1st February 2015: Jacques Bodoin – Le Manège enchanté

Language – French

Translation – The Magic Roundabout

I bought an E.P. (somewhere in France!) with this beautiful French version of the theme to The Magic Roundabout on it.  The only video that I could find that contains the same song starts off with what us British kids would recognise as the theme tune, but then has a French version sung by Jacques Bodoin.  While researching on YouTube to find the same track I have, it seems that the French theme tune was actually different to this – see below:

I am not sure if the French theme tune was changed at a later stage, or if it was always different to the one we recognise.  However, it is interesting to know that ‘The Magic Roundabout’ was actually a French show created by Serge Danot, that was acquired by the BBC in the mid-60s. Depending on who you believe, the show the BBC obtained did not include the original French scripts, so Eric Thompson wrote new scripts based on his interpretation of what was happening just from watching the animations.  The French version was apparently a political satire.  Our version…wasn’t.

I would like to suggest to those of you who like ‘The Magic Roundabout’ that you may enjoy watching ‘Dougal and The Blue Cat’ (this was called ‘Pollux et le chat bleu’ in France).  This is a rather scary and psychedelic story of a blue cat called Buxton who works for the Blue Voice, a being who wants to take over the garden.  The cat ingratiates himself with all the characters (apart from Dougal, who is far too sensible to be taken in by a mere feline), but in a very freaky, hypnotic and psychedelic kind of way.  I shall say no more, so as not to spoil the ending.  Below is an excerpt from the film that shows what a megalomaniac the blue cat is.  To be fair, he is a great pianist.  In what is an election year, I think we should watch this, learn, and be very wary…


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