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Western Animation / The Family-Ness

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The Family-Ness (1984-1985) is a Scottish children's cartoon revolving around the adventures of a brother and sister, Angus and Elspeth MacTout, and their friends, a family of Loch Ness monsters collectively known as the Nessies.

The children become friends with the Nessies after they save the clumsy Silly-Ness from a hole. The mother of the Nessies, Her High-Ness, made it a strict rule beforehand that Loch Ness monsters have nothing to do with humans, but she makes Elspeth and Angus the exceptions after they save Silly-Ness. To show her gratitude for the children's actions, Her High-Ness gives them "thistle whistles" that they can use to call on the Nessies at any time.

Elspeth and Angus's dad, Mr. MacTout, is the keeper of the Nessies' loch, but he dismisses anyone's claims of seeing a Loch Ness monster as nonsense. Similarily, the local policeman does not believe anyone who says they saw a Loch Ness monster. Professor Dumkopf, on the other hand, knows for sure that the Nessies are real and tries to prove their existence by making various inventions to use in and around the loch; his plans are usually foiled by the MacTout children or the Nessies themselves, however.

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This work provides examples of:

  • Big Eater: Hungry-Ness. It's even in his name.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Mr. Dumkopf. The word "dumkopf" is German for "stupid head".
  • Brought to You by the Letter "S": Angus has a "T" on his shirt.
  • Chameleon Camouflage: It's revealed that Ferocious-Ness can change color at will in "Ferocious-Ness Changes his Colour".
  • The Ditz: Forgetful-Ness. Again, all in his name.
  • Ending Theme: A song called "You'll Never Find a Nessie in the Zoo" is played over the end credits of every episode. The final episode, which shares its name with the song, features an extended version of this ending theme.
  • Grand Finale: "You'll Never Find a Nessie in a Zoo", the 25th and final episode, ends with Ferocious-Ness saying good-bye to the MacTout children.
  • Interspecies Friendship: Between Angus and Elspeth, a pair of human children, and the Nessies.
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  • Mad Scientist: Mr. Dumkopf is a mad scientist.
  • Meaningful Name: The Nessies all have names reflecting what their personality is. For example, Eager-Ness is a very eager Nessie while Sporty-Ness likes to play sports.
  • Missing Mom: The father of the MacTout children is a commonly-seen character, but their mother is never even mentioned anywhere.
  • Modesty Shorts: Elspeth wears red shorts with matching vest beneath her pleated skirt.
  • Nonstandard Character Design: Her High-Ness looks different from the other Nessies in that she actually resembles a stereotypical Loch Ness monster.
  • Punny Name: Most of the Nessies have names made to resemble words ending with the suffix "-ness" (e.g. Ferocious-Ness, Clever-Ness, Eyewit-Ness, etc.).
  • Short Runner: Ran for one series of 25 episodes from 1984 to 1985.
  • Sick Episode: "Baby-Ness Gets the Measles", where Baby-Ness gets... well, what the episode's title says.
  • The Smart Guy: Clever-Ness, as per his name again.
  • Stock Ness Monster: The whole focus of the series is Loch Ness monsters, obviously.
  • Theme Tune Extended: In the show, the theme song is just barely over 30 seconds long. An extended version exists which is almost two minutes and thirty seconds long.
  • Title Theme Tune: "Eyewit-Ness comes up for air, and taking notes without a care, returns with a crash and a bash and a splash to The Family-Ness!"

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