YTV (ended 1997)


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Rupert the Bear was a popular show in the early and mid-nineties. However, the Rupert craze actually began in 1920. When the common British newspaper, "The Daily Express", realized that to actually compete with rival newspapers they would need a children's comic. The owner of the paper, Lord Beaverbrook consulted one of his chief editors, R.D. Blumenfield, about this issue. Blumenfield was having a difficult time devising an appropriate character that would be entertaining for the children yet proper enough to please their parents. One day Blumenfield approached another one of the newspaper's prominent editors, Henry Toutel about his dilemma. Toutel informed Blumenfield that his wife was a relatively well-known cartoonist and children's book writer. Henry told his wife, Mary, about the cartoon project. She was able to create the ideal character for the cartoon, so the "Daily Express" offered her the job of creating the comic. Mary excitedly accepted the offer. The first Rupert comic, titled "The Adventures of a Little, Lost Bear" premiered on November 8, 1920. The cartoon consisted of two drawings with a brief caption beneath them. Mary continued to be the sole creator of the cartoon until 1935, when her eyesight began to fail. At that point Alfred Bestall was appointed as Mary's substitute. His term was to be six weeks, but he crafted the cartoon so excellently, that he was given a permanent position. In 1936 the first of an ongoing annual collection of "The Adventures of a Little, Lost Bear" was published in book form. Bestall continued his role as comic artist and writer until his retirement in 1965, thirty years after he took the temporary job. After Bestall's retirement several other local artists replaced him. Even today Rupert's cartoon is being published daily in the "Daily Express". In 1991, an animated series based on the Rupert, the lead character in "The Adventures of a Little, Lost Bear" was released. The television series had slight variations from the comic, and the series was called "The Adventures of Rupert the Bear" was created. This series focused on the life and trials of young bear named, Rupert. Rupert lived in a magical village with his friends and family. Every episode featured one of Rupert's whimsical adventures. The series was a huge hit in Britain because it was much like the comic, except now Rupert was able to reach a wider audience by way of television. Later, Rupert was shown in the United States on Nickelodeon. The series ceased production in 1997, and is no longer aired in the United States, but it is still very popular in England. Rupert and his friends are positive role models for children, so I am certain that they will continue to reach large audiences through television. Here are a few GREAT Rupert the Bear links:

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