Cosgrove Hall Ate My Brain
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Victor, Hugo and Interpoll

The comic misadventures of notorious French brothers and partners in crime, Victor and Hugo. No crime is too big or too small for them to take on – or mess up.

Comments

This show marked the end of an era at Cosgrove Hall. It was the last cel-animated production before the big Thames collapse and company revamp, and the final project to feature the voices of CH stalwart Brian Trueman and cuddly TV munchkin David Jason. It also featured many guest appearances from other Cosgrove Hall characters, a common practise in comics, but an unusual step for a cartoon. I could speculate that the makers thought the show couldn't stand on its own and needed these popular, established characters to attract viewers... but heck, what do I know.Is there a doctor in the house? So, was it actually any good? Well basically, most people either really loved it or really hated it. I can't deny it suffered from uninspired writing in places, and was a step down from its predecessor Count Duckula in terms of style. But it did have eye-pleasing character designs, great animation (most of the time), and taught viewers how to call someone a rotter in French. Who says cartoons aren't educational? Oh, and it seems to be wildly popular in Australia (insert your own Australians/criminals joke here.)

Unfortunately, Victor & Hugo was aired at a time when Children's ITV was undergoing an anti-cartoon change of guard, and none of the 30 episodes were ever, to my knowledge, shown more than once on British TV. For this reason, it's probably the most forgotten of the CH shows. I wonder if someone could start a campaign to get it repeated on Cable? Still, it's nice to think that there must be many older teenagers in Britain right now who think of short Frenchmen whenever anyone finishes a sentence with "that's what I think, anyway", but don't quite know why...

Origins

A section exclusive to this show, just because I have some neat pictoral evidence to back it up. If you've read the Duckula page, you'll know that Victor and Hugo were developed from two guest villains in Count Duckula named Gaston and Pierre. They first showed up in the episode "The Hunchbudgie of Notre Dame", in which they sold the Eiffel Tower to Nanny and attempted to steal the Mona Lisa. (They were obviously more ambitious back then.) Many of the actions and phrases associated with V&H were established, from Gaston's habit of shoving Pierre's beret in his mouth to shut him up, to the oft-repeated "Yes, and no. But mainly, no." line. Take a look at these layout drawings to see how the characters changed visually:

1)Gaston and Pierre

2)Victor and Hugo

If you're wondering about the beaks, it's because all the characters in Count Duckula were humanized birds. Making V&H into real humans would be entirely logical, except for the fact that they live in a world inhabited entirely by animal and bird people. I can only guess this was to allow for the aforementioned gratuitious guest appearances by other non-human Cosgrove Hall characters. Additional characters, such as Interpoll, were created specifically for this show.

Links

  • Becky is *almost* as much of an animation nut as I am, and what's more she's a Cosgrove Hall fan as well. The Cosgrove Hall section of her site, Toon Talents, has some pics and info on Victor and Hugo, amongst other things. Hooray!
  • For those of you who like the theme music to Victor & Hugo (what are you thinking??), Wavethemes.org claims to have both the opening and ending. I don't know how long it takes to get your request from the site owner, though. He seems to have other Cosgrove Hall themes too, so it's worth taking a good look around.

Credits

Voices
Victor: Jimmy Hibbert
Hugo, Interpoll, Meccaneaux: David Jason
Various: Brian Trueman
Additional voices: Edward Kelsey
Writers: Brian Trueman, Jimmy Hibbert

Music: David Roylance
Animation Directors: Willard Kitchen, Jean Flynn, John Offord
Director: Brian Cosgrove
Producers: Mark Hall and Brian Cosgrove
Executive Producer: John Hambley

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An unofficial Cosgrove Hall site, made by a fan for fans. All characters and images copyright and TM Fremantle Media and Cosgrove Hall Films Ltd. Used without permission. This is a non-commercial resource.
All opinions expressed on this site came out of my head and not from the studio.