Rolie Polie Olie is a CGI television cartoon based on the books by William Joyce (the creator of George Shrinks) and produced by Nelvana. The cartoon centers on a robotic family in Polieville. The characters include Olie, his father, his mother, his sister Zowie, and their pet dog Spot. Rolie Polie Olie is the first completely computer generated 3-D animated TV series for preschoolers.
The television series was produced by Sparx*, Metal Hurlant Productions, WJ Cartoons, Inc., and Nelvana for The Disney Channel. Original episodes ran from 1998 to 2004; two direct-to-DVD movies, The Great Defender of Fun and The Baby-Bot Chase, followed. The original episodes were rerun on The Disney Channel until 2006. In Canada, the episodes continue to be run on Treehouse TV.
William Joyce was striving for an idealized 1950s suburban-style world, being heavily influenced by early Mickey Mouse cartoons and shows such as Leave it to Beaver and The Andy Griffith Show. Space travel based on Star Trek or Star Wars is also shown. In Olie's world, normally inanimate objects have a life of their own. This is based on Joyce's childhood, when he would perceive everything as having a life of its own. He took that idea and exaggerated it, until even mundane objects like knives and forks are alive and can move about.
The Polie family lives in a teapot-shaped house, which is also alive and sentient, and, like many of the other objects in Olie's world, anthropomorphic. The family consists of round-shaped robots who live next door to a family of square-shaped robots.
Rolie Polie Olie won a Gemini Award in Canada for "Best Animated Program" in 1999. The show also won a Daytime Emmy Award for "Outstanding Special Class Animated Program" in 1999 and 2000. William Joyce won a 1999 Daytime Emmy for Best Production Design for this series.
The following a partial list of starring and recurring characters.
Olie Polie - A round-shaped robot boy on which the story revolves. He is very friendly, inquisitive, and loves his family and friends. He often wishes that he was an adult, and is a very typical kid.
Zowie Polie - Olie's younger sister. Very inquisitive (in one episode she annoyed her parents by asking "Why?" about everything imaginable) and loud, she is probably a toddler. She loves her brother Olie and enjoys emulating him, sometimes to Olie's chagrin.
Spot - Olie's faithful dog. So named because he left a "spot" on the carpet as a puppy. (Noted in the episode where zowie kept asking "why?")
Pappy Polie - Olie's grandfather. He runs a farm by himself and is best-known for his unruly dentures.
Aunt Poliana - Olie's Grandfather's sister. She returns from her trip though space after being tossed off of Pappy's boat and lost in space for a few years.
Mrs. Polie - Olie's mother. Somewhat ditzy and resembles Olive Oyl to a degree.
Uncle Gizmo Polie - An Elvis Presley look- and sound-alike, he is Percy's brother and Olie's and Zowie's uncle. The two have a generally close relationship but occasionally engage in sibling rivalry.
Billy Bevell - A square shaped boy who lives next door and is best friends with Olie. Is originally from the planet Cuby.
Baxter Bevell - Billy's dad, he wears glasses and talks like a beatnik. He also has a surprisingly deep laugh considering his voice is somewhat high-pitched.
Bonita Jaquita Bevell - Billy's mom. Is an accomplished dancer and acts similar to her husband.
Binky Bevell - Billy's younger brother, who is a little baby. His head spins when his belly button is pressed in.
Space Boy - A super-hero and star of Olie's favorite TV show. Along with his companion Space Dog, he frequently saves the universe from various threats on his show, and occasionally appears to help Olie out. He and Space Dog resemble Olie and Spot themselves.
Klinky Klaus - The show's equivalent of Santa Claus, he lives on his own planet, Chillsville.
Big Gene Little Green and Little Gene Little Green - Two very tiny aliens from the Little Green Planet who accidentally crash-land on Polieville and befriend Olie and his family. They reappear when Olie and Percy visit their planet, only to find it much too small for their comfort.
Mrs. Triangle - the town's teacher.
Pollie Pie - A female classmate of Olie and Billy, with red hair and a triangle-shaped body (albeit with a round head).
Screwy - A new kid in town, specifically being a lugnut. In his early appearances he acts as a bully towards Olie and friends; in one episode, Olie is actually driven to punch him. However, Screwy quickly becomes a member of the gang.
Chunk Squarey - A pop musician, who like the Bevells is from Cuby. His dance, the Twirl, is a major hit around the galaxy. He is apparently friends with the Bevells and befriends the Polies as well.
Wheely - An older kid with a wheel instead of legs, he is very athletic and acts as a sort of mentor towards Olie and Billy.