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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.

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 WordPress review of it here.


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

  • Action Girl:
    • Well, more of a Faux Action Girl in Raggedy Ann's case, as she usually relies on the men around her to protect her — but Ann is the one who insists on embarking on the quest to rescue Babette, and she can take care of herself if she absolutely has to.
    • An even more surprising example is Babette, who 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. He 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: For starters, Looney Land has a purple knight and a salmon-pink king.
  • Animated Musical
  • 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.
  • Anthropomorphic Food: The Greedy
  • Anti-Villain: The pirate captain just wants a female companion for himself. Tellingly, Babette is more antagonistic toward the heroes than the captain is—when she takes over the ship and captures Raggedy 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 this, constantly 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 Leonard Looney uses a banana skin to keep Raggedy Andy from escaping his prank-loving clutches.
  • Blob Monster: The Greedy.
  • Big Eater: The Greedy: "I never get enough..."
  • 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.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: Raggedy Ann and Andy have a love song. It was likely intended to be a song about sibling love. It just doesn't sound like one. At one poing in the song "No Girl's Toy", Ann seems to be staring at Andy's butt.
  • Captain Obvious: "You just kicked a knight!"
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Everyone in Looney Land essentially.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: King Koo Koo almost literally feeds on this.
  • 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 (shown above) 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, brr...
  • Creator Cameo: Composer Joe Raposo has an uncredited appearance as the bus driver.
  • The Dark Age of Animation: Made during this era. It's worth mentioning, however, that very few projects from this time were this lavishly animated.
  • The Day the Music Lied: The introductory fanfare in King Koo Koo's throne room.
  • Deranged Animation: A crowning example in animation; while the film starts out with bizarre yet friendly environments, it heads straight to lucid insanity with the constantly shifting Greedy, the insane residents of Looney Land (which by itself qualifies) and the utterly bonkers Gainax Ending
  • Disney Acid Sequence: When Raggedy Ann and Andy go to King Koo Koo's kingdom. The Greedy sequence. The Camel's hallucinations could also apply... OK, really every scene other than those at the toy's home is this.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Some have called the Greedy a perfect example of what one would be like. Being 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.
  • Eldritch Location: Parts of Looney Land are pretty eldritchy even by the movies own surreal standards. Probably justified, though. After all, it has to be called "Looney Land" for a reason.
  • The Eeyore: The Camel With Wrinkled Knees.
  • Eyepiece Prank: This is one of the jokes Sir Looney plays on Raggedy Ann and Andy, offering Ann a peek through his "super optiscope" that leaves her with a fake black eye.
  • Food Porn: The moment with the Greedy. Given the way he acts around the food, it's a borderline literal example.
  • French Jerk: Babette for a while, though she eventually softens up.
  • 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!
  • Happy Harlequin Hat: Topsy, the long limbed harlequin doll wears one.
  • 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, who can't go a few seconds without laughing his head off.
  • "I Am" Song: Raggedy Andy sings "No Girl's Toy", while Raggedy Ann sings "Rag Dolly".
  • 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 Want" Song: Several.
  • I Taste Delicious: The Greedy keeps eating himself. Well, he is made of taffy and miscellaneous candies.
  • Jabba Table Manners: The Greedy.
  • 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.
  • The Lost Woods: The Deep, Deep Woods.
  • Metaphorgotten: "Fire one!...Fire two!...Fire three!...Fire four!...Fire five!...Fire six!...Fire seven!...Fire eight!...And fire him!"
  • Ms. Fanservice: Babette, she has more normal proportions than the other dolls and has a curvy figure. Up to Eleven when she becomes a pirate and wears more form fitting clothing that exposes her cleavage.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Raggedy Ann, after realizing that her decision to free the pirates has led to Babette's kidnapping.
    • Babette, after it becomes clear to her that her obsession with going to Paris has gotten everyone into terrible trouble.
  • The Napoleon: King Koo Koo. He even mentions Napoleon in his song, noting that Napoleon would look tall next to him.
  • Obliviously Evil: The Greedy, who believes that eating Raggedy Ann's candy (sweet) heart is the key to saving himself from his life of constant hunger. Sir Leonard Looney seems to be this too, although with him it's more like "Obliviously Annoying and Creepy", since he's not exactly Villain of the Year.
  • Obsessed with Food: The Greedy, once again.
  • 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 it's 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: A common gag in King Koo Koo's court. Raggedy Anne and Andy start a huge pie fight in order to distract the Looneylanders and make their escape.
  • Pirate Girl: Babette after she takes over the Captain's ship.
  • Pirate Parrot: The Captain has one, and it proves important to fight King Koo Koo at the end.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Well, except for kidnapping young women.
  • 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.
  • Reality Ensues: Possibly unintentional, but when the trio finds themselves in Looney Land, they meet Sir Leonard Loonie, who acts like your standard (if rather exaggerated) Wacky Guy. How do the kids react? By getting annoyed at his pranks, then scared because he won't leave them alone and finally running away.
  • 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 characers' 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 and King Koo Koo and several other characters look as if they were literally Born in the Wrong Century.
  • 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.
  • Schmuck Bait: The "WELCOME" sign on the entrance to Sir Leonard Looney's funhouse.
  • Shout Out:
  • Shown Their Work: Unique for any film, let alone an animated one, the lead animators are given big fanfare credits along with the characters they animated where the actors voicing them might usually be.
  • Something Else Also Rises: The Captain's beard goes erect when he sees Babette.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Homer's The Odyssey, Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz...really, to a great many famous stories, especially those written around the archetype of The Quest.
  • Standard Snippet: "Entry of the Gladiators" is briefly heard when our heroes get sucked into the funhouse.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: Played with. By the time our heroes catch up with the runaway pirate ship, Babette doesn't want to leave. But it's not because she's fallen for the captain, but because she has seized control of the ship and persuaded the crew to sail to Paris, which is where she wanted to go in the first place.
  • Sugar Bowl: Pun aside, The Greedy himself is this, except it's nightmarish and disturbing rather than bright and cheery. The closest he comes to this is the fact that he's essentially the Taffy Pit itself, which happens to be filled with sweets and taffy.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: How the King describes life at his court, surrounded by Loonies who think nearly everything is funny.
  • Tickle Torture: The climax is based around this.
  • That Reminds Me of a Song: Anything and everything will set off a musical number.
  • 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: Who do you think?
  • Villain Song:
  • Visual Pun: The Camel With the Wrinkled Knees is literally "blue" because he's often sad.
  • Wacky Wayside Tribe: There is a convincing argument to be made that 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. It feels like They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: The Greedy could be seen as one.
    Without a sweetheart, I never get enough...


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