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5.0 out of 5 stars I'm a very friendly lion..., 20 Nov 2013
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This review is from: The Herbs/Parsley The Lion - Complete Collection [1968] [DVD] (DVD)
Yes, I could have said "Herbidacious" as the title, but you'd be expecting that! At least you would if you had seen the series.

Ivor Wood had left Serge Danot's company in the late 1960s and had headed for blighty to try his hand at doing his own thing. He ended up in a concern called FilmFair which did animation for the BBC and the various ITV companies during the 1970s and while there he was involved in creating a group of characters called The Herbs. In some ways you could certainly compare The Herbs with the regulars in Le Menage Enchante (Magic Roundabout to you!) but there were plenty of differences. One thing they certainly had in common was the bit of children's TV that they did just before the early evening news, a slot that made Dougal and company famous and was destined to do the same for Parsley the Lion and Dill the Dog as FilmFair created a spinoff from The Herbs called The Adventures of Parsley.

The Herbs was a series of thirteen episodes created for showing as part of the BBC "Watch with Mother" segment shown on BBC 1 at about 1.30pm on weekdays. First appearing in 1969 and continuing to be shown on and off for many years, the main foil for the series was Parsley, the Friendly Lion. He was often the first character to pop up at the start of the show and often the one that closed the door to the walled garden where the various herbs lived at the end of the show. The characters were meant to be characatures of various herbs - hence Parsley's green mane that looked a little like the herb of the same name - including herbs such as Dill (a rather hyperactive dog), Sir Basil (the often absent minded king of the herbs), Lady Rosemary (Sir Basil's other half) and Bayleaf (a typical country gentleman gardener). Each character had a signature song which would often be sung on arrival and at various points after.

Some characters have not dated well in the series. It should be remembered that social values were somewhat different back then so if you are offended by characatures such as Pashana Bedhi (a typical Indian characature of the time, right down to the snake charming, curry cooking and sleeping on beds of nails, all in a loin cloth and turban) then this might be a series to avoid.

The Adventures of Parsley differs from the original series in that the various animal herbs - Parsley, Dill and Sage the Owl - all talk. In fact a lot of the show depends on the interplay between Parsley and Dill with side references to the other herbs with jokes that were a little more subtle than the original series. Actually there are a lot of similarities between Parsley and Eric Thompson's version of Dougal from the Magic Roundabout. Which is where we came in, methinks.

No, I don't know who "Cookie Jar Inc." is, nor do I care, but this is another blast from the past that I decided to enjoy. And enjoy it I did!
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