Friday, July 14, 2006

The Barbapapas

"Barbapapa is both the title character, and name of the "species" of said character, of a series of children's books written in the 1970s by Annette Tison and Talus Taylor, who resided in Paris, France. The books were originally written in French (barbe à papa - literally "Daddy's beard" - is French for cotton candy or candy floss), and were later translated into over 30 languages." (Wikipedia)

I must admit, when I first discovered the Barbapapa Family (on TV Ontario), as enchanting as they were, I struggled to figure out what they were. Being formless blob-like creatures, I assumed they were related to Grimace, the purple, formless blob that represented McDonald's back in the day (Grimace looks a lot like Barbabelle). I was under the impression (upon being advised by my brother and many still hold this view) that Grimace was the living representation of a McDonald's milk shake. So naturally, I wondered if the beloved Barbapapas were milk shakes as well. Thankfully, I abandoned that horribly circular and frustrating train of thought (I was never meant to have any meaningful analysis of this topic early on for the knowledge that "barbe à papa" was French for cotton candy, arrived decades later after I unwittingly inspected the French and English wording on a bag of cotton candy) and instead focused on the family, their stories and that lovely theme song! We were spoiled in the seventies and eighties. They simply don't make characters like these anymore.

The cast (not exactly as pictured above): Barbapapa, Barbamama, Barbabravo, Barbabright, Barbazoo, Barbabeau, Barbabelle, Barbalala and Barbalib.

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