotlight on him during his Villain Song, "It's Not Easy Being King When You're Short."
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: According to Sir Leonard Looney's song, his annoying and creepy pranks on the rag siblings are his way of showing affection.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Ann just can't resist trying to help anyone and everyone who's in trouble, whether it's taking direct action (as she does with the Captain, Babette and the Camel) or simply listening to their troubles (as shown with the Greedy).
  • Comically Missing the Point: The Greedy needs a "sweetheart" to be happy. He thinks it is something to eat. It thus gets worse when he learns that Raggedy Ann literally has a candy heart.
  • Covers Always Lie: The film's poster depicts the cast as being in a whimsical and fun story, and the Greedy is shown as a dopey clownish figure. Although it is trying for whimsy, the movie ends up being a roller coaster of lucid imagery and frightening implications, with the Greedy coming off as an Eldritch Abomination.
  • Creepy Twins: The twin dolls are completely naked and always in sync.
  • Creator Cameo: Composer Joe Raposo has an uncredited appearance as the bus driver.
  • Deconstructed Trope: When the trio finds themselves in Looney Land, they meet Sir Leonard Loonie, who acts like your standard (if rather exaggerated) Plucky Comic Relief. How do the kids react? By getting annoyed at his pranks, then scared because he won't leave them alone and finally running away.
  • Deranged Animation: While the film starts out with bizarre yet friendly environments, it heads straight to insanity with the constantly shifting Greedy, the insane residents of Looney Land (which by itself qualifies) and the utterly bonkers Gainax Ending
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Greedy is a shapeshifting mass of sentient taffy lacking the ability to stay in a shape for longer than a few seconds, while eating candy that it constantly regurgitates. It is a perfect example of Deranged Animation. Some might say the Greedy is really just a kid-friendly interpretation of Yog-Sothoth. He's more like Abhoth from "The Seven Geases" — a pool of sludge that constantly devours itself. Except Abhoth is made of primordial ooze and devours its own floundering malformed offspring, and the Greedy is made of taffy and devours the candy inexplicably bubbling out of itself.
  • Emotion Eater: King Koo Koo feeds on the pain and suffering of others, as it makes him laugh (and thus inflate). It's specifically stated that the laughter has to come from other people being humiliated and embarrassed, or it won't work.
  • Eyepiece Prank: Sir Looney offers Ann a peek through his "super optiscope" that leaves her with a fake black eye.
  • Fan Disservice: The Greedy takes the form of a belly dancer a few times in his song - and he's an obese, constantly melting Blob Monster with a grotesque face.
  • Fat Slob: The Greedy, a very messy eater who consumes every food item he sees, may be Perpetually Protean, but he often takes a form resembling an obese humanoid.
  • Fatal Flaw: The Greedy may be named after Greed, but he actually suffers from a combination of greed, gluttony, and sloth that prevents him from achieving any of his goals. The Greedy says he is depressed because he can do nothing but eat, but makes little to no attempt to stop eating. When Raggedy Ann says she has a candy heart, the Greedy tries to take it from her by force, which causes Ann and her friends to fight back. The Greedy chases after them until they roll a giant taffy ball onto him. The Greedy eats that and just gives up on chasing them.
  • Food Porn: The moment with the Greedy, which is filled with immensely satisfying images of sweets, cakes, candies and other such confections. Given the way he acts around the food, it's a borderline literal example.
  • Germanic Depressives: King Koo Koo is angry and bitter because he thinks his small size makes him unimportant. He can make his body grow, but only by laughing at the misfortune of others. He's also the only main character with a German accent.
  • Girls vs. Boys Plot: In "No Girl's Toy," Andy sings about how annoying it is being a boy in Marcella's feminine playroom. The other male toys back him up, while the female toys get together and mock him.
  • Graceful Loser: The Greedy when Ann, Andy, and the Camel throw taffy on him, burying him in the process. He just eats the stuff and goes back to gorging himself.
    The Greedy: You throw good stuff!
  • Have a Gay Old Time: Babette has a song which includes the line, "Hooray for me, Babette of gay Paris!" She sings it while dancing the can-can.
  • Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?: Andy is adamant that, in spite of being about as butch and durable as his sister, he's a super-macho, rough-and-tumble action-hero toy who will brook no dress-ups or tea parties, and also will fight you. And, since this is a musical, he expresses these sentiments with flamboyant song-and-dance numbers.
  • The Hyena: The aptly named Sir Leonard Looney can't go a few seconds without laughing his head off.
  • Hypocrite: King Koo Koo whines about how he's surrounded by morons who don't respect him, apparently forgetting that he was the one who transformed the population of Looney Land into those morons in the first place.
  • "I Am" Song: Raggedy Andy sings "No Girl's Toy" (a ditty about being above the 'girl dolls'), while Raggedy Ann sings "Rag Dolly" (her introduction song to Babette).
  • Inflating Body Gag: Random parts of King Koo Koo's body inflate when he laughs; when he inflicts the Tickle Torture on the good guys, the "last laugh" this gets from him causes him to expand to monstrous proportions. When Raggedy Andy realizes that the King is just "full of hot air", he tells the Pirate Parrot to pop him. The resultant explosion sends Marcella's toys, plus the Camel, back to her backyard.
  • I Taste Delicious: The Greedy keeps eating himself. Well, he is made of taffy and miscellaneous candies.
  • It's All About Me: Babette's major flaw is that she only cares about getting back to Paris (despite the fact that she is now Marcella's toy), and will shun, abuse, or ignore anyone who refuses to help her with that goal. She even takes over Captain Contagious's ship and locks him up to do it.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Andy is rude, sarcastic, and confrontational, even toward women. He is also very brave and will never let any harm come to his sister.
  • Last of His Kind: Implied. Sir Leonard Loony is the only member of King Koo Koo's court who isn't a mindless robot. Koo Koo implies that the robots all used to be living beings until they could no longer make him laugh. This implies that Sir Leonard is the only one who Koo Koo still finds funny enough to spare... for now.
  • Laughing Mad: The robots of Looney Land chuckle and cackle endlessly. We later find out that they used to be living things (most likely humans or other toys) who King Koo Koo grew sick of, prompting him to warp them into their current shapes. They've thus lost their minds and can do nothing but laugh.
  • Metaphorgotten: "Fire one!...Fire two!...Fire three!...Fire four!...Fire five!...Fire six!...Fire seven!...Fire eight!...And fire him!"
  • Ms. Fanservice: Babette has more normal proportions than the other dolls and has a curvy figure. It goes further when she becomes a pirate and wears more-form fitting clothing that exposes her cleavage.
  • The Napoleon: King Koo Koo even mentions Napoleon in his song, lamenting that Napoleon would look tall next to him.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Raggedy Ann, with help from Maxi-Fixit, breaks open the snow globe to let Captain Contagious and his crew out after the captain gives her an SOS message. Once freed, the Captain immediately seizes Babette and escapes the nursery.
  • Off-Model: Due to production delays and a rising budget, it was inevitable that some scenes would end up looking a little off, particularly near the end. Williams tried to avert this by assigning each character to a single animator, but in the case of Ann, Andy and the Camel, since they were in almost every scene, they would often be handled by other animators, and so their appearances don't remain as constant as the others.
  • Oh, Crap!: King Koo Koo stops short in his mocking laughter when he realizes he is being popped.
  • Overly Long Gag: The Captain is so out of shape that it takes him what seems like several minutes to climb over the railing of the balcony on Babette's dollhouse. It's worth noting that Richard Williams has a tendency to do this a lot just to have more animation for its own sake.
  • Perpetually Protean: Always hungry, the Greedy is constantly shaping his mass into new desserts and eating himself, or sculpting himself into an almost-human body before melting back into the ooze - usually while eating something.
  • Pie in the Face: Raggedy Anne and Andy start a huge pie fight in order to distract the Looneylanders and make their escape.
  • Prehensile Hair: The Captain's moustache is able to grab things and spells out the S's in his S.O.S. message.
  • Pun: Sir Leonard Looney claims that he's "the looniest (k)night of the year". He lampshades how terrible the pun is immediately after making it.
  • Retro Universe: With the exception of some contemporary clothes worn by Marcella in the film's opening sequence (and she quickly changes into a more "girly" outfit for her birthday party), the film does not appear to be taking place in 1977. In fact, judging by the characters' sensibilities and the music and so on, this would most likely be taking place in the mid-1950s at the latest (and, in fact, these characters were created in 1914). Not only that, but Babette, King Koo Koo, and several other characters—including Topsy the Harlequin Doll and Grandpa, an elderly-looking wooden doll—look as if they were Born in the Wrong Century.
  • Say My Name: Babette has a mechanism that makes her say her name when tilted up.
  • Seeking the Intangible: The Greedy seeks a sweetheart in order to cure his insatiable hunger and loneliness, but doesn't grasp that "sweetheart" is a figure of speech, so when Raggedy Ann accidentally volunteers that she has a candy heart, he tries to cut it out of her.
  • Seven Deadly Sins: Captain Contagious falls in lust with Babette at first sight and promptly kidnaps her. The Greedy physically embodies both greed and gluttony. King Koo Koo envies taller kings, so to compensate he literally puffs himself up with pride by laughing at others. Gazooks the sea monster is full of sloth when first introduced and has to be extorted to do anything. And when Babette realizes she may have to go back to Marcella, she becomes full of wrath.
  • Standard Snippet: "Entry of the Gladiators" is briefly heard when our heroes get sucked into the funhouse.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: The King is surrounded by Loonies who think nearly everything is funny.
  • Tentacled Terror: Gazooks the sea monster is a floppy, octopus-like monster who works for the evil King Koo Koo.
  • Too Dumb to Live: After the Greedy sings an entire song about his desperate desire for a "sweetheart," Ann feels the need to say "I'm only a rag doll with a little candy heart"—something she's never mentioned before. She then acts surprised when the Greedy decides he wants it, despite him expressly wishing for one about ten times in the last four minutes.
  • Toy Transmutation: Downplayed. King Koo Koo turns his subjects into "idiots" - mindless, mechanical toys - when they can't make him laugh anymore, and threatens to do the same to Raggedy Ann and Andy. However, the characters are already sentient toys to begin with (although with some characters, it's hard to tell what they are.)
  • Unwanted Rescue: By the time the heroes have reached the pirate ship, Babette has overthrown the captain and has no interest in returning to Marcella's room. The outcome of the battle with King Koo Koo takes the decision out of her hands.
  • Villainous Glutton: The Greedy, a giant, terrifying Blob Monster, does nothing but eat the candy and other food constantly bubbling out of its own body. Which would be icky, but not villainous... until he decides his next snack will be the heroine's heart.
  • Villains Out Shopping: The scene where King Koo Koo contacts his minion Gazooks starts out as a surprisingly casual phone call, complete with Koo Koo having trouble working the phone, and Gazooks saying he was hoping Koo Koo would call.
  • Visual Pun:
    • The Camel With the Wrinkled Knees is literally "blue" because he's often sad.
    • The Greedy, though constantly shapeshifting, is often given a nose that looks like a pig snout because his manners and appetite are piggish.
  • Wacky Wayside Tribe: The entire middle third of the movie (starting with the Greedy and ending when they finally get back to the business with the pirates) feels like an enormous side-quest, even though King Koo Koo shows up again for the climax.
  • Was Once a Man: King Koo Koo has an entire court of robotic toys who serve him mindlessly. Koo Koo tells Raggedy Ann and Andy that when they can no longer make him laugh, he'll turn them into robots too, implying that all of them were once sentient toys or other creatures who met the same fate.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Babette's desire to return to Paris, where she was born, is viewed as selfish because she was given to Marcella and is now her doll. However, all of the toys are shown to be fully sentient (they just can't act like it when humans are around), and while most of them are happy to be played with, Babette isn't, although it isn't clear if she genuinely doesn't realize she's a toy. In any event, though, keeping a fully sentient living thing against their will is imprisonment at best, but Babette is still a bad guy because she isn't "fulfilling her purpose."
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: King Koo Koo threatens to turn Raggedy Ann and Andy into robotic "idiots" like the rest of his court once they can no longer make him laugh anymore. This implies that all of the "idiots" used to be sentient too, and were transformed when they couldn't make Koo Koo laugh anymore either.