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David The Gnome

Updated on August 29, 2014
David and his wife Lisa
David and his wife Lisa | Source

Did You Watch David the Gnome?

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The World of David the Gnome was an animated series that aired off and on in the United States beginning in 1987. The tales of David and his Gnome friends were inspired by the Dutch book, Gnomes which was written by Will Huygen and illustrated by Rien Poortvliet.

When I was a kid growing up in the 80's and 90's, I was completely enchanted by the tv show as well as the book. I knew in my heart of hearts that these delightful gnomes must be real and I fervently hoped that the trolls were fiction!

The tv show focused on the life of David, the oldest gnome in the woods. David was a doctor and he spent much of his time healing woodland animals. David lived with his wife, Lisa and their pet mice. His best friend was a fox named Swift and he loved to introduce viewers to different aspects of gnome life. Each episode made a point to speak about the impact of humans on the forest as well as encouraging children to do their part in taking care of our Earth.

But it wasn't the focus on conservation that made so many kids fall in love with David the Gnome, it was the pure magic of the stories we were told. I have yet to find a children's show that is able to recreate that magic.

Gnomes Deluxe Collector's Edition
Gnomes Deluxe Collector's Edition

Gnomes was first published in The Netherlands in 1976. It was published in English in 1977. This delightful book was the inspiration for The Wonderful World of David The Gnome. It is beautifully illustrated and the perfect addition to any fantasy lover's collection.


David The Gnome Theme Song

World of David the Gnome Characters

Character Name
Voice Actor
Tom Bosley
Jane Woods
Vlasta Vrana
Barbara Pogenmiller
Richard Dumont
AJ Henderson
Rob Roy
Adrian Knight
Marc Denis
Trolls - the enemy of gnomes
Trolls - the enemy of gnomes | Source
David and his friend, Swift
David and his friend, Swift | Source

My Thoughts & Review

David the Gnome was must see tv when I was a kid. I loved the artwork, the stories and most of all, the woodland animals that David helped in each episode. I believe that watching David helped nurture my love for animation, art, and nature.

Animation and Art
There's no denying that the art from David the Gnome is gorgeous, especially compared to the 3D cartoons that my kids watch. The animation, like the stories was based on the book, Gnomes. I think the quality of the backgrounds and scenery is beautiful. As an adult, I can see that the animation is a bit choppy especially since the original language was Spanish but I still think it's beautiful. As a child, it was a feast for the eyes every time David and the Gnomes came on the TV. Perhaps David is one of the reasons I became an artist.

A Focus On Nature
My parents often took us camping and hiking so forests and mountains and nature were not foreign to me as a child. David helped build my love for nature and animals. Every episode drives home the importance of respecting nature and reminds us that "no one is better for being bigger".

As many people know, the 70's and 80's saw a turning point in the United States and many other countries when it came to environmentalism and conservation. The ideas of recycling and saving the plant came to be better known in the global consciousness and tv shows started to share those messages as well. David the Gnome really helped to drive that point home for many kids.

As a child, I often wished that I could be a doctor for wild animals like David. As an adult, my profession has nothing to do with animals but my respect and love for all creatures has never waned. I hope to instill my children with the same sense of love and wonder when it comes to the great outdoors.

David and Lisa on an adventure
David and Lisa on an adventure | Source

The End Of David The Gnome

David's last episode is called "The Mountains of Beyond". In this episode, David and his wife Lisa realize that it is time to die. They are 400 years old and no gnomes can live beyond that age. David and Lisa say goodbye to the animals and ride Swift to the Blue Mountains.

When they reach the mountains, the trio meets up with an old friend, Casper who is also ready to die. David and Lisa say goodbye to Swift and warn him not to follow. Then the 3 gnomes head up the mountain where they turn into trees. Swift turns to leave and meets up with another gnome and a female fox. We can only assume that Swift finds new friendship and love with these new characters.

Spin-Offs and Sequels

The Gnomes' Great Adventure - a full length (74 minutes) movie starring David himself. David and Swift set out to retrieve the King's gold from the terrible trolls.

Wisdom of the Gnomes - this spin off series follows a gnome named Klaus and his assistant Danny as they travel the world to solve disputes

David and one of his pet mice
David and one of his pet mice | Source

Where To Watch David The Gnome

David The Gnome is available as a 4 disc set from Amazon:
David The Gnome DVD

The series is also available to view online for free through BRB International:
Watch David The Gnome online

BRB International owns all rights to the David the Gnome series. It's great that they've made it possible to watch all of the episodes! You can also find fun online games and coloring activities at the BRB link above. It's a great way to introduce your children to this 80's classic.

© 2014 Sarah Switalski


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    • Sarah Switalski profile image

      Sarah Switalski 3 years ago from Iowa

      MelRootsNWrites - I asked my brother about it and he didn't remember it either. Honestly, I half thought I'd dreamed it until I was able to look it up online and buy the dvd! It was a rare little 80's gem I guess :)

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image

      Melody Lassalle 3 years ago from California

      I used to watch so many cartoons with my nieces and nephew. I don't remember this one at all. It sounds like it would have been a sweet show though.

    • Sarah Switalski profile image

      Sarah Switalski 3 years ago from Iowa

      Tom Bosley is pretty amazing as David! I should add a video with him speaking so everyone can enjoy :)

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      I haven't heard of this one, but the list of voice overs is impressive - I can just hear those voices as characters!

    • Sarah Switalski profile image

      Sarah Switalski 3 years ago from Iowa

      Ibidii - I was born a few years before your son but I do not remember David' death scene. It sounds a bit traumatizing to read about but I guess it either went over our heads as kids or we just thought it was nice that they could live on as trees. I had forgotten about The Mysterious Cities of Gold! I enjoyed that one too! My kids prefer Disney Channel but we do watch some Nickelodeon. I don't think the new shows have quite the same magic.

      LNAngel - It literally brought tears to my eyes when I found that opening theme and watched it for the first time in 20 some years. I knew I had to write about it! Very good memories indeed :)

    • LNAngel profile image

      Lauren 3 years ago from Florida

      Awww, I can still hear the little jingle in the opening theme song if I think hard about it. Many children I babysat back in the day watched this. Memories!

    • profile image

      Ibidii 3 years ago

      I watched this show on tv with my son who was born in 1984. I enjoyed it with him. I had no idea the original was in Spanish! I do not recall seeing the ending show. I wonder how the kids felt knowing that David and Lisa were going away and not coming back. My son was so young I don't think he will remember but I will ask him. One of the other shows we watched during that time was The Mysterious Cities of Gold. I really liked that one also! I have not watched Nickelodeon in 2o years, I really thought it was a good format for my two younger children Thanks for writing about David the Gnome!