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Western Animation / Rolie Polie Olie

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The Polie family left to right: Percy Polie, Polina Polie, Pappy Polie, Olie Polie, Zowie Polie, and Spot
Way up high in the Rolie Polie sky
is a little round planet of a really nice guy.

He's Rolie Polie Olie, he's small and smart and round.
And in the land of curves and curls, he's the swellest kid around!

William Joyce's Rolie Polie Olie is a computer-animated Canadian Preschool Show created by American children's book writer/illustrator William Joyce (who also helped out with the show's production) and produced and distributed by animation studio Nelvana. It ran from 1998 to 2004 for a total 78 episodes, as well as two direct-to-video movies. It ran on CBC and later re-aired on Treehouse in its home country, while in the United States, it aired on Disney Channel's preschool block Playhouse Disney.

Olie Polie is a little robot boy who lives with his mother, father, grandfather (or "pappy", as he calls him), little sister Zowie and their dog Spot on Planet Polie, an Art Deco-inspired world populated entirely by robots and sentient objects. Together with his cubical friend Billy Bevel, whose family is from the nearby Planet Cubey, Olie learns, through fun and imagination, the values of friendship, family and what it means to be a great kid.

This series is notable for being one of the very first TV cartoons to be made entirely in computer-generated imagery.

A made-for-TV movie called The Great Defender of Fun was made in 2002.

The entire series can be viewed on YouTube (outside the U.S.) here, courtesy of Nelvana's Treehouse Direct. However, most seasons of the show were eventually added to Disney+ for U.S. subscribers in September 2021. It is currently unknown if that was thanks to a deal with Nelvana or Disney still having the U.S.-broadcasting rights.

William Joyce is working on new episodes of the series, but it's currently unknown if it'll be a revival or a continuation of the original series.

Provides examples of:

  • 555: In one episode, the kids have to remember the number to call Space Boy, which happens to be 555-01. Olie remembers the "555" half while Billy must remember the "01".
  • All-CGI Cartoon: Though not the very first (that title belongs to Reboot, another Canadian show), it was still one of the very first animated TV series created with the then-revolutionary medium of 3D computer animation.
  • All Just a Dream: "The Lie". Olie has a bizarre dream about the Brussels sprout he lied to his mother about eating, which leads him to admit that he was wrong to lie.
  • Alliterative Name: The surname in Billy's family is Bevel, and everyone has a first name that begins with B.
  • Animate Inanimate Object: Everything that has a face often has the ability to move and perform action of their own accord, even having personalities. At one point, the house the Polies live in even catches a cold. Note that it wasn't really a cold. He was just experiencing cold-like symptoms as Dicey was stuck up his spout.
  • Animation Bump: The framerate of the animation becomes noticeably slower in the 6th season.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Zowie can sometimes come off as this towards Olie, though most of the time it's unintentional.
  • Baby See, Baby Do: In "Dingliedangliedoodle", Zowie copies her father's action of accidentally dropping a wrench on his foot, right down to copying him saying the word "dingliedangliedoodle".
  • Beach Episode: "Beach Blanket Gizmo". It doesn't actually take place at the beach, though; Olie and Zowie are feeling down because Billy got to go to the beach and they didn't, so Uncle Gizmo helps them throw a beach party in their backyard.
  • Big Damn Movie: Rolie Polie Olie: The Great Defender of Fun. Unusually for what's part of a preschool show, the film features a villain who poses a genuine threat to the characters.
  • Birthday Episode:
    • "Spot's Birthday" is more of a Flashback Episode since it focuses mainly on the Polies looking back on the day Spot became a member of the family, but it still counts, since it still marks a year since Spot was born, and has everyone wishing him a happy birthday and giving him a series of presents.
    • "Surrrprise" is one for Olie; it revolves around Zowie, Percy, Polina and Spot trying to prepare a surprise party for Olie and prevent him from catching on. While they are at it, Olie, who begins to assume they've all forgotten his birthday, attempts to celebrate it by himself with all his toys, but eventually comes upon what his family has prepared for him at the appropriate time and has a good birthday after all.
    • "A Birthday Present for Mom" is about Olie and Zowie attempting to earn enough money to buy a special present for their mother. They do this by setting up a lemonade stand, but unfortunately, no one stops to buy any lemonade from them (Billy almost does, but says he doesn't have enough money for it). However, just when it looks like their efforts have all been for naught, their mother shows up and asks for some lemonade from them, telling them not only that they've got her ideal kind of birthday party in the making (one with lemonade, music and dancing), but also that her favourite type of present is the special homemade one.
    • The entire Great Defender of Fun movie is about Zowie trying to have a birthday party, while Gloomius Maximus tries to stop it.
  • Bizarrchitecture: The Polies' house is shaped like a giant teapot.
  • The Bully: Screwy in his debut episode, spending most of it teasing Olie and Billy about how much better he is at all the things the latter two do.
  • Bungled Hypnotism: The episode "Hypno-Eyes" features Olie and Billy receiving a pair of supposedly hypnotic glasses, but they don't seem to work. Unbeknownst to them, they do work, but not on their intended targets. For instance, when Olie tries to hypnotize Billy at the beginning, he ends up hypnotizing Spot instead.
  • Chickenpox Episode: A variant; the episode "Polie Pox" is about Olie getting the titular illness and being covered in itchy multicolored spots. Zowie wishes that she had Polie Pox too so she could eat some ice cream. At the end of the episode, she gets it too.
  • Christmas Episode: A few episodes feature "Jingle Jangle Day", this world's equivalent of Christmas.
  • Clueless Aesop: In the episode "Dingliedangliedoodle", Zowie learns that the mentioned word is bad. They meant to teach kids that you should not do profanity, but do they really think kids are gonna get the message from a nonsense word? Also, a few kids misinterpreted the lesson as "Do not use the word dingliedangliedoodle, cuz it's a bad word, although it is a made-up word".
  • Cluster F-Bomb: In "Dingliedangliedoodle", when Zowie hears the word "Dingliedangliedoodle" (which is seen as a cuss word in-universe), she starts dancing around singing it.
  • Cool Aunt: Inverted with Billy's Aunt Rhombus. While we never actually see her in the series, Billy seems to find spending time with her incredibly dreary and soul-crushing.
  • Cool Big Bro:
    • Olie is a very supportive and loving big brother to Zowie, frequently seen comforting her whenever she's down and helping her with an activity she doesn't know how to do.
    • From what we see of it, Uncle Gizmo was the same thing to Mr. Polie during their childhoods, both of them having similar interactions to those shared by Olie and Zowie.
  • Cool Old Guy: Pappy has had quite the life - he once owned the boat in the Polies' backyard, was an astronaut for a certain length of time, and in the present day he lives on a farm with a group of animals that includes a cow who can produce ice cream. He also adores his grandchildren and loves having fun with them.
  • Cool Old Lady: His sister, the aptly named Great Aunt Polieanna, isn't too far off. She's had quite a history of travelling, and she's similarly quite enthusiastic and good-humoured.
  • Cool Uncle: Many of the episodes featuring Uncle Gizmo have him showing Olie and Zowie an aspect of something they didn't know existed and how fun it all is.
  • Cordon Bleugh Chef: In "Ciminin Toast" Olie and Zowie create a soup for their parents out of cereal, cheese, watermelon, gravy, dry spaghetti, marshmallows, peanut butter, hot dogs, a pickle, a banana, and even motor oil. It's so disgusting, even the sentient bowl they make the soup with turns Green Around the Gills. But Spot was more than happy to eat all of it anyway.
  • Cousin Oliver: Later on in the series, the Polies adopt twin babies named Coochie and Coo.
  • Darker and Edgier: The Great Defender of Fun, compared to the rest of the series and especially the other movie, The Baby Bot Chase. Given the mostly light-hearted and optimistic tone of the series, The Great Defender of Fun is about as dark as it gets, with the plot being about Gloomius Maxiumus, an evil space pirate trying to get rid of all the fun and positivity in the galaxy. The darkest moment in the whole film is when everyone in the main cast gets close to being dragged into the Galaxy of Gloom, which is something that looks eerily similar to a black hole.
  • Dance Party Ending: The Great Defender of Fun ends with the main cast doing the conga line, eventually getting off the ground and dancing in front of the moon.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: The plot of the episode "What to Be" focuses around Olie thinking about what occupation he should take when he grows up, from a paleontologist to an orchestra conductor.
  • Episode Tagline: The episode "Dingliedangliedoodle" is about Zowie saying, "Dingliedangliedoodle" after hearing her dad say it, but being told to stop because apparently it's a cuss word.
  • Expressive Mask: Like The Golden Age of Animation, faces turn up in some unusual places, like Olie's teapot house.
  • Extendable Arms: The robots can stretch their arms and legs to any length they want.
  • Eye Take: In "Ciminin Toast", when Olie takes a whiff of the soup that he and Zowie made for their parents, it's so disgusting, his eyes grow wide, then shrink to the size of peas.
  • Fighting Back Is Wrong: An episode introduced the character Screwy who was being an arrogant bully to the other kids (and keeps that role throughout the series). After introducing himself as an all-around jerk, Olie is reprimanded by his father and teacher when he commented about his rusty hands. Billy and Olie had to apologize while Screwy got away with his behavior.
  • Fooled by the Sound: In "The Bump", the Polies are kept up at night by an unusual snarl, and they wonder if it's an alien invasion or a monster spying on them. It turns out to be Spot's stomach growling due to indigestion.
  • Freudian Excuse: Gloomius Maximus's motivation to be bad comes from the fact that he never had fun in his life.
  • Glitch Episode: In "Home Sick", the Polies' sentient Smart House keeps making sneezing sounds, shaking the family around, and the central heating is out of whack. They wonder if the house has a cold, but it turns out to actually have a cat up its nose.
  • Grand Finale: ''The Great Defender of Fun'' becomes this in the series. The sixth and final season is both the series' Sequel Series and "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue.
  • Good Parents: Mr. and Mrs. Polie are both very generous and encouraging towards their children, and most of the time they manage to keep their patience with them even if they do something wrong. Billy's parents are pretty good too, even if we don't see as much of them.
  • Guilt-Induced Nightmare: In "The Lie", Olie dishonestly tells his mother that he ate every single Brussels sprout (he actually ate all but one). This results in him dreaming that a Brussels sprout grows every time he tries to hide it, so when he wakes up, he decides to come clean to his mother.
  • Halloween Episode: "The Legend of Spookie Ookie", "Oooh Scary", and "Zowie, Queen of the Pumpkins".
  • Happily Adopted: The Polies adopt Coochie and Coo at the end of "Baby Bot Chase", partially due to the fact that the twins had come to love the Polies as much as the Polies loved them.
  • Happily Married: Olie and Zowie's parents have been married since long before the events of the series and couldn't be any happier with each other.
  • Heel–Face Turn: At the end of ''The Great Defender of Fun", Gloomius Maximus stops trying to destroy fun after Zowie invites him to her birthday party. This also leads to his happy gear winding again.
  • Hiccup Hijinks: Olie gets hiccups in "Hickety Ups", which he enjoys at first, but soon becomes annoyed by them. Patience is key as he loses them in the end, only for Billy to get them.
  • Homemade Inventions: Olie's father built a shrink ray at one point. It Makes Sense in Context.
  • Honesty Aesop: The episode "The Lie" has Olie lie that he ate all his Brussels sprouts when in reality he ate all but one. However, he dreams that the Brussels sprout grows bigger every time he lies about it, so he tells the truth when he wakes up.
  • Hypno Fool: The episode "Hypno-Eyes" is about Olie and Billy trying to use a pair of hypnotic glasses, only to inadvertently hypnotize the wrong targets (Olie tries to make Billy fall asleep, but Spot ends up falling asleep instead; when Billy tries hypnotizing Olie into acting like a chicken, Spot acts like a chicken instead).
  • Impact Silhouette:
    • In "Roll the Camera" a mishap with the lawn polisher sends Olie's dad through a hedge.
    • In "Zowie's Harmonica" Spot rolls through the same hedge leaving a circle-shaped hole.
    • Olie does this partially in "Where O Where Did Olie Go?" when he (in his shrunken form) crash lands into a cake.
    • Olie and Billy do this together with a tree in an episode when their soapbox racer goes haywire.
    • In "Spot That Hero" a giant dog's bark sends Spot crashing into a hedge in the park leaving a clean impression of his body.
  • In Case You Forgot Who Wrote It: In later seasons, the intro ends with William Joyce's name appearing above the logo.
  • Innocent Swearing: In one episode, Zowie unknowingly repeats a bad word (Dingliedangliedoodle) to the point of singing it. Interestingly, the episode is named after the "bad word".
  • Invisibility: Olie accidentally gets turned invisible in "Pretend Friend".
  • Iris Out: Each scene begins and ends with one.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Screwy becomes this after his introductory episode. He retains his grouchy and abrasive demeanour and is not above making a narcissistic comment about something ("I'm best at everything" being a great example), but he does care about Olie and the others to some extent. The episode "Orb's Well that Ends Well" has him express his feelings of insecurity to Mrs. Triangle about how other people would perceive him due to being different, and at the end, he's seen playing with everyone else and getting along perfectly fine with them.
  • Kid Detective: Olie and Zowie become these in the episodes "Detective Polie's Cookie Caper" and "House Detectives".
  • LEGO Body Parts: Olie and Billy pull this off in "Switcheroo" to see what it's like to be each other's shape.
  • Me's a Crowd: In "1 Olie, 2 Olie, 3 Olie, 4", Olie duplicates himself and makes the duplicate do his homework, but the duplicate ends up making more duplicates to do the homework. It gets to the point where there are 99 Olies, including the original!
  • Middle Child Syndrome: In "The Coochie Coochie Coo Blues", Zowie realizes that she is now the middle child of the family because Coochie and Coo are younger than her, and starts feeling ignored and left out. She wants to be a baby again and starts throwing a tantrum, but her family tells her that if she's a baby, then she can't do fun things like eat ice cream. Zowie learns that she will always be her family's little bot whether she's big or small, and the episode ends with a heartwarming little song about how it's just fine to be in the middle.
  • Mind over Matter: In one episode, Olie and his friend Billy gain psychic powers when they press a button on their father's invention.
  • Mind Screw: Everything has a face. Everything. Even the silverware.
  • Monochromatic Eyes: Most of the robots. The objects with eyes, however, often have pupils.
  • Mundane Utility: Said shrink ray is used to shrink all of the clutter in the garage.
    • At one point, a time machine is used to stop Spot from breaking a bowling trophy.
    • The characters often travel into space as easily and regularly as driving to the store.
  • My Nayme Is: Zowie's name is pronounced like "Zoe."
  • Never Say "Die": Averted in one case when Gloomius Maximus sings, "Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha, sucking all the fun, this is what I like to do, it's better than killing a spider with my shoe."
  • Nice Guy: This show is so full of them that you could count the number of not-so-nice people on one hand.
  • The Noseless: In "Follow Yer Nose", Olie's nose falls off in a skateboarding accident. He discovers he can smell his nose's surroundings, and he and Billy use this ability to find it.
  • Odd Name Out: The babies on the Mothership in Baby Bot Chase include Cuddley, Wuddley, Googie, Gaga, Pookie, Babby, Giggley, and... Fred. It was also the former home of Coochie and Coo.
  • Opening Shout-Out: In one episode, Percy's invention starts making time go backwards, reaching the point where the camera zooms out and the beginning scene of the series intro, where the camera pans through space to the Polies' planet, plays in reverse, then plays forward in fast-motion.
  • Out Of Control Popcorn: When Olie and Billy were making popcorn for the monster movie marathon on tv, they accidentally forgot about the popcorn and soon Olie's kitchen is full of popcorn.
  • "Pan from the Sky" Beginning: The intro begins in space, then pans down to Planet Polie, to go along with the theme tune lyrics "Way up high in the Rolie Polie sky".
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Coochie and Coo.
  • Playing Sick: In "Polie Pox", Zowie paints spots on her face to try and trick her parents into thinking that she has the titular disease. Mrs. Polie immediately sees through the ruse, but realizes that Zowie is feeling neglected, and gives her some ice cream anyway.
  • Polka-Dot Disease: In "Polie Pox", Olie gets an illness of the same name which makes him break out in multicolored spots. Zowie is jealous and wants the disease too so she'll get "polka spots" and ice cream. She eventually gets it.
  • Precision F-Strike: In "Dingliedangliedoodle", After Olie's dad gets hurt while fixing the lawnmower, he yells "Dingliedangliedoodle!" By the way, the word he said was apparently an in-universe curse word and not the "f" word. It is referred to as the "three D-word".
  • Pseudo-Santa: Klanky Klaus. Like everyone else in this show, he is a robot, and he delivers presents during Jingle-Jangle Day. Rather than the North Pole, he lives on another planet called Chillsville.
  • Puppy Love: Olie and his friend Polly Pi seem to have this.
  • Real After All: In "The Legend of Spookie Ookie", Pappy is asked to pretend to be the dreaded pumpkin monster Spookie Ookie and chase Olie and Zowie. Later that night, it does appear that Pappy in his Spookie Ookie costume chases Olie and Zowie around, but at the very end of the episode, however, it's revealed that Pappy himself has been asleep the entire time! Cue "Oh, Crap!".
  • Reincarnation: In "Madame Bot-erfly", it's implied that the butterfly Olie and Zowie were trying to catch all day is the reincarnation of their deceased grandmother Lulu.
  • Retro Universe: Futuristic tech aside, the show seems to have quite a bit of a 1950s vibe, ranging from the designs of the appliances and buildings to the characters' hairstyles and even the slang they use.
  • Rhyming Names: The titular character, Olie Polie, as well as several others, such as Bonita Jaquita and Ethel Triangle.
  • Rhyming Title: Exaggerated. The title adds "Rolie" in addition to the already rhyming Olie Polie.
  • Robot Antennae: All the robots have antennae on top of their heads, often accompanied by Robot Hair.
  • Santa Claus: Klanky Klaus, the universe's equivalent of Santa.
  • Sick Episode: "Polie Pox" has Olie and eventually Zowie get sick with an illness despite both being robots.
  • Skyward Scream: In "It's a Roundi-ful Life", Olie yells out "WHAT ABOUT MEEEEEEE???" due to being ignored by his parents and even Spot in favor of Zowie as the camera pans above him.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: In the episode "We Scream for Ice Cream", though it's actually made of ice cream.
  • Space Whale Aesop: In "Rewind", Olie sets off his father's time machine when he cleans the garage too quickly. After time fluctuates between reversing and flowing normally, Olie learns not to rush through his chores, or else his efforts could become quickly undone, requiring him to do them over more carefully. Truth in Television, even for people without access to time travel.
  • Space Pirates: Gloomius Maximus and the Baddies.
  • "Stop Having Fun" Guys: In-universe, Gloomius Maximus is a literal one of these, his goal being to drain the emotion of fun from the universe.
  • Stop Copying Me: Once, the little Zowie begins to parrot Olie, much to his annoyance. He eventually exploits this to make her go to bed.
  • Strictly Formula: "Cutie Go Bye-Bye" has a similar plot outline to "Zowie's Harmonica" — both episodes involve Spot obtaining one of Zowie's possessions and hiding it. There is a significant difference in how getting the two things back is played out — in the case of "Zowie's Harmonica", it's the furniture and appliances in the household that try to get the harmonica back to Zowie, while in "Cutie Go Bye-Bye", it's the Polies themselves who try to retrieve Cutie. Spot also acts differently in both of those situations — in "Zowie's Harmonica" he doesn't want to give the harmonica back to Zowie, while in "Cutie Go Bye-Bye" he is perfectly willing to help the Polies find Cutie despite the fact that he was responsible for her disappearance.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Near the end of The Great Defender of Fun, Zowie invites Gloomius Maximus, who had wrecked her birthday party three times, stole the Super Silly Ray Olie made for her, made Pappy's happy gear pop out and tried to tug the entire Rolie Polie Planet to the Galaxy of Gloom, to her birthday party out of sympathy for him never being invited to or having any parties as a little bot.
  • Theme Twin Naming: Coochie and Coo, both named after the Baby Talk phrase "coochie coo".
  • Three Shorts
  • Title Character and Title Theme Tune: "He's Rolie Polie Olie, he's small and smart and round! And in the Land of Curves and Curls, he's the swellest kid around!"
  • Triumphant Reprise: Gloomius Maximus' Villain Song in The Great Defender of Fun talks about how much he hates fun and wants to get rid of it. He and the Baddies reprise it at the end of the movie, now singing about his newfound acceptance and love for fun.
  • T-Word Euphemism: A variety for the in-universe swear "dingliedangliedoodle"; they refer to it as the "three-'D' word".
  • Villain Song: Gloomius Maximus gets one in The Great Defender of Fun.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Billy's dad speaks with a nerdy voice, but whenever he laughs, he switches to a baritone voice.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Olie and Spot can roll up into a sphere to travel.
  • World Shapes: Billy is from the square planet Cubey.
  • You Mean "Xmas": The characters celebrate "Jingle-Jangle-Day", which is indistinguishable from Christmas in its secular trappings. There's also Spooky Ooky Day (Halloween) and Gooey Harts Day (Valentine's Day).
  • You No Take Candle: Zowie talks like this.


The Three "D" Word

Apparently, "Dingliedangliedoodle" is a bad word.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / PardonMyKlingon

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