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Ruby Gloom
Rubygloom logo.jpg
Ruby Gloom Title Card
Genre Fantasy, Animation
Developed by Nelvana
Country of origin Canada Canada
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 40
Production
Running time 23 mins. (approx)
Broadcast
Original channel Canada YTV
Original run 13 October 2006 – present
External links
Official website

Ruby Gloom is an animated television show based on an apparel franchise. The show is produced by Nelvana and began airing on 13 October 2006 in Canada on the YTV network.[1] It stars the voices of Sarah Gadon, Emily Hampshire, and Peter Keleghan.

Contents

Franchise origins

The Ruby Gloom franchise that led to the television show was created by the American company Mighty Fine, began as a stationary line, usually featured on pencil cases and backpacks, and then expanded to clothing, keychains and plush toys. The character of Ruby Gloom is a small girl with bright red hair wearing a black dress with red-yellow socks. She is usually accompanied by her pet cat, Doom Kitty, and is described as "The Happiest Girl in the World."

Main characters

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Ruby Gloom

The titular character, Ruby has earned her title of "The Happiest Girl in the World". Ruby is a girl who can find happiness in anything. "Look on the bright side" is a phrase she chants like a mantra, and it serves her well. There isn't a single thing in the world that gets her down or a single negative that she can't turn into a positive. Her positive attitude has been shown to be helpful, as it allows Ruby to act as the voice of reason in the mansion, while her friends tends to lose focus on real issues. Ruby also has a crush on Skull Boy, who is one of her friends. One episode, "Sunny Daze", involves Ruby, Skull Boy, and Iris trapped in a cave looking for Misery. Ruby nearly revealed her feelings to Skull Boy. Her upbeat outlook also makes Ruby very loyal to her friends and there's almost nothing she wouldn't do for any of them. She likes to have quiet time to write in her diary and sew.

Doom Kitty

As Ruby's pet cat, Doom Kitty has a complete free run of the mansion and is therefore usually the only one with total knowledge of what is going on in any given area of the house. This keeps her one step ahead of Ruby and the others most of the time, because whenever something strange happens in the mansion, Doom Kitty will usually have all the facts already while everyone else is still trying to figure things out. Unfortunately, since Doom Kitty can't talk, her only hope of communicating with the others is through mime. Ruby usually has a pretty easy time understanding her, but it doesn't always work. This shows that Doom Kitty hates it when she is trying to communicate, and her friends think she is playing charades.

Iris

Like Ruby, Iris goes through life without a care in the world, but in a much different way. Where Ruby finds happiness in anything, Iris finds adventure. From safaris to fighting wild animals to even shooting herself out of a cannon, there isn't a single thing this cyclops girl won't try at least once, as long as she thinks it's fun. Unfortunately, Iris's adventuresome nature also makes her quite impulsive and she has a bad habit of jumping into a situation without considering potential consequences. This usually results in trouble she doesn't expect. However, as soon as the trouble is gone, she's off again on another adventure.

Misery

Misery doesn't mean to be a walking disaster area. Her mishaps are usually a combination of clumsiness and extraordinary bad luck. Evidently, these traits run in her family, as Misery has had relatives who have been present at every single major disaster in recorded history. Fortunately, her friends are all kindhearted enough to take this in stride. Misery spends most of the time in a state of detached apathy and with ever-present trails of tears running from her eyes.

She does have tiny moments of happiness throughout the series, but unless they're few and far between, her bad luck rears its ugly head and strikes her down with a vengeance, usually in the form of lightning bolts. Friday the 13th is the only time her inherent bad luck gives her a break; nothing but good things happen to her while everyone around her gets a day-long dose of Misery's bad luck, but she seems to hate the good luck as it is a day that's completely different from what's she's used to. Sugar is also something that Misery needs to stay away from, because whenever she has any sweets, she goes into a hyperactive frenzy, running around spouting everything that has ever gone wrong in the history of the world, from major catastrophes like an earthquake in China to small non-events like stubbing her toe in the kitchen. She keeps dust bunnies as pets, though she is allergic to them and blows them away with her sneezing. They appear to like her, as they return to her every time.

Despite these problems though, Misery has actually been revealed to be an incredibly gifted singer. However, this talent only shines through whenever she's asleep. Otherwise, her singing just comes out as banshee-like screams. This made Frank and Len recruit her as lead singer for their band, R.I.P., during a major concert event, Gloomapalooza. Their performance was a huge success.

Her family is surprisingly large, considering how often they find themselves in or responsible for disasters, and when the entire family meets, the destruction can be impressive. Also, in the episode "I'll Be Home For Misery", when Misery's family comes to call, only her female relatives come (with the exception of "Cousin Murky", Skullboy's persona during the episode). It is stated in "Disaster Becomes You" that all the males in Misery's family but one died in quicksand.

Skull Boy

A man of many talents, Skull Boy is the mansion's official Jack of All Trades. From film directing to painting, cooking to cavern exploring, robotics to private investigating, Skull Boy can pretty much do it all. His only problem is that he can't seem to find one thing and stick to it for any serious length of time. But if Skull Boy doesn't know where he's going, it's mostly because he doesn't know where he's been. There have been several moments that confirm that Ruby has a crush on him. He has a crush on Ruby, too, but he generally takes no notice of this fact.

In Skull Boy's endeavour to discover his roots, he has undergone many personas and occupations. These include:

Frank and Len

Rockers by nature, these two patchwork brothers live in the mansion's garage. They have their own garage band, known as R.I.P (pronounced RIP). Frank and Len's strength lie in performing music. Unfortunately, this seems to be all that is their strength, since they both tend to lose focus on anything that isn't their music. They can hardly focus on something if it doesn't have a beat. Frank is actually the more intelligent of the two, often getting annoyed at Len's lack of understanding. Len is the more sentimental one, who seems to have a thing for small animals and things that don't exactly matter in anyone else's book. Even though they seem upbeat for their music, the two of them are almost never on the same page, even though they're both in the same body. Despite this fact, Frank and Len are close. For example, in the episode "Quadrogloomia", when the brothers needed a way to become unconscious, they were unable to hit each other over the head with planks. Another example of this is in the episode "Iris Springs Eternal". Ruby, Frank, and Len were sliding down a mud slide when Frank said, "Len, if we don't get out of this I just want you to know that you've been the best brother a brother could have for a brother." Also, as of the episode "Quadrogloomia", Frank and Len appear to be the only housemates (other than Doom Kitty) who know about Ruby's crush on Skull Boy.

Edgar, Allan, and Poe

Three dapper uptown ravens, Edgar, Allan, and Poe live in an attached addition to the mansion. However, out of the three, Poe is the one seen most often. Edgar and Allan are hardly seen and when they are, they never speak. However, they seem to spend most of their time in the series acting as Poe's bodyguards and servants. Poe meanwhile, as a man of culture and sophistication, likes to think of himself as a role model to the rest of the mansion's residents. Unfortunately, he tends to be a little too attached to his image and likes to cover up the parts of him that make him look like less than what he makes himself out to be. For example, he'd rather tell people he's performing in an actual opera than admit that he's staying home to listen to opera records. Poe's pampered nature also tends to make him overreact to things that everyone else would more or less take in stride. There is at least some evidence that Poe's cultured accent is an affectation. He is also fond of claiming to be a descendant of Edgar Allan Poe's pet budgie Paco, which is shown in the episode "Time Flies".

Scaredy Bat

Scaredy Bat is a bat with an Indian accent who is afraid of almost everything. Where Ruby finds happiness and Iris finds adventure, Scaredy Bat finds only fear. Despite being a bat, he's afraid of flying and is also afraid of the dark. He's also afraid of his own reflection. This constant state of fear is perfect for Boo Boo, the mansion's ghost, since Scaredy Bat is the only one who is afraid of him. The only thing he's not afraid of is a crumpet.

Even if his fear sometimes gets the better of him, Scaredy Bat is the loyal and incredibly talented drummer of Frank and Len's band, R.I.P. When he is behind the kit, Scaredy Bat is a beat machine and forgets his fear. His talents as a drummer has earned him a permanent place in Frank and Len's band. He also enjoys eating mosquitos.

Boo Boo

The mansion's ghost, Boo Boo sees it as his job to haunt. Unfortunately, it's a little difficult for him to do that when everyone thinks he's cute, since he hates being thought of as cute. When he first arrived at the mansion, Boo Boo wasn't an official ghost in that he couldn't phase through walls and only cats, psychics and crazy street preachers could see him. According to the leaders of the Ghost Family (two large, mobster-type ghosts who go by the names of Mr. White and Mr. White), Boo Boo couldn't become a full ghost until he had scared at least one person and Ruby's mansion was the house they'd selected for him. But since Boo Boo couldn't go through walls and Doom Kitty was the only one in the house who could see him, his job was next to impossible. However, when Doom Kitty splashed milk on him to reveal his presence, Boo Boo got a slight scare out of Len when he almost splashed milk onto a tablecloth owned by Misery's "great-great-really-great"-grandmother. Apparently, it was enough of a scare for Boo Boo to become a full fledged ghost, since he can now phase through walls and everyone can now see him. After that though, his only real motivation for staying in the mansion has been to torture Scaredy Bat, as he hasn't been able to scare anyone else since. However, Boo Boo enjoys pranking more than he enjoys scaring. Despite this he and Scaredy Bat appear to be close friends.

Mr. Buns

Mr. Buns is a stuffed rabbit that Ruby created from one of her leftover socks. The floppy, yet enigmatic Mr. Buns loves tea cozies and pretty much finds himself in the middle of almost all the action in the mansion. He also has a strange tendency to end up anywhere and everywhere.

Minor characters

Mr. White and Mr. White

These two large ghosts are the mentors and teachers of young Boo Boo in his learning to be a ghost. Distinguished by their glasses and high rank within "The Family", they typically act in a mafia orientated manner (even having their own pasta making skit and Italian music playing in the background), often threatening to take Boo Boo away if he does not complete enough scares or if he is pulling pranks, such as the line "Less Taunt. More Haunt". Noticeably, the Mr. White with the hat is a higher rank than the other Mr. White, who is usually driving their mode of transport.

Squig

A large flying worm that Iris befriended in her travels. Although he is not often seen, he accompanies Iris on all her adventures as both her companion and sometimes her mode of transport. He is about five times as big as Iris, is black and red with patterns down his back, and has a small set of wings at the end of his tail. According to Iris, he can fly because nobody ever told him he can't.

Venus

Another of Iris's many pets, Venus is a venus flytrap. When Venus first appeared, she was very voracious and typically acted as a pet. However, after she ate the heart that Skull Boy made in the episode "Science Fair or Foul", she became much more caring and knowledgeable, eventually becoming a successful writer and being able to speak very eloquently, as seen in the skit "Suspense Writing with...?". Venus speaks with a thick French accent, because the record Iris used to teach her was dictated by a French man.

Mr. Mummbles

Ruby's nextdoor neighbour, Mr. Mummbles[2] lives in a glass house with his pet, a frog named Socrates. Mr. Mummbles received his named from Poe in the episode "Poe-Ranoia", where Poe thought that he was a murderer, and since then the name has stuck. After a revelation that Mr. Mummbles designs and creates amusement park rides, he can be seen in later episodes testing these new rides. His rides are designed to make people happy, sometimes having features that tickle the passengers. Mr. Mummbles also follows the rule "Safety First", however his rides seem to bend in the opposite direction to being safe, which includes massive spirals, gaps and fire on the tracks.

Malady & Malaise

These two sisters are Misery's cousins, who, when both are together, cause a localized ice age. Malady is the one character that is more disease-prone than her cousin, Misery. She apparently suffers from every known disease, ailment, illness, symptom and allergy almost simultaneously, and when asked about them, she runs through all the events and procedures that lead to one injury, which usually lasts hours until the conclusion. Malaise suffers from narcolepsy and can often be seen lying on a couch or bed or even asleep on the floor randomly. She is accompanied by many creatures like a snake, spiders, an octopus, snails and butterflies which usually attach themselves to the full-body veil she wears. Despite their faults, Misery loves her cousins.

The Skele-Tunes

A group of Jazz musicians that befriend Skull Boy (referring to him as "SB"). The band contains four skeletons. The vocalist is the jazzy Skele-T, instantly recognised by his outfit, ear hole rings and gold tooth. The other skeletons each have a different instrument, one with an accordion, one with a tuba and one using his rib cage as a xylophone. They are shown to be "Jokers", disappearing and joking around with Skull Boy. Skele-T does most of the talking, using jazz slang and phrases, such as "You're straight from the fridge daddio" and throwing in skeleton puns like "You fracture me" instead of "You crack me up". When Skull Boy leaves to try and find his roots, Skele-T even invites him to join their band, but he refuses due to a case of homesickness.

Misery's Cousins and Ancestors

In addition to Malady & Malaise, the episode "I'll Be Home For Misery" introduces Misery's other relatives throughout the ages for their "once in a millennium" family reunion. Other cousins besides Malady & Malaise are:

Mayhem - A cavegirl that resembles Misery. It appears that she possesses great physical strength. It is implied that she chased away the dinosaurs, and is very sad that they're gone. She chases Scaredy Bat throughout the episode shouting "Here Birdy, Birdy, Birdy" (despite the fact that she knows his real name and even addresses him by it before at least one of these instances). She is also seen in the episode "Time Flies".

Mildew - A Japanese geisha that resembles Misery. She speaks in respectful tones but clashes the most with Mayhem and Migraine.

Migraine - Arriving on the Titanic, Migraine usually has her arms back yelling "I'm the queen of the world". She also talks like a valley girl and has a Hawaiian flower in her hair. She is also seen in the episode "Time Flies".

Morose - Truly goth, Morose has dyed green/black hair and green and black striped stockings. Very thick streaks of eyeshadow run down her face. She is also a singer who unlike Misery, can sing while awake and performs a song with Frank & Len while playing keyboards. The boys love it until their house falls in around her. One of Morose's only happy moments all episode is here when she said "cool... another verse?". She could actually be Misery's Aunt as Misery calls her name in the episode "Sunny Daze".

Mopey - The optimistic member of Misery's family, she has hair just like Ruby's, which Ruby compliments and Mopey says "Right back atcha".

Motley - Apparently burnt in the great fire of London, Motley has almost no hair left and seems generally singed all over with the bit of remaining hair on fire.

Myopic, Malice & Misbegotten - the triplets are little kids that seem pretty happy for members of the misery family. They dance and laugh around Morose leading Morose to wail "Children, Cheerful, Playful Children... Why?! Why?!"

In addition to these named family members, four others are shown. A relative that resembles Misery in a French Peasant Maid's outfit, another relative in a Medieval Princess gown and pointy hat, one dressed as a 1970's soul sister with a white streak of hair like Frankenstein's bride, and one with white hair in braided pigtails curved up like bullhorns with a spider web in the middle.

The end of the episode suggests that the entire reunion was a dream, so the question remains how many of them are actually Misery cousins (such as Malady, Malaise, Mayhem, etc.) and how many are from Misery's imagination as they just look like Misery in different getups from other episodes (Motley, Mopey, the 1970s Soul Sister, etc.).

Bunny

A pink bunny with red eyes, he pretends to be a cute and loving bunny with a cold, but is really evil. He wanted to steal everything from Ruby's masion, especially Ruby's piggy bank. Doom Kitty was the only one who knew he was evil. Later everyone else finds out this bunny is evil when Doom Kitty cages him and everyone saw their stuff in his carriage, so they kicked him out. What became of him is unknown.

Cast

Episodes

These are the episodes that have currently aired on television. Most of the episodes contain a short skit at the beginning and end of the episodes, "Gloomer Rumor" is the only episode to have no opening skit, but an ending skit.

  • 1. Gloomer Rumor
  • 2. Grounded in Gloomsville           
  • 3. Doom with a View
  • 4. Missing Buns
  • 5. Iris Springs Eternal
  • 6. Science Fair or Foul
  • 7. Poe-Ranoia
  • 8. Unsung Hero
  • 9. Quadro Gloomia
  • 10. Skull Boys Don't Cry
  • 11. Bad Hare Day
  • 12. Happy Yam Ween
  • 13. Ruby Cubed
  • 14. Shaken, Not Scared
  • 15. Once in a Blue Luna
  • 16. Time Flies
  • 17. Lucky Me
  • 18. Misery Loves Company           
  • 19. Sunny Daze
  • 20. Broken Records
  • 21. Gloomates
  • 22. Tooth or Dare
  • 23. Venus de Gloomsville           
  • 24. Seeing Eye to Eyes
  • 25. Name That Toon
  • 26. Skull in the Family
  • 27. Writing on the Wall
  • 28. Déjà Vu - Again
  • 29. Ubergloom
  • 30. Pet Poepulation
  • 31. Hair(Less): The Musical - Part 1
  • 32. Hair(Less): The Musical - Part 2
  • 33. Beat Goes On
  • 34. Out of This World
  • 35. Forget Me Not
  • 36. Frank and Len: Unplugged
  • 37. I'll Be Home For Misery
  • 38. Disaster Becomes You
  • 39. Last Train To Gloomsville: Part 1
  • 40. Last Train To Gloomsville: Part 2

Awards and honors

Ruby Gloom was nominated for a 2007 Gemini Award in the category of "Best Animated Program or Series."[3]

DVD releases

Region 1

Canada - There are 2 DVDs available from Nelvana (in association with the TV station YTV). The DVDs present the episodes in NTSC 1.85:1 (16x9) anamorphic widescreen, with English Dolby Digital 5.1 sound and French Dolby Digital 2.0 sound. There are no subtitles or closed captions. The opening title sequence on the DVDs is the full version, and not the trimmed version that airs on YTV.

The DVDs in release order are:

Ruby Gloom: Grounded in Gloomsville - Contains the first 4 episodes of the series (as listed above), along with a behind-the-scenes special feature showing the voice recording of the "Ruby Gloom Musical" (the Hair(Less): The Musical episodes).
Ruby Gloom: Misery Loves Company - Contains the episodes "Iris Springs Eternal," "Poe-ranoia," "Skull Boys Don't Cry," and "Misery Loves Company," with no extra special features.

Following this, a third DVD entitled Ruby Gloom: Pet Poepulation was scheduled for release on June 9, 2009[citation needed], but never became available.

Brazil - In Brazil the first and second season of the show were released in 2 DVD box sets. Both in NTSC 1.85:1 16X9 widescreen format, with Portuguese and English Dolby Digital 5.1 sound and English subtitles. The Opening sequence is the trimmed version that airs on most TV channels like YTV.

The box sets are:

"Ruby Gloom: Full season 1" - Contains the first season with 20 episodes.

"Ruby Gloom: Full season 2" - Contains the second season with 20 episodes.

Neither box set has any special features.

Region 2

France - Ruby Gloom: 1 is available from France Télévisions Distribution (in association with the TV station France 3) and contains the first 6 episodes of the series (as listed above). The episodes are presented in PAL 1.33:1 (4x3) full screen (the sides of the widescreen image are cut to create the full screen ratio, also known as pan and scan) with French Dolby Digital 2.0 sound.

Germany - There are 2 DVDs available from SPV GmbH (in association with the TV station Super RTL) containing the first 8 episodes of the series (as listed above), with each DVD consisting of four episodes. The episodes are presented in PAL 1.33:1 (4x3) full screen (the sides of the widescreen image are cut to create the full screen ratio, also known as pan and scan) with German Dolby Digital 2.0 sound.

Japan - A DVD box set entitled Ruby Gloom's Bible is available from Sony Music Entertainment and contains 20 of the series' first 24 episodes (as listed above) in random order on 5 DVDs. The episodes are presented in NTSC 1.85:1 widescreen with Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 sound.

Region 4

Australia - There are 4 DVD volumes available from Magna Pacific containing the first 16 episodes of the series (as listed above), with each volume consisting of 4 episodes. The episodes are presented in PAL 1.33:1 (4x3) full screen (the sides of the widescreen image are cut to create the full screen ratio, also known as pan and scan) with English Dolby Digital 2.0 sound.

Books

  • Ruby Gloom Midnight Mystery
    • Ruby and her friends wake up and find that the mansion's kitchen has be ransacked and there's not a crumb left to eat. Everyone loves a late night snack but someone has gone too far! All the friends swear that they are innocent, but someone or something must be responsible. Can Ruby and her friends solve this midnight mystery?
  • Ruby Gloom Moon Over Gloomsville
    • Ruby and her friends hear that an upcoming lunar eclipse will temporarily alter their personalities, and they go camping to see what will happen. Sure enough, the eclipse makes them act very strangely. It’s all fun until Doom Kitty disappears and the gang realize they are being chased by a monster. Will they find Doom Kitty before the monster finds them?
  • Ruby Gloom Staged Fright
    • On a rainy day in Gloomsville, Ruby and her friends decide to put on a talent show. But the show can't go on when Skull Boy's magic trick actually makes Scaredy Bat disappear. Can the gang find a way to bring Scaredy Bat back or will he be lost forever?
  • Ruby Gloom Visitors Welcome
    • When Ruby and her friends hear a radio news report about aliens landing in Gloomsville, Ruby is certain that the aliens will be friendly and organizes a welcome party. But Ruby's friends aren't so sure. Will the aliens' arrival be cause to panic...or party?
  • Ruby Gloom's Keys to Happiness
    • In this book, which contains 17 lessons for life, Ruby explains that she looks on the bright side of things; even if it is actually a dark side.
  • Ruby Gloom's Guide to Friendship
    • While Ruby's comfortable being alone, her friends mean the world to her. In Ruby Gloom's Guide to Friendship, Ruby introduces her many strange pals: Skull Boy, Doom Kitty, Scaredy Bat, and more. She offers many tips for making and keeping friends.

Miscellany

  • "Gloomer Rumor" is the only episode without an opening sketch.
  • In the episode "Frank and Len: Unplugged", it is revealed that Frank and Len have had the tattoo on their chest since they were babies.
  • In the episode "Disaster becomes you", Misery reveals that all the men in her family died in quicksand, except for one who is suggested to be her father[citation needed].
  • The mansion's doorbell sound effect is the same sound effect used for Beetlejuice's house's doorbell in the animated series Beetlejuice (another connection between the two is that Robin Budd was the director of both shows).
  • Siren is a song performed by Nana Kitade. This was used for the theme song of the Japanese release of Ruby Gloom.
  • Ruby Gloom was originally created by Martin Hsu and sold to Nelvana[citation needed].

References

  1. ^ YTV
  2. ^ Ruby Gloom Skit: "The Mr. Mummbles How-to Show"
  3. ^ Gemini Awards website

External links


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