Henry’s Cat (CBBC, 1983-1993)
This is a look back at yet another cartoon that I enjoyed watching on CBBC in the afternoon. Henry’s Cat was a show with a rather scruffy but distinctive style which looked like it had been drawn with a few felt-tip pens, and featured some animals that were rather unusual colours in a similar style to Roobarb And Custard (indeed, it was made by the same production company).
All of the voices of the characters were provided Bob Godfrey who was also the director, and the opening sequence (that changed a few times over the series) included a parody of the MGM lion and Henry’s Cat up a ladder with some paint. There were also a few different opening themes, but they all usually featured a rather eerie “meeow” sound, and the closing sequence also changed a few times.
Henry’s Cat (we never actually get to meet Henry in any of the episodes) was a yellow cat who was something of a daydreamer, and he liked to watch television in his favourite chair. He had a rather laid-back attitude to life, and he often liked to imagine himself in various unusual situations such as appearing on the TV shows or adverts that he watched. He was also rather fond of his food, and would eat anything that he could get hold of. It was always enjoyable to enter his rather wonky animated world.
One of his friends was Chris Rabbit (what a great name), a blue rabbit who was much more lively and excitable than Henry’s Cat and he often got caught up in the adventures. We also occasionally met a few other characters including Mosey Mouse and Pansy Pig. There would be five series of Henry’s Cat, the first two had episodes that were five minutes long, and the final three were extended to 15 minutes, for even more feline fun that entered ever more bizarre areas, including travelling back in time, and trying to make lots of money.
There were over 50 episodes made of Henry’s Cat and they were shown on CBBC in various timeslots until 1994, and after that it went on to be repeated on The Children’s Channel and Nick Jr. Unsurprisingly, just like almost all of the other children’s cartoons that I’ve reviewed, some episodes were released on VHS, along with some on DVD in more recent years. There have also been plenty of books and annuals, although I don’t have any of those.