Home > Fantasy >


Ruddigore (1967)

April. 01,1967
| Fantasy Animation Comedy

For centuries, the Murgatroyd family, the Baronets of Ruddigore, have been under a witch's curse — commit a crime every day, or die in agony. Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd, the rightful heir, has run away to live as innocent peasant Robin Oakapple in the Cornish village of Rederring, sticking his brother Despard with the curse. But on the very day that "Robin" is to marry sweet, beautiful Rose Maybud, it all falls apart. Can Sir Ruthven outwit a picture gallery full of his ancestors' ghosts to save the day?


Watch Trailer


Similar titles



The animated medium frees this lesser-known G&S comic-opera from the limitations of the theatrical setting to successfully emphasize the supernatural and Gothic elements of the narrative.All these talk about handing out pardon to sneaks, swindlers, ciphers, scums, snakes, scoundrels, scalawags, zeroes, scorpions, scapegraces, psychopaths, sociopaths, and sissies as easy as giving away candies to kids... (Spooky!)It's the Animaniacs (1993) series that introduced me to the music of G&S (Animaniacs reboot, btw, woohoo!) and yes, The Simpsons (1989), who could forget that Cape Feare (1993) episode. This movie, on the other hand, is animation artistry that showcases, yet again, the genius of that well-beloved British duo to the public.The Halas-Batchelor production company's animation, notable for their adaptation of Orwell's Animal Farm (1954)), successfully manages to cram the whole operetta in barely an hour running time which makes for a very effective appetizer if one is to start devouring the G&S repertoire. Splendid earworm-ish tunes. The 2D-animation gives a lighter tone to a work that explores grim themes. It does hold well with the current 21st-century animation output that's known for having their own oblique and grotesque style. A worthy watch during the Halloween season, complete with a whole gallery of ghosts and all.In all the appeal the animation genre brings to this work comes a bit of caveat (that is, of course, only for those unacquainted with the material). The problem with this musical is for it being animated, it does explore the logic (or non-logic) surrounding the issue of suicide. Some people's sensibilities might find this distressing. (But it's Gilbert and Sullivan!) And having Richard Dauntless getting into a seven-to-one ratio action with the bridesmaids:Such lopsided pairing... :-J or (>_<) or :( Definitely not with the #metoo and #timesup movement going around these days and all.But I'm confident kids who are matured enough would manage to pull through such talk by themselves. So, this is definitely a PG-rated cartoon that's sort of a sugar-coated bitter pill, a bitter medication that any human needs to consume, regardless of age. "This particularly vapid talk from an irrelevant rater Isn't much consequential, if it is it really doesn't matter. If it is it really doesn't matter If it is it really doesn't matter If it is it really doesn't matter, matter, matter, matter, matter--" (Basingstoke!)B-plus, it is.

Richard Chatten

The husband & wife animating team of John Halas & Joy Batchelor's first feature-length production since 'Animal Farm' in 1954 was intended to be shown on American television after a short theatrical run, hence its short running time; with the result that almost as soon as one has settled into it it's over!.Less technically elaborate than 'Animal Farm' (never mind Disney - compare 'Ghosts' High Noon' with 'Night on Bare Mountain' over a quarter of a century earlier in 'Fantasia'!), but with an authentic D'Oyly Carte soundtrack it washes over you pleasantly and the score is now firmly embedded in my head for the time being as I write this!


'Ruddigore' is not one of Gilbert and Sullivan's best operettas on the whole, 'The Pirates of Penzance', 'HMS Pinafore' and 'The Mikado' to me are more memorable, cleverer, wittier, funnier and more imaginative.This said, 'Ruddigore' (silly story and all and being occasionally cartoony) is very enjoyable regardless still, Gilbert's lyrics and writing on the most part still entertain, it is very easy to dig the ghosts scene and Sullivan's music as always is sublime. The critical indifference that 'Ruddigore' got at the time and that it's not often performed now (quite the contrary) is a shame and not deserving.When first hearing of this animated adaptation, there was the thought would it work as a very abridged treatment and animated. Further adding to the worry was remembering how dreadfully the animated adaptation of 'The Mikado' named 'The Gentlemen of Titipu', not just the worst 'Mikado' ever but the worst ever treatment of any of Gilbert and Sullivan's work, turned out, and fearing that it would be the same. The good news is this animated adaptation of 'Ruddigore' was surprisingly good, and it is absolutely agreed that it is enormously improved on 'The Gentlemen of Titipu' (then again almost anything is better than that).It's not completely ideal. At just over fifty minutes, it does feel too short and sometimes a bit jumpy as a result of being heavily cut. Meaning that some of the storytelling is flimsier, the characters not as rich and that we lose a lot of Sullivan's music. The animation quality is mixed, though mostly quite good for the time. The colours are lovely (though with the odd flat one) and the backgrounds stylised but meticulous and sometimes magical in detail, but some of the drawing for the characters veer on the rough and scrappy side. The ghosts scene comes off best.On the other hand, it is wonderful musically and played and performed with a lot of liveliness and nuance, as well as alertly and sympathetically conducted. Hearing voices experienced, actually specialised, in G&S was of great interest value on paper and comes over marvellously here and one really couldn't have it any other way. John Reed and Donald Adams stand out.Gilbert's writing is still funny, like with Sullivan's music one wishes that there was more. The story is told with a lot of energy and charm, with a little silliness but never going overboard while not taking things too seriously, but still treating everything with intelligence and respect. The characters while more interesting in the operetta itself, are still fun.In conclusion, surprisingly good. Not completely ideal but for an animated adaptation of G&S when shortened and abridged this is the best you'll get most likely. 7/10 Bethany Cox


I'm going by long-ago memory here, but I recall this as an excellent child's introduction to Gilbert and Sullivan. The story line follows the Operetta by Gilbert and Sullivan. It has a hero, who has inherited a the title of Baron, a heroine, an innocent young lass of the town, a best friend, a brave young sailor, a mysterious curse, and the music wasn't bad either. I remember the animation as distinctive and of middling quality for the time, but by today's standards it would be considered quite good and uniquely uncomputerized. There is more below the surface here, Gilbert penned gentle comedies of manners, so while an entertainment, the tale is a window into the Victorian world. And it is a window into opera, at least it was for me.