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Willo the Wisp
||Nick Spargo (1981 series)
Bobby Spargo (2005 series)
||Kenneth Williams (1981 series)
|Country of origin
|No. of seasons
|No. of episodes
||Nicholas Cartoon Films
Playhouse Disney (2005 series)
Willo the Wisp is a British cartoon series originally
produced in 1981.
In the first series, Kenneth Williams provided voices for
all of the characters, which included these main characters:
- Willo the Wisp, the narrator. A blue floating ghost-like creature, Willo had a long pointed
nose which caricatured
that of Williams.
- Arthur the caterpillar (as a gruff cockney).
- Mavis Cruet, a plump clumsy fairy with erratic magical powers.
- Evil Edna, a witch in the form of a walking, talking television set who could
zap people with her aerials.
- Carwash, a snooty bespectacled cat with a character based on
- The Moog, a supposed "dog" who is unable to think for
- Twit, a small bird.
- The Beast, who began life as a dim prince, who can't pronounce the letter r
correctly, before an unfortunate encounter with Edna ended up with
his transformation into a hairy shambling creature. In this
encounter, he crashed into Edna on his bicycle and called her,
"Very dangerous. And what a wotten progwamme." Edna replied, "I'll
'wotten-progwamme' him!" and transformed him into The Beast.
Other recurring characters include:
- Gnomes, one of them of whom Mavis takes a
- The Astrognats, explorers of space with a
- The Bookworm, a very clever, intelligent worm
who eats facts from books as a source of knowledge.
- A regiment of toy soldiers.
- A bat.
The series was written and directed by Nick Spargo and produced
by Nicholas Cartoon Films in association with the BBC and Tellytales Enterprises. The character of
Willo the Wisp originated in an educational animation created by
Nick Spargo for British
Gas in 1975 and the stories were set in Doyley Woods, a small
beech wood in Oxfordshire, near the director's home.
Each of the 26 episodes lasted approximately 5 minutes and were
broadcast at 5.35 in the evening on BBC1. The series was repeated on Channel 4 during the early
90s and satellite channel Sky Kids in 1989 before Channel 4.
- The Voices of: Kenneth Williams
- Music by: Tony Kinsey
- Script and Direction: Nicholas Spargo
- Animation: Ron Murdoch, Ted Percival, Mike
- Devised and Designed by: Nick Spargo
- Editor: Michael Crane
- Backgrounds: Mary Spargo
- Camera: Chris King
- Production Assistant: Andrea Fontaine
- Trace & Paint: Lynne & Ian Sachs
- Produced by: Nicholas Cartoon Films Ltd
- Processed by: Rank Film Laboratories Ltd
A second series of 26 episodes (5 minutes each) was produced by
Bobby Spargo in 2005, and voiced by James Dreyfus. Although it maintains the
style of the original, alterations include:
- Willo no longer being a caricature of Williams.
- Mavis being slimmer (although still too heavy to fly).
- Evil Edna being a widescreen television, with a wheeled stand
instead of the original's metal legs.
The second series aired on Playhouse
Disney in the UK.