The World of David the Gnome (1985) was a Spanish-produced animated television series based on the children's books Gnomes and The Secret Book of Gnomes, by the Dutch author Wil Huygen and illustrator Rien Poortvliet, with production handled by BRB Internacional. The English dub aired on Nickelodeon in the late 1980s and early 1990s, with the English adaptation handled by Miramax and produced by Harvey Weinstein (yes, THAT Miramax and THAT Harvey Weinstein) and followed the adventures of one David the Gnome, who in most episodes traveled through the forest on his pet fox Swift and rescued animals that were injured or in danger.
The series was followed by a Spin-Off, The Wisdom of the Gnomes, featuring different gnome characters but set in the same universe. A retelling of the original series, The New World of the Gnomes, features David and his nephew Tomte as they travel the world to save animals and preserve nature as it is endangered by problems of modern-day pollution and environmental dangers.
This series provides examples of:
- Ascendtoa Higher Planeof Existence: This happens to David, Lisa, and Jasper at the end of the series.
- Automaton Horse: Swift the fox, to the extreme. In one episode he takes David from Europe to the Himalayas without much of a problem.
- Battle Couple: David and Lisa in "The Shadowless Stone".
- Bittersweet Ending: In the last episode, David and his wife Lisa die of old age. Traumatized and lonely, Swift moves on to make new friends with a glasses-wearing David look-a-like named Christopher and his vixen Agnes.
- Bowdlerise: A lot of the gorier medical scenes were cut from the English dub, as well as a few that might be taken as sexual.
- The opening narration of the first episode was MUCH darker in the original version, chastising humans for their treatment of nature and their tendency towards destruction... ending in a nuclear explosion just to drive the point home. Some of this footage is in the English dub, but the narration is much more toned down and omits the more traumatic imagery.
- Cats Are Mean: Played with. It's not that they're mean, gnomes just have a hard time communicating with them so cats will sometimes (not always, however) treat them like prey.
- Cheerful Child: David's granddaughter Susan, who appears in a number of episodes and is very close to her grandfather.
- Combat Medic: David was a doctor by trade, but it didn't stop him from battling the trolls.
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: In the wedding episode, the trolls try to crash said wedding, but the gnomes escape. One of the more dim-witted trolls, Pat, then falls into a pit trap and refuses to tell the gnomes who was behind the party-crashing. David then declares that Pat has decided to stay behind and get an education, to which the other gnomes agree and start listing off the subjects he'll learn, good manners included. Pat starts pleading for mercy and that he'd "rather die" after Lisa mentions he'll graduate with flying colors. After she says she'll teach him to wash with rose-scented soap, he's ready to talk.
- Distressed Dudes: David and Swift get imprisoned by the trolls in the second episode, requiring Lisa to find and rescue them.
- Eye Scream: In the first episode, David is recalling several cases he's had as a doctor, one in particular, tending to a badger who got a splinter stuck in his eye.
- Friend to All Living Things: The gnomes as a whole, David perhaps in particular.
- Green Aesop: The opening credits of some releases of the series declare the show's mission statement in stark terms as a series about nature itself. The first episode depicts an opening montage including live-action footage of environmental destruction and David even chastises the human race for how they destroy the natural world.
- Happily Married: David and Lisa. Although every Gnome couple seems to be happily married. The only possible exception being the fur thief Ivan and his wife, and even then it appears one-sided his wife still shows care for him.
- Humans Are the Real Monsters: Gnomes do have a few human friends and allies but generally view them as this trope.
- Human Snowball: A group of gnomes, including David, deliberately invoke this trope to get back at the trolls for ruining a wedding ceremony.
- Never Bareheaded: A gnome can never remove their hat in public, as it's taboo.
- Nice Hat: And they almost never take them off, not even for baths.
- They remove their hat so rarely that in the second episode one of the trolls even carries David by holding the tip of his hat.
- No Fourth Wall: David and his wife Lisa frequently address the audience directly, "educating" them about the gnomish lifestyle.
- Non-Human Sidekick: Swift the fox.
- Older Than They Look: Gnomes live to be exactly 400 years old.Susan: Grandma, I'm not a child anymore! I'm 65 years old!
- The last episode implies that the 400-year lifespan is a choice rather than an actual requirement, but that after that point gnomes are subject to greatly reduced quality of life, being hit by many of the ravages of age in a short amount of time.
- Our Gnomes Are Weirder: Not necessarily mad, but definitely non-blue smurfs with some stripes of Underground Monkey, Can't Argue with Elves, and Speaks Fluent Animal. Also Mind Manipulation, Telepathy, and Horse of a Different Color.
- The Power of Love: Required to open the Cool Gate in "The Shadowless Stone."
- Repeating so the Audience Can Hear: The gnomes would often translate what the animals were saying.
- Road Sign Reversal: When gnomes have wedding parties, there is always a concern about trolls coming and spoiling everything, so they will put up signs deliberately pointing in the opposite direction to throw them off, while gnomes will know better and go the other way. It doesn't always work.
- Scenery Porn: Lavishly animated for the time.
- Together in Death: David and Lisa become two intertwined trees after they pass on.
- Translation Convention: It's mentioned several times that gnomes speak their own language, and humans are forbidden from knowing it, except one word...
- Unto Us a Son and Daughter Are Born: "Gnomes only have children once in our lives, and they're always twins," albeit not always a boy and a girl.