Template:Infobox television Bob the Builder is a British children's animated television show created by Keith Chapman. In the original series, Bob appears as a building contractor specialising in masonry in a stop motion animated programme with his colleague Wendy, various neighbours and friends, and their gang of anthropomorphised work-vehicles and equipment. The show is broadcast in many countries, but originates from the United Kingdom where Bob is voiced by English actor Neil Morrissey. The show was later created using CGI animation starting with the spin-off series Ready, Steady, Build!.
In each episode, Bob and his group help with renovations, construction, and repairs and with other projects as needed. The show emphasises conflict resolution, co-operation, socialisation and various learning skills. Bob's catchphrase is "Can we fix it?", to which the other characters respond with "Yes we can!" This phrase is also the title of the show's theme song, which was a million-selling number one hit in the UK.
In October 2014, Bob the Builder was revamped by Mattel for a new series to be aired on Channel 5's Milkshake! in 2015. Amongst the changes were a complete overhaul of the cast, with Harry Potter actor Lee Ingleby replacing Neil Morrissey as the voice of Bob, and Joanne Froggatt and Blake Harrison were also confirmed as the voices of Wendy and Scoop respectively. The setting and appearance of the characters also changed, with Bob and his team moving to the bustling metropolis of Spring City. An American localisation of the new series debuted on PBS Kids in November 2015. The changes have been censured by fans of the original version.
Bob the Builder was nominated in the BAFTA "Pre-school animation" category from 1999 to 2009, and won the "Children's Animation" category in 2003 for the special episode "A Christmas to Remember". Of the show's success, Sarah Ball said:
Bob was also parodied on Cartoon Network's MAD in the episode "S'UP / Mouse M.D." In the episode when Mickey Mouse portrays Gregory House he goes to perform surgery on Bob who smashed his thumb asking similar to his famous catchphrase "Can we fix it?" Mickey then replies no and orders for it to be amputated. He later appears in another episode when Bob interacts with Manny from Handy Manny after they get into a fender bender and get into an argument with Bob saying "Stop copying my show!" He leaves then someone tells Manny he just got built. In another episode, "Kung Fu Blander / Destroy Bob the Builder Destroy", Mad parodies Bob the Builder and Destroy Build Destroy. In the episode, Andrew W.K. of Destroy Build Destroy, is portrayed as being a jerk towards Bob. Andrew destroys everything Bob builds. In the end, Bob transforms his construction vehicles into Build-Tron (a parody of Voltron). A New Yorker cartoon shows a parent in a toy store asking for toys depicting Alex the Architect, supposedly a white-collar equivalent to Bob the Builder.
Some have complained about technical errors and lack of proper safety practices in the programme, especially the absence of protective eyewear. However, in later episodes, Bob is seen using safety glasses.
- Main article: List of Bob the Builder characters
Various companies manufacture licensed Bob the Builder merchandise (e.g.: Brio, Lego Duplo, Hasbro, Learning Curve, etc.) since about 1999 to present. Sometimes some fans make fan-made merchandise for the television show, such as racing games that aren't related to the show.
Lego began manufacturing licensed Duplo Bob the Builder sets in 2001. Lego Explorer also made the sets using the same bricks that Duplo used (e.g. Naughty Spud, Wallpaper Wendy, etc.). The sets were aimed at younger children, two and up. Duplo manufactured the sets (e.g. Scoop at Bobland Bay, Muck Can Do It, etc.) until 2009 when Lego's contract expired.
Hasbro created licensed Bob the Builder characters. They included talking characters and others to go with the Bob the Builder line. The Hasbro line was discontinued in 2005 when Learning Curve took the chance to take over.
Learning Curve among countless others held a license to make the toys, but discontinued them. They first merchandised their Bob the Builder products in 2005 after the Hasbro range was discontinued. Learning Curve also created the Thomas and Friends characters, while the company still makes the sets (e.g. Scoop, Muck, Lofty, Dizzy, andys trailer etc.) and then sold them to stores. They discontinued them in 2010 and it is unknown if they could ever return to making them. The toys are currently available in the United Kingdom by Character Options.
In 2012, Character World announced that they had signed a license to manufacture official Bob the Builder bedding and bedroom textiles. A duvet cover is said to be available in the UK in late 2012.
Various companies released the Bob the Builder games.
- Fix it Fun! (Game Boy Color, NTSC/PAL) – 2000
- Can We Fix It? (PC, PS1, NTSC/PAL) – 2001
- Bob Builds a Park (PC, NTSC/PAL) – 2002
- Bob's Castle Adventure (PC, NTSC/PAL) – 2003
- Project: Build It (PS2, PAL only) – 2005
- Bob the Builder: Can-Do-Zoo (PC, NTSC/PAL) – 2008
- Festival of Fun! (PS2, Wii, Nintendo DS, PAL only) – 2009