Mr Bean The Animated Series (CITV, 2002-2004, 2015-2019)
This month is the 30th anniversary of the launch of Mr Bean, the almost dialogue-free comedy starring Rowan Atkinson. Even though only 14 editions were made, it became a very popular show, being repeated rather frequently, winning lots of awards, and becoming a big success around the world. I remember being a big fan in the 90s. After the series ended, two films were made, along with some adverts, but viewers still wanted more.
So the decision was made to bring back the bumbling character in a different format. In 2002 Mr Bean was return, although this time it was a cartoon. Atkinson himself also returned to provide the voice (although this consisted of little more than a few grunts and groans, although it did add to the show of course). Also appearing was Mr Bean’s teddy who he was very fond of.
The cartoon simply carried on from where the original version left off, with Mr Bean getting himself into lots of bizarre situations. He also liked to drive around in his car, or simply cause chaos at home instead. If there was ever a problem, he’d find the most unusual way to solve it. There were a few other regular characters, including Mr Bean’s long-suffering girlfriend, and Mrs Wicket the rather elderly and grumpy landlady along with her cat Scrapper (who weren’t in the original version).
52 episodes were made for the original run that were all about 11 minutes long, and such was the confidence in them, that was well as being shown as part of the main CITV afternoon strand, some episodes were also shown during ITV1’s Saturday Night schedule. There were also some episodes released on DVD, along with a PlayStation 2 game, and I do have that one.
I don’t watch that much of the CITV Channel nowadays, but when I did during some channel hopping, I noticed that the cartoon version was still being shown rather frequently, which I thought was rather odd as it was well over a decade old by this point. It wasn’t until recently that I discovered that a second wave of cartoon stories had been made within the past few years.
This means that there had been over a gap of a decade between series. Atkinson returned once again to provide Mr Bean’s voice, these episodes contained slightly more dialogue than the original run, and there were another 78 episodes made that contained all of the usual silliness. As well as CITV, these have been shown on other children’s channels too. Also, at the end while the credits ran, Mr Bean did a silly dance, and you can’t end a show much better than that really.