Bob the Builder (2015)

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Bob the Builder
Bob reboot.jpeg
"Can we fix it? Mmmm... maybe not." — WatchMojo
Genre: Children's animation
Running Time: 10 minutes
Country: United Kingdom
United States
Release Date: September 1, 2015 - December 30, 2018
Network(s): Milkshake (UK)
Cartoonito (UK, 2016-2020)
PBS Kids (US, 2015-2018)
Qubo (US, 2019-2021)
Created by: Keith Chapman
Distributed by: Mattel Creations
Starring: UK:
Lee Ingleby
Joanne Froggatt
Blake Harrison
Steven Kynman
Terry Mynott
Sam Swann
Rasmus Hardiker
Paul Panting
Jacob Scipio
Marcel McCalla
Iain Lauchlan
Danny John Jules
Sarah Hadland
Teresa Gallagher
Ben Miles
Dustin Demri Burns
Lucy Montgomery
Nick Mercer
Colin Murdock
Joanne Froggatt
Blake Harrison
Vincent Tong
Claire Corlett
Ian James Corlett
Richard Ian Cox
Richard Newman
Lee Tockar
Dan Bacon
Iain Lauchlan
Danny John Jules
Nicole Oliver
Steve Cannon
Ryan Beil
Peter New
Sam Vincent
Lucy Montgomery
Brian Drummond
Brian Dobson
Seasons: 3
Episodes: 130 (1 special)

Bob the Builder is a British-American CGI animated children's television series and is a reboot of the popular British then-stop-motion animated television show of the same name, which was originally created by Keith Chapman. It was first broadcast in the United Kingdom on Channel 5's Milkshake block and then Cartoonito a year later, beginning on September 1, 2015 and PBS Kids in the United States on November 14. The series ran for three seasons until it was cancelled on December 30, 2018 after its last episode, "New Years Spectacular". No new official productions in the franchise have been released since, and a new Bob the Builder revival series with the original designs returning is yet to be announced by both Mattel Television and WildBrain.

Why Nobody Can Fix It

  1. To start off, the reboot has absolutely no reason to exist at all, due to the fact that the Bob the Builder franchise wasn't dying or even losing popularity before the reboot was even announced. When the reboot was announced, it was bad timing and also unnecessary considering the fact that the show's cancellation wasn't even that long ago when the reboot got announced, Ready Steady Build got canceled in 2012 and although the show did eventually stop airing on channels like CBeebies and Nick Jr. (UK) after its cancellation, the show was still very popular even when that happened, which makes it rather pointless to reboot a show that hasn't been cancelled for that long. Not to mention, the show could have been brought back again with another revival series or maybe even a continuation season for Ready Steady Build, but instead they made the decision to make this reboot.
  2. Another huge and widely noted issue with this reboot is that the redesign for the art direction and visual style looks way too realistic. Because of that, it completely disrespects and takes away all of the charm & charisma of the original show, and it is so different from the original designs that if the show wasn't called Bob the Builder at all, it would be very difficult to distinguish this as a reboot to the original show.
    • Speaking of which, Bob's redesign is terrible and it looks absolutely nothing like his character design in the original show, as he seems to be way younger than he was before, and he clearly looks like a teenager cosplaying as Bob the Builder.
    • Wendy's redesign isn't that great either, because much like Bob, she looks way younger than her original counterpart and she looks absolutely nothing like her design in the original show.
    • The designs for the machines in particular look very lazy and generic compared to their designs in the original series, and they feel a lot more emotionless and are very creepy to look at unlike their original designs.
      • They feel like they're trying way too hard to make the machines have similar character designs to the ones in Thomas & Friends, but it doesn't work at all because even though the designs in Thomas & Friends work because that show was initially meant to be taken as realistically as possible, the designs for the machines in this reboot do not fit with the realistic character designs as they were never supposed to look realistic in the original show.
    • Pilchard's redesign doesn't really work well due to her out-of-place blue color, even though she was blue in the original show; said color in the reboot looks out of place due to the realistic approach it tries to take.
  3. Much like Fireman Sam since Season 6, Postman Pat: Special Delivery Service, Shimajiro no Wow!, Noddy, Toyland Detective, the Netflix era of VeggieTales, Monster High (2016), The Powerpuff Girls (2016), Bananas in Pyjamas (2011), Caillou's New Adventures, and Thomas & Friends: Big World! Big Adventures! & All Engines Go!, this reboot tries way too hard to modernize Bob the Builder, but it's done very poorly to the point where it doesn't even feel like Bob the Builder at all.
    • Again, if this show wasn't called Bob the Builder, it would be very hard to distinguish this show as a reboot to the original show.
  4. The reboot misunderstands everything that made the original TV series a classic and its grasp on the original source material is pretty much non-existent to the point that it has nothing in common with the original show; Bob, Wendy and the machines no longer live in a little quiet town like Bobsville anymore, and instead now live in a giant busy city named Spring City, Bob, Scoop and Wendy all seem to be a lot younger than they were in the original show, nearly all of the characters bear little-to-no resemblance to how they looked in the original show and many of the past characters from the original series like Spud (the fan favorite), Travis, Scrambler, Benny, Scratch, Gripper and Grabber, Scruffty and plenty of other characters were either replaced or just removed entirely for no reason whatsoever.
    • The reboot also never even tries to bring back any of the aforementioned characters; the only character that comes close to being brought back was Farmer Pickles in "Barn Building Bedlam" (but even then, he only gets a small cameo, and he isn't even voiced by Neil Morrissey, his original voice actor, despite Rob Rackstraw returning to the cast to voice him).
  5. Some of the main characters are flanderized horribly:
    • Scoop went from a sensible and reliable leader to a clumsy cuckoo clock lander and a careless, useless, and idiotic goofball who constantly messes everything up, either unintentionally or on purpose.
      • One of the main problems with his character is also the fact he gets way too much screentime and has way too many episodes focusing on him, similar to how Norman Price in Fireman Sam since season 6 gets way too much screentime and focus.
    • Lofty went from being friendly, shy, sympathetic, and cowardly into being sarcastic, cynical, intelligent and is no longer even scared of anything that much anymore.
    • Muck went from being a funny but reliable vehicle, into a dumber idiot who equally screws up everything just like Scoop.
    • Roley has gone from being smooth and calm with a love of music to being an extremely fussy perfectionist who always tries to make sure that everything is nice and flat. He clearly acts like Mr. Fussy/Mr. Pernickety in this reboot, except none of the charm present from said character.
    • Mr. Bentley has been reduced into being a bumbling buffoon and is no longer a building inspector anymore, instead, he is Mayor Madison's assistant.
  6. The voice acting for the most part is not very good, and it doesn't capture the same charm as the voices in the original show, sometimes ranging from average, to annoying and unfitting for the characters.
    • Scoop's voice is very annoying to listen to because he sounds way too high pitched and younger, as he sounds like Norman Price from season 6 of Fireman Sam but without a Welsh accent. He even has the exact same voice given for the US dub, rather than a different voice actor.
      • It doesn't help that his voice actor is Blake Harrison, who portrayed Neil in The Inbetweeners.
    • Muck's new voice (which is provided by Paul Panting) is pretty annoying and it makes him sound a lot dumber than he was originally, similar to the new voice that was given to Elvis Cridlington in Season 6 of Fireman Sam.
    • Roley's new voice sounds way too high pitched to the point it sounds like he sucked out some helium from a balloon inflator.
    • Lofty seems to have a Cornish accent in the UK dub for some reason. His US voice sounds a bit too much like Stingy from LazyTown or even SpongeBob SquarePants.
    • Dizzy's US voice sounds way too high pitched and comes off as just grating.
  7. The reboot in general does a bad job of instructing kids about how construction works and gives any kids that might be watching no morals at all, let alone the fact that the reboot was doomed to fail from the start.
  8. Most of the episodes' plots are either terrible, frustrating, boring, lackluster, repetitive, formulaic, useless, or uninteresting. It doesn't really help by the fact that most of the episodes often try way too hard to pander towards small children rather than write stories that both kids and adults can enjoy like what the original show did. Sometimes, they even go as far as to reuse plots from the original series and make inferior versions of them.
    • Bob's backstory in "Bob's First Build" is a rehash of the Project Build It special "When Bob Became a Builder".
    • "Where's Pilchard?" is essentially a rehash of "Pilchard in a Pickle", the original show's first episode in production order.
    • For the most part, "Bob's Band" is mostly a rehash of "Bob's Bugle", due to both episodes having a scene where Roley accidentally crushes instruments, except that in this episode's case, he crushes all of the band instruments, instead of crushing Bob's trumpet.
  9. The building sequences are no longer fun to watch as they overuse the "We Are A Team" song. While it may be fun to listen the first time, it gets unbearable by the second season because they constantly use the song in every single episode.
  10. A good majority of the new characters introduced in this reboot are just clones of characters from the older series.
    • Two-Tonne is Packer and Tumbler.
    • Tread is Scrambler.
    • Shifter is Trix and Sumsy.
    • Thud is Rubble.
    • Rocky is Scratch and Benny.
    • Picksy is Flex.
    • Stretch is Gripper/Grabber.
  11. Roley and Dizzy are now moved as side characters without any reason in favor of Leo and Two-Tonne, two characters that are already pointless to the series. While it's great that Dizzy and Roley weren't forgotten entirely by HiT Entertainment or Mattel (unlike Spud), it's still not the same.
    • This move is quite similar to how Edward and Henry from Thomas & Friends were moved as side characters during the Big World! Big Adventures! era of that show that arrived a few years later, which wasn't the best decision just because both engines moved out of Tidmouth Sheds for the sake of Nia and Rebecca living over, but at least they had their reasons why they moved out of Tidmouth Sheds (mainly Edward's case), and at least both characters appeared sporadically. With Roley and Dizzy, however, it's mostly likely that both Mattel and HiT Entertainment had little to no care for them.
  12. The plot for every episode is generic and predictable, to the point where anyone watching will know exactly what is going to happen in every episode: it starts off with the team being set out on a job, then they start to build, the focus character of the episode comes with an idea that screws everything up and the project collapses, the character responsible for the mistake apologizes, and then they rebuild it all over again. Most of the time, it gets extremely repetitive and makes the episodes feel like the same exact thing. Even if they are not using the same formula over and over again, either make the episode have no story whatsoever, make the episode use the infamous three-strike formula that was already repetitive in other shows (mainly in Seasons 12-16 of Thomas & Friends), or they rehash an episode from the original series, as mentioned earlier.
    • With that being said, the reboot has a share load of bad episodes, such as:
      • "Sky-High Scoop" (which started the series on a sour note)
      • "Milkshake Mix-Up"
      • "Kitchen Whizz"
      • "Where's Pilchard?"
      • "Bob's Band"
      • "Bob's First Build"
      • "Grid Block"
      • "Lofty Lets Loose"
      • "Scoop's Big Break"
      • "Winter in Spring"
      • "Muck on Ice"
      • "Cats & Dogs"
      • "Dino Park"
      • "Lights! Camera! Leo!"
      • "Ballroom Blitz"
      • "The Big Bang"
      • "Wendy's Big Surprise"
      • "Crane Pain"
      • "Dino Coaster"
      • "Roley's Speech"
      • "End of the Line"
      • "Car Wash"
      • "Fly Away Ghost" (which ended Season 1 on a sour note)
      • "Drive Thru Disaster"
      • "Super Scoop"
      • "Apples Everywhere"
      • "TV or Not TV"
      • "Shifter's New Garage"
      • "Bobcat Bridge"
      • "Speedway Scoop"
      • "Lofty's Playground Problem"
      • "Dog Disaster"
      • "Scoop's Big Oops"
      • "Canal Chaos"
      • "Bridge Over Trouble"
      • "What's Opera, Muck?" (which is the most infamous episode and is considered to be the worst of the third season)
  13. The animation worsened in Season 3 when DHX Media started to animate the series, making a lot of characters looking more younger than they were previously and the lighting in particular looks very bad and dull too. The fact that the first few short clips of the intro in the first seasons with the higher-quality animation during the "Boots, check! Tool belt, check! Hard hat, check" line of the theme song are used right before the new animation in this season's intro only makes it look worse.
  14. Muck is now male in US dub of the show, even though this can be considered a good quality because Muck was originally male in the UK dub, which meant that Mattel finally corrected his gender for viewers in the US. However, the main problem with this is that Muck was depicted as female in the US dub of the original show. Because of this, it will probably confuse fans who grew with the US dub of the original show who remember Muck for being a female character.
  15. The reboot is basically the Bob the Builder equivalent to Fireman Sam since season 6, with both of them suffering the same problems, such as both shows horribly flanderizing most of the main characters, both shows trying way too hard to modernize their original source materials, both of them failing to provide good morals to what their shows are about, both of them removing a few characters (or, in this show's case, a good portion of the characters) for no reason whatsoever, the writing in both shows being downgraded to the point where it's no longer enjoyable to both kids and adults, both shows poorly redesigning the characters to make them less cartoony and more realistic, both shows having nothing in common with their original source materials despite still having the same names, as well as Scoop and Norman Price essentially becoming scrappies who get way too much screentime and have both have gotten flanderized so much that it's to the point where they are both one of the main problems with both of these shows.
  16. Because of all the problems, this reboot pretty much damaged the reputation of the Bob the Builder franchise and has caused HiT Entertainment to completely ruin their own creation, especially when Mattel was working in the hands of HiT from 2012-2017 before owning their brands completely in 2017, and HiT Entertainment did not really do anything to stop this reboot from happening. So, in the end, both HiT Entertainment and Mattel are to blame for the disaster that was the 2015 Bob the Builder reboot, and ever since, the Bob the Builder franchise was almost killed until 6 years later, with no signs of the franchise ever returning as of now, until in 2024, where a Bob the Builder CGI animated movie was announced with Anthony Ramos.
    • Worst of all, Mattel was absolutely blind to all of the negative reception that this reboot got, with them making three whole seasons, 130 episodes and even a special named Bob the Builder: Mega Machines: The Movie; the only time when they (sort of) listened was in 2018 when they finally canceled the show after the 3rd season ended with no signs of it getting a 4th season.
    • This is what happens when any company thinks of immediate returns or business practices instead of the other way around.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. Despite the realistic approach it tries to take, the reboot at least still focuses on its main premise about construction and building, which is notable by the fact that the building montages are still present in the reboot, unlike Nelvana's failed series Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go!, which tried to be as different as possible from its original premise.
  2. The theme song remix (while not as good as the original theme song) is kind of catchy.
  3. Season 3 can be considered an improvement; despite the animation worsening, the plots for the episodes have started to get more interesting, the cartoony and wacky feel of the show starts to come back and even Farmer Pickles (despite only making a small cameo appearance) returns.
  4. Despite being confusing for fans who grew up with the US dub, at least Muck was corrected to his original male gender in the US dub.
  5. Wendy, Dizzy and Bob himself, despite their terrible redesigns, are still likable characters.
    • On that topic, the flanderized characters (Scoop, Muck, Lofty, Roley, and Mr. Bentley) can still be tolerable sometimes.
  6. While most of the voice acting is poor, some of it can come off as decent or tolerable, such as the voices for Bob, Wendy, Dizzy, and a few other characters.
  7. Even though the redesigns are still bad, the animation itself (except for the third season) is okay.
    • On top of that, Scoop and Muck at least look closer to their original designs than the rest of the machines do.
  8. A few of the episodes are decent or even good, such as:
    • "New Years Spectacular" (which celebrates New Year's Day and ended the reboot on a high note, as a new Bob the Builder revival series with the return of the original designs from 1998 is yet to be announced)
    • "Can't Runaway Runway"
    • "Fitness Frenzy"
  9. The Greek dub is a minor improvement, with the original Greek voices of Bob (in the first 16 episodes), Muck, and Dizzy reprising their roles.



When a teaser poster for the reboot was first revealed in October 2014, it received outrage by longtime fans on social media, with many complaining about the redesigns of the machines and the titular character himself.[1][2]

Some fans were upset to find out that the original voice actors weren't going to reprise their roles for their characters, to the point where Neil Morrissey (the voice actor for the titular character himself, as well as Roley, Lofty and Farmer Pickles in the original UK dub of the original show) admitted that he reacted negatively when he found out he wasn't going to reprise his role.[3]


Upon release, the 2015 reboot of Bob the Builder was widely panned by fans, audiences and critics alike, with the criticism directly heading towards the heavy flanderizations of several characters, bland and horribly written plots, subpar voice acting and most notably the unnecessary character redesigns. Due to the failure of the reboot, it basically killed the Bob the Builder franchise. The show currently holds a 2.1/10 rating on IMDb.

James A. Williams made a whole video discussing on the problems that the reboot has, stating that it wasn't as bad as Fireman Sam since season 6, though he did express hatred towards the reboot, claiming that "it feels like a live-action movie of Bob the Builder, being directed by someone who has no idea on what the show is like". Due to the popularity of the video, it actually ended up causing the reboot to gain even more notoriety and hate towards fans of Bob the Builder.

Kate Harbour (the voice actress for Wendy and Dizzy in the original UK dub of the original show) herself admitted that she is not a fan of the reboot and has expressed taking a dislike to the reboot for the character redesigns in particular.[4]

Whilst he hasn't expressed any negativity towards the reboot, Keith Chapman (the founding creator of Bob the Builder) acknowledged that making changes to a popular series could be controversial and had experienced this himself as a viewer.[5]

Despite all the negative reception, Mattel and HiT Entertainment have still not yet responded to the criticisms.



  • Ian James Corlett, Vincent Tong, and Brian Dobson also voiced in Sausage Party.


External Links

IMDb icon.png Bob the Builder (2015) at the Internet Movie Database


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