Tidy Bag

American Wombles VHS with added voiceover

Video title graphics saying 'Narrated by Dennis Elsas'

An American VHS enthusiast has digitised and shared an interesting localisation of The Wombles, which has an added voiceover.

It’s a 1984 release of the ‘Wombling Gourmet / Wombles Workout’ compilation video, made up of two sets of six back-to-back episodes without the usual credits.

Instead, there are US-specific credits overlaid using computer graphics.

In between Bernard Cribbins’s existing voices, this version has extra narration by American radio DJ Dennis Elsas. He starts by introducing the Wombles, and goes on to explain or comment on what’s happening in the stories - particularly to relate them more to the food and fitness themes.

‘ToastLogic’ says: “I bought the tape at a thrift store years ago and never noticed it wasn’t a normal version of The Wombles since I hadn’t actually sat down to watch it until recently.”

The description from the back cover of the VHS video reads:

The Wombles are short fat furry creatures who love to tidy up after messy humans. There’s BUNGO, the youngest and bossiest Womble, there’s lazy ORINOCO, brave TOMSK, shy WELLINGTON, the old and wise UNCLE BULGARIA, the clever inventor TOBERMORY, and the kindly cook MADAM CHOLET. Their motto is “Make good use of bad rubbish!” Wombles are only seen by humans who believe in them, and they live in underground burrows all over the world.

Wombling Gourmet. To help the other Wombles learn how to cook, sweet Madam Cholet is giving cooking lessons. Unfortunately, Wombles can be quite independent, and when it comes to food — they’d rather eat it than learn about it! After Bungo and Tomsk get a bad case of buttercup crumpet hiccups, Orinoco squishes a squash, and Tobermory enjoys a pancake in the face, Madam Cholet finally realizes she is the only true Wombling Gourmet!

Wombles Workout. Everyone needs to stay in shape — and that includes the fat furry Wombles. But when Uncle Bulgaria decides to get all the Wombles in top-notch physical form, it’s almost a “waist” of time! Orinoco, of course, would much rather sleep than stretch, and Wellington would rather shoot a short film about exercising. But whether it’s playing soccer, golfing, or even sledding, the Wombles all know one thing. It sure is better to be fit than fat!

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