Bob the Builder is a 1998-2011 children's animated television show created in Britain by Keith Chapman. In the original series, Bob appears in a stop motion animated programme as a building contractor, specialising in masonry, along with his colleague Wendy, various neighbours and friends, and their gang of anthropomorphised work-vehicles and equipment. The show is broadcast in many countries, but originated from the United Kingdom where Bob was voiced by English actor Neil Morrissey. The show later used CGI animation starting with the spin-off series Ready, Steady, Build!. British proprietors of Bob the Builder and Thomas the Tank Engine sold the enterprise in 2011 to US toy-maker Mattel for $680 million.
In each episode, Bob and his group help with renovations, construction, and repairs and with other projects as needed. The show emphasises conflict resolution, co-operation, socialisation and various learning skills. Bob's catchphrase is "Can we fix it?", to which the other characters respond with "Yes we can!" This phrase is also the title of the show's theme song, which was a million-selling number one hit in the UK.
In October 2014, Bob the Builder was revamped by Mattel for a new series to be aired on Channel 5's Milkshake! in 2015. Amongst the changes were a complete overhaul of the cast, with Harry Potter actor Lee Ingleby replacing Neil Morrissey as the voice of Bob, and Joanne Froggatt and Blake Harrison were also confirmed as the voices of Wendy and Scoop respectively. The setting and appearance of the characters also changed, with Bob and his team moving to the bustling metropolis of Spring City. An American localisation of the new series debuted on PBS Kids in November 2015. The changes have been criticized by fans of the original version.
History with the Macy's Parade
In 2001, Bob the Builder made his Macy's Parade debut in the form of a float. This float featured Bob, Scoop, and Pilchard the Cat. In 2002, it was expanded to include Wendy and Muck. Alongside the characters, some foliage and grass decorated the float. This float was retired in 2004, and Pilchard was later used as a decoration outside the Hoboken Studio.
Originally, a Bob the Builder balloon was planned to debut in 2006, evident through a concept sketch by Joel Naprstek. However, this ended up being scrapped due to a nation-wide helium shortage, which also reduced the amount of balloons in that year's Parade, as well as the 2007 Parade.