We may be privileged visitors to the Herbs World but,like all guests,we're eventually shown the door.
And every episode ends with Parsley waving us goodbye and the gate closing.
We then cut to a simple series of one shot credit captions that are pinned on to it.
Job done !
All the credit captions are just still photos,exactly like the one to the right,which is the last to appear.
Unfortunately,even on the current best dvd footage they're far from pin sharp.
So,there's not much to be gained by including them all here.
But that would leave the production team un-credited on this page.
So,to the right,is exactly what appears on those caption cards.
And in exactly the same order.
What's really incredible is just how small a team it actually was.
And it's "incredible" because if animation man-hours were translated into
crew numbers then the credits should be longer than a James Bond film !
On this page ..... We have a look at the opening and closing title sequences for both shows.
The Herbs and The Adventures of Parsley
The script always varied from episode to episode,in order to set the scene for what you were about to see.With only the herbs relevant to that particular story popping up from the ground.And always written obliquely enough to hook you in without completely giving the game away.
A very useful narrative device when there was a lot to cram in to just 15 minutes.
The last line of the above example shows it was taken from episode 1.
Footnote:- In the "Birthday Party" episode they actually needed 2 pics to show all the plants,because it was the only one where all the characters appeared together in the same episode.
As Gordon helpfully explained ....
"It isn't often we get the chance to see all the Herbs together. Only on very special occasions like today ...."
The Adventures of Parsley Opening Titles
Do you know what a herb is ? (Each one emerges from the soil with a "ping")
Parsley is a herb. Basil is a herb too. So is Rosemary
There are hundreds and hundreds of different kinds.
Big ones,small ones. Nice ones,and ones which aren't quite so nice.
Sage is a herb,and so is Bayleaf.
Long ago,people believed herbs had some kind of magic power.Some people believe it still.
I know a secret herb garden behind that door, where all sorts of strange things happen.
I have to say a magic word, 'H e r b i d a c i o u s'. (Cue the door magically opening,and in we go)
There. It's very quiet and peaceful. Mind you,it isn't always like this.
Take the case of Parsley's Tail.........." And we're into the story.
Listen to the theme tune and opening monlogue here .................................................
The above sequence lasts a mere 15 seconds or so.
But,even allowing for that,I'm not sure they'd get away with anything quite so aesthetically sparse these days.
Especially considering it was multi-use,stock footage,that could easily have justified the extra time and effort spent dressing it up a bit.
These programmes were only five minutes long as opposed to fifteen minutes for The Herbs.
So there was no time to waste on the opening & closing sequences.
So all we get is a shot of Parsley ripping off the famous MGM film ident. [ Dill fills in for some episodes ]
Accompanied by an inocuous little tune,he moves his head about a bit and does some roaring.
Then the 1st caption rapidly heads towards him to the sound of a creeky door closing.And he makes a
hasty retreat accompanied by cartoon-like crash-bang-wallop noises as he hits the deck sight unseen.
And then the 2nd and last "by Michael Bond" caption appears. And .... job done !
The Adventures of Parsley Closing Titles
About 15 seconds for the opening sequence,and for the closing sequence ?
About 7. Yes,seven.
No time to mess around then.So it's the same idea as above,only shorter,with just the production company credited.
And that's that. Thankyou and good night.
Although,before I turn out the light,I should just say that it was indeed the same team who worked on The Herbs.
The theme tune music plays as the cherub on the right slowly rotates round to reveal a label covering his modesty with "The Herbs" written on it,which flies off,hits the wall and falls to the ground.Where it quickly buries itself and re-emerges as a plant label with the particular herb concerned .... and the label we always see first in every episode is Parsley.
The music fades and we get the first words of narrator,Gordon Rollings .... the only voice you ever hear in both series.
Puppets by Ivor Wood
Music by Tony Russell
Lyrics by Brenda Johnson
Story Teller Gordon Rollings
Decor Rafael Esteve
Assistant animator Claude Copin
Directed by Ivor Wood
Creative Co-ordinator Norman James
Produced by Filmfair London
Executive Producer Graham Clutterbuck