The Magic Roundabout

01 March 2021  |  Culture

The Magic Roundabout / Le Manège Enchanté

French artist Serge Danot from Nantes was working on a restoration project of the Eiffel Tower when he suffered an injury. During his recuperation, he created a short animated TV series which was to become a children's favourite in both France and the UK.

The show had a distinctive visual style. The set is a brightly coloured and stylised park containing the eponymous roundabout.

Action takes place around the carousel in the Magic Wood. The first programme featured Zebedee coming to restore Mr Rusty's old barrel organ and the abandoned roundabout in order to bring the children back.

Le Manège Enchanté

The programmes were created by stop motion animation with puppets used for the characters which meant that Dougal was made without legs to make him easier to animate. Zebedee was created from a giant pea which was available in the animation studio and was re-painted.

The first season consisted of about 100 episodes and first appeared on French TV (ORTF) in 1965.

The Magic Roundabout

The series began in the UK in October 1965, known as The Magic Roundabout. Writer Eric Thompson took the visuals and completely rewrote new stories.

Regular characters appearing in the shows;

Zébulon - Zeberdee

Pollux - Dougal

Le Père Pivoine - Mr Rusty

Ambroise - Brian

Flappy - Dylan (after Bob Dylan)

Margote - Florence

Bonhomme Jouvence - Mr McHenry

Azalée - Ermintrude

The Magic Roundabout


Share this article


Hugh Atkins

Co-founder of Pure France. 20 years of visiting and photographing fabulous properties, meeting fascinating people and driving every main and back road in France.

See more from Hugh Atkins

Where in France


Open on Google maps

Villas & Châteaux in France

 Find your perfect French holiday home...

© Pure France.™ All rights reserved.

Choose language