On this page ..... We have a look at the opening and closing title sequences for both shows.
The Herbs and The Adventures of Parsley Classic BBC kid's animation by Michael Bond
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.Always written obliquely enough to hook you in without completely giving the game away.And 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 Herbs Closing Title Sequence.
The Adventures of Parsley Opening Title Sequence
The Adventures of Parsley Closing Title Sequence
The music fades and we get the first words of narrator,Gordon Rollings.......
"Do you know what a herb is ? (Each 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.
The theme tune and opening monlogue are here in MP3 format ..................................
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.
But that would leave the production team un-credited.
So I've mocked-up a little scrolling presentation of my own......which will hopefully work with your system browser.If not,my apologies.Particularly as the very least they deserve is a looped epitaph in my humble opinion !
Anyhow,presentation aside,no liberties are taken with the details as they mirror exactly what appears on the actual caption cards and they're also listed in exactly the same order.And what they do serve to highlight is just how small a team there was.Incredible really.And if animation man-hours were translated into crew numbers then these types of programmes would have credits longer than your average James Bond film.
All that sequence was on screen for a mere 15 seconds or so.
And whilst it's undeniably true that there isn't a whole lot you can do in 15 seconds,I'm not entirely sure they'd get away with anything quite so aesthetically sparse these days.And when you compare it to the rich colours and textures of the actual set design it does seem odd that they didn't at least dress the caption up a bit -particularly as it was multi-use,stock footage.
Then again,I can't remember the last time my enjoyment of a chocolate bar was spoilt by any soul-searching over the wrapper design.Although we all like a bit of eye candy,even if it's just on a subconscious level.
For the record,it was indeed the same team who worked on The Herbs.And it's also true that most people watching obviously wouldn't have cared anyhow. But if you were one of them (or their mum),I reckon you'd have a right to be pretty cheesed off.
All that hard work and not even a name check.
In the States they can whizz a whole telephone directory past you in 7 seconds.
Admittedly you can't read any of them but at least you're up there.Although you'd have to take it on trust that you were.
But the Filmfair crew will always get due credit here of course. And please consider it done.
We may be privileged visitors to the Herbs World,but all guests are 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 !
They're all just still photos like the one to the right,which is the 7th and last one that appears.
And even on the tidied-up dvd footage they're not particulary pin sharp either.So,there's not much to be gained by including them all here.
Well,there's really not too much to say about these.
The programmes were only five minutes long as opposed to fifteen minutes for The Herbs.
So,if you were going to cram in some sort of meaningful storyline,wasting time on opening & closing
sequences wasn't an option.And The Herbs had been so popular that the assumption was made that
you pretty much knew what was coming.
So all we get is a shot of Parsley ripping off the famous MGM film ident plus a couple of written captions.
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.(Dill take his place for some episodes)
I think it's probably fair to say that never,even in the history of sequels,has so much been presumed by so few on behalf of so many.
Ok,we're almost there.And in the possibly unlikely event you've stuck with it since the top,I salute you.
And,as a reward,I won't keep you long with this last bit.
In fact,probably about the same amount of time these end credits were on screen.........
Approximately 7 seconds. Yes,seven. ie.one more than 6 and one less than 8.
No time to mess around then.So it's the same idea as above,only shorter,and only the production company is credited.
And that's that. Thankyou and good night. Which instantly makes the opening sequence look like a epic of course.