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Western Animation / Robinson Sucroe

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Robinson (left) and his friend Wednesday (right).

Robinson Sucroe is a French-Canadian cartoon which aired for 26 episodes in 1994. Montreal's famous Cinar studio was among its production companies, and the show's place in that studio's history remains one of the most shocking and disgraceful moments in Canadian film and television, animated or otherwise.

Robinson Sucroe, who works for a newspaper called The New York Herald, is sent by head editor Mr. Floyd to Crab Island to see if it is safe to inhabit. A group of shipwrecked people called the Everydays live there, as well as two different gangs of pirates (one British and one French), all of whom want their existence kept a secret from the outside world. Robinson works together with his new friend Wednesday to write untrue stories for the newspaper claiming the island is dangerous; famous reporter Grumbleston knows the truth, however, and tries (and fails) multiple times to warn Mr. Floyd.

Christopher Izard is credited as Robinson Sucroe's creator in the opening credits, but he is not actually the person who created it; this show is known for being plagiarized from a proposed series called The Adventures of Robinson Curiosity, which was really created by Montreal animator Claude Robinson. Claude sued Cinar over this in 1995 and won the case in 2009, which is good for him... but not so much for this show. Nor Cinar for that matter, for investigation into the plagiarism case by the Canadian government revealed them to be involved in a massive accounting and tax fraud scandal that ultimately brought the studio down (until it was reborn in 2004 as Cookie Jar Entertainment).

Robinson Sucroe provides examples of:

  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song:
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: Wednesday is the big guy and Robinson is the little guy.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Several of the Everydays have French names that refer to times and days of the week. They can also cross into Meaningful Names, such as Dure Soiree's name meaning "hard evening."
  • Bratty Halfpint: Petite Vacance, a preteen girl who's coy and a bit of a prankster.
  • Brits Love Tea: As classic stereotypical Brits, the British pirates are frequently seen enjoying tea.
  • By Wall That Is Holey: In episode 1, a bookshelf falls over and Robinson just happens to be in the empty crack.
  • The Cabin Boy: Little Jim, a young boy who is a member of the British pirates.
  • Captain Ersatz: Robinson Sucroe is based on Robinson Crusoe, and his friend Wednesday is a copy of Crusoe's servant Friday.
  • "Day of the Week" Name: Robinson's friend is named Wednesday. As their name suggests, many of the Everydays are named after days of the week as well.
  • Dreadful Musician: Dure Soiree, whose singing can cause rainstorms. It's mentioned that her causing a storm is what caused the Everydays to get shipwrecked on the island to begin with, and one episode has Grumbleston try to use her bad singing for one of his schemes.
  • Enemy Mine: Although they are rivals most of the time, the British and French pirates will occasionally team up. Grumbleston also cooperates with one or both bands of pirates in several episodes.
  • Establishing Shot: The first episode begins with a shot of New York.
  • Evil Versus Evil: The French pirates versus the British pirates, occasional Enemy Mine situations aside.
  • Expository Theme Tune: "Robinson Sucroe was working at the paper, cleaning up and sweeping every night/They said he could live on an island, in exchange for the stories he'd write..."
  • Henpecked Husband: Dimanche Midi; technically, he's the leader of the Everydays, but in truth he is dominated by his wife Dure Soiree.
  • King Kong Copy: One episode sees Wednesday end up on another island, where a giant gorilla lives.
  • Meaningful Name: Dure Soiree's name means "Hard Evening" in French. It suits her nasty, unpleasant personality.
  • Protagonist Title: The title refers to the main character, Robinson Sucroe.
  • Punny Name: Sucroe is a pun on sucre, the French word for sugar, alluding to the main character's sweet nature.
    • Petite Vacance is, likewise, a pun on the phrase petites vacances; which means "little vacation".
  • Real After All: While the island that Robinson lives on is relatively safe, one episode reveals that there is in fact another island nearby that really is as dangerous as Robinson claims his island to be. Wednesday gets his inspiration for Robinsons' stories from this island.
  • Right-Hand Cat: Grumbleston has a parrot as a sidekick.
  • Robinsonade: The show's inspiration is obviously Robinson Crusoe in that the main character is isolated on an island. The one key difference here is that Robinson Sucroe willingly travels to the island whereas Robinson Crusoe gets stranded on the island by accident. The trope also applies to the Everydays, who were shipwrecked on the island years before the start of the show, and have been living there since.
  • Shout-Out: Robinson Sucroe... that title sounds familiar.
  • Title Theme Tune: "Robinson Sucroe, Robinson Sucroe, writing tales about the island that he knew..."
  • Truth Serum: One episode has Grumbleston use a truth serum to try and expose Robinson. Wednesday drinks it and thus writes an article in which he admits the truth about the island, forcing him and Robinson to intercept the article before Mr. Floyd can read and publish it.
  • Villain Has a Point: True, his methods for trying to expose the truth are quite devious (or even immoral) at times and he's not the most sympathetic person out there, but Grumbleston is right about the fact that Robinson is a fraud, and the island isn't uninhabited, or as dangerous as Robinson claims it to be.
  • Wheel o' Feet: Sometimes characters' legs will be rendered as circular shapes when they are running.