Tell us your story – what do you remember about watching the film Hugo The Hippo in your childhood?

Due to a spambot problem I’ve decided to remove the forum from the fansite (as of 25th March 2013)…

However – I wanted to try and save some of the posts where people had contributed their memories of the film and the feelings of nostalgia it evoked :)

Please leave a comment (it’s the section underneath the title ‘Leave A Reply’ at the bottom of the page when you click the link). If you have any problems posting then please contact me on Twitter (@hobbsy).


Posted by hobbsy on Wed Nov 19, 2008

Please tell us your stories of how and when you first saw Hugo The Hippo… and what led you to tracking down this fansite?

Please let us know where abouts you live, and how old you are now

Posted by MollyDooker on Fri Jan 09, 2009


well my name is Kym and I live in Australia and I saw Hugo the Hippo when I was very young. I am now 42. I remember Mum dropping a group of us kids off at a cinema at a place called Redcliffe. I was no more that 8 years old. I quite often break out singing Hugo the Hippo(in my head) only to now find out it is I love the Hippo H I P P O. I sadly don’t think my children would be as impressed as I was with the movie these days. But hey, I still have fond memories and have enjoyed watching some clips on youtube.
Long live Hugo,

Posted by small world on Tue Feb 03, 2009

Funny to see this Fan site. I was fortunate to see the film being “made” in Budapest. For the time it was brilliant animation. Very very catchy songs. Watched the movie recently with my 9 year old. She keeps wanting to see it again – which was actually a surprise.

Posted by jeremykeywest on Tue Apr 28, 2009

I first saw the movie on American cable in the very early 80′s. I found this websight around the same time I found contact info for Bill Feigenbaum. My copy is on the way.

Posted by Tattva on Tue Aug 04, 2009

My dad recorded this movie for me on beta max when I was like 3 or 4 years old and I watched it over and over again. I just hope I can get a hold on a german version somehow. I’ll have to contact licenseholders and TV stations all over Germany for this. But you know, it’s worth it!

Posted by shrekk on Sat Sep 19, 2009

June 5, 1976. In my family, when we got baptized, my mother and father would take us out to dinner and a movie. This was the movie I chose. I have been looking for it for quite some time and I am glad to see i can get it. I will get to see the hippo again. Sweet.

Posted by Micronics on Mon Sep 21, 2009

It was sometime during the early eighties, I must have been 11 or twelve. It made quite an impact, as I can still remember it today. I can only remember a small part of the story and of course I remember myself watching the movie. The fragments I saw on YouTube don’t even ring a bell. I sure hope seeing the full classic will! I can remember the pshycadellic extravaganza in the movie and look forward to watch it with my wife who has never seen it.

Posted by PolyBrow on Wed Dec 16, 2009

Hello, I am a huge fan of animation and am new on this forum. I am a little nervous, so please forgive me…

I might be one of the only people on here who didn’t experience Hugo the Hippo as a child. I only found out about it when I saw images of it in the book “Animation Art”. It didn’t go into specific detail about the film, just the plotline. It was only when I saw the whole film in Hungarian on YouTube that I fell in love with it. The music was great, the visuals rich and the story quite powerful, especially for animation. All I have seen that’s in English are most of the songs. It’s very different from the kind of animation most people are raised on (e.g. Disney).

It’s a shame this film isn’t officially on DVD, that it has spent most of its life as a bootlegged item that is panned by some critics. Most people have never heard of this film and it would be great if more could see it in its entirety.

Posted by Helmut on Mon Mar 22, 2010

Unfortunately I can only remember that it was in ’85 OR ’86 when I was four or five. Hugo came on TV so my mom recorded it on our VCR but, being such new users of the technology, parts of the movie were grainy and the ending was nonexistent. Even with our bootleg copy’s flaws I still watched the movie multiple times a week for many years until the actual tape in the cassette wore down and broke. Thanks to this web sight I now hope to be the owner of an autographed copy of the DVD and to be wearing it out within the month. I am a life long fan of the movie and proud to admit that I can only spell hippopotamus to this day because I sing the song lyrics in my head. Now if someone could write a song for all the rest of the words in the English language I cannot spell I’d be set… thank jebus for spell check.

Posted by Emalou79 on Thu May 06, 2010

I have very fond memories of watching Hugo when I was about 2 or 3, my mum recorded it for me on the old beta max tapes and I quite literally wore the tape out, as soon as the film finished she’d rewind it for me to watch again! It was then shown again on tv a few year ago and I again recorded it on video and wore that out too showing my then 3 year old daughter who loved it too! My younger two love me reading the story to them at bedtime. I have sent an email to Bill to get a DVD so would be really great to get! I only just found this forum and it great to find people who also remember it like I do! :)

Posted by Mayja on Fri Nov 05, 2010

I live in Detroit, Michigan and I am currently 35 years old. It was in the very early 1980′s. My mom videotaped this movie for me from ON Cabletelevision. I invited all of my friends over from school to watch it. I think we watched it twice before dinnertime when all the parents came to pick up my friends, then I insisted that my family watch it again after dinner. That tape only lasted a year before it broke, and thankfully my mom was able to tape it for me again. That one broke too, and I haven’t seen it since except for whatever clips I can gather from the Internet. I just remember Hugo loving his garden so much, and shouting at the screen “Don’t you dare hurt my Hugo!!!”

Posted by hobbsy on Mon Nov 08, 2010

It’s great that so many of us have the same childhood stories about Hugo

I remember in my family we used to have a copy of Betamax too – and that either got lost or wiped. I must have been aged around 5 years old and watched it all the time.

I’m gonna try and redesign the website at some point and would love to use these stories/recollections on the main site. Let me know if anyone would like to be featured (perhaps alongside a photo and link to your blog/twitter etc?)

Posted by Liong on Mon Nov 22, 2010

Hi fellow fans!!

I first saw the movie in 1977, when i was 5 (I THINK!).

Really loved it, got to me so much that i bugged my folks for a hippo doll immeidtaley after. i still have that doll. it’s in no way at all related to the movie, no where near “official merchandise” or anything of that sort, but i believed it was HUGO back then

looking at the clips now, the movie looks so psychedelic and trippy. great visual stuff. could watch the movie now with Pink Floyd turned up in the background!

Posted by Piros on Tue Jan 11, 2011


I have seen Hugo as my first cinema movie ever in 1976 (I was six years old) – it was a new movie out of Pannonia in Hungary. There was at the time the Matra Fairy Tale Cinema in Budapest, where only children movies were screened and that’s where we saw it.

The thing I remember is that I have cried my eyes out about Hugo’s and the hippos’ misfortune and my mom couldn’t quiet me down so upset I was. The movie stayed with me for a long time.

Now that I have my own 5 year old, I have bought Hugo on DVD to show it to her. Thirty years later it is as enjoyable as ever, she loves it, too!

I love to buy cartoons from my childhood because in the 60s and 70s children movies still had innocence in them, there were no lines with double-meaning – the stories were ment for children only.

Anyhow I can only recommend Hugo to everyone, child or adult. It is a wonderful movie with great music, text and visual. In fact the animation is superb! Thank you for it.

Posted by moondog on Wed Feb 09, 2011

I first saw the movie in 1988. (I was 5 years old) My mom always used this movie to make me sleep. (But there was her who slept.) And I love this movie so much because of its art direction. The graphic and the song…. everything. I love the scene that Hugo’s dad and mom become a cloud sooo… much. It looks surreal.

20 years after, the VDO tape was too old and we didn’t have VDO player anymore. Moreover, I can’t remember the title. And it’s very rare in Thailand. (That made me sad.)

Anyway, thanks to search engine for making me find this site (And fall in love again)

Posted by Alcuin on Fri Apr 29, 2011

I first saw the film on the day Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer were married back in 1981. I was 21 years old and there were only three channels in England then. Two of those channels were showing the Royal Wedding but Hugo the Hippo was on BBC2.

The same day I also watched Saturday Night Fever for the first and only time for much the same reason.

Today we have another Royal Wedding but sadly the BBC missed a trick in not showing Hugo the Hippo again

Posted by Tubi0Flow on Sun May 15, 2011

I just found this fansite and it’s brought back a huge memory.

I think I remember watching Hugo the Hippo when I was somewhere between 5-10 years old (I was born in 1976)… I may have been younger. I remember watching it cross legged in my living room (I lived in Glasgow, Scotland, UK) and singing along and crying for poor Hugo, I didn’t watch it with my mum or dad, but I loved musical animation like this when I was a kid. Mr M’Bow wow was a favourite…we must have taped it on the VCR as I am sure i watched this more than once as I loved the songs. However, memories trick you sometimes, I then grew up and about 10 years ago started asking friends if they remembered the movie… NOONE had any knowledge and thought I was crazy, so I started surfing the web – Nada! Every few years I search the web again, and a few years ago I found a small single page website which reminded me of the name of the movie (as I had forgotten) and then HEY Presto this time I found a wikipedia, a fansite and all the clips on you tube.

I am desperate for a copy fo the movie, via mps, dvd or cd as I want my kids to see it , when I have them, I am now married and at 34, these things mean something to me. I really want to watch it again. Plus I have to prove to many people, I am not crazy and there was a movie about hippo’s with a song going H-I-P-P-O-P-O-T-A-M-U-S… :) lol

Posted by Tubi0Flow on Sun May 15, 2011

After reading everyone elses comments… i too still can only spell Hippopotamus while singing the I love Hippos song in my head… and it may also have been duringPrincess Diana’s wedding that i watched it – that would sound like the right timings.. I have emailed the bbc over the years and asked for a copy or for help finding how i could get one since mine wore out/ got lost or whatever happening to it when i was a child, before the internet wasn’t as prevalent, they were unable to help…

Long live this fantastic movie!! x

Posted by hobbsy on Mon May 23, 2011

Hi Tubi0Flow – thanks for dropping by the forum and posting your memories

I too spent half my life trying to remember what this movie was called, or where to find it. Could only remember vague fragments. I also seemed to have combined parts of Hugo with The Fox And The Hound in my brain… I thought the song “When You’re The Best Of Friends Together” was in Hugo … lol

You can get hold of a copy of the DVD by dropping the director Bill an email

Posted by cyberbat on Sun Jun 05, 2011

When I was a little girl I lived in Saudi Arabia, where my parents seemed to get hold of a few old pirated videos. Either that or they taped it off the tv. I was 3. When we moved to Australia it went with us and was watched so much we wore the video out .

I am now 30 years old. This movie is older that I am! And it stands the test of time even today with its unique style. I loved the way the death of Hugo’s family was done with clouds. It made it so surreal.

and I love the Mr Mbow wow song <3 And whenever I want to spell hippo I remember the song - Hippopotamus :)

Posted by Bruno on Tue Jun 07, 2011

I first watch this immaculate and masterpiece cartoon movie when I was some 6 years old on the national television in ex. Yugoslavia (Europe)…

To be short, I immediately become a great fun of it (and even some music songs from it), well, also among with the:

a) “Snezhnaya Koroleva aka The Snow Queen (1966)” cartoon movie,

b) The “Benji, Zax & the Alien Prince (1983)” a Children’s SF TV serie,

c) “Once upon a time… Life (French: II etait une fois… La vie) (1987)”, a 26 parts cartoon superb series about the human body and medicine,

d) “The Kingdom chums, the original Top Ten (1992)”, a best Easter cartoon movie ever,

e) watching sport on TV with our Croatian basketball legend Drazen Petrovic…

Yup, this was the time from as I was six years old, till some 15… :)

Well, today I am more than 30 years old, and I finally got some time to search for this all above mentioned movie rarities, and finally, on today’s Internet widespread era, I was able to found all of this, thank Goodness! :)

My plan is to show that to kids, maybe they will like it also as I am…

I have an also a 4 year younger brother, we will surely be again the “big kids” now, watch all of this again, and remember the good time together from our own childhood…

Thank You very much for Your great Forum and Fansite!

Best regards to all from Zagreb, a Capital of Republic Croatia!

Posted by cyberbat on Thu Jun 09, 2011

I would like to correct myself the hugo we had wasn’t pirated

I told my mother I had ordered 2 copies of Hugo (one for my sister) and she told me that all they had on tv in Saudi was stuff about the royal family. But they had a channel in the compound (I’m guessing it was like pay tv) that showed a whole host of movies and thats how we got hugo.

I saw a clip on youtube and I have realised that our copy was taped when the movie had already started. So I will get to see ‘new’ footage when I watch it!

Bill is so lovely, he has just told me the dvds are in the mail <3

Posted by Bex on Wed Aug 17, 2011

I first watched Hugo the Hippo in about 1983 I was about 6. My Dad recorded it for me off the telly, and like a lot of others on here I watched it over and over. I still have the tape although not sure if it will still work after all these years and too scared to try! I loved it as a kid although always cried and wanted to jump in the telly and rescue Hugo and look after him myself. Will always be my number 1 kids film, love you Hugo x x x

Posted by easy-bot1 on Sun Nov 27, 2011

“I love the hippo H.I.P.P.O, i love the hippo H.I.P.P.O, H.I.P.P.O.P.O. – T.A.M.U , H.I.P.P.O.P.O.T.A.M.U. , H.I.P.P.O.P.O.T.A.M.U.S”

I first saw Hugo when I was little. Earl 80′s. Hippy music loving parents encouraged me to watch it and it became and still is 1 of my fav films ever.

It has an important message but is so funny and the music is wicked.

I am now 33 and both my daughters watch the dvd 16 and 2 yrs old. We all know the words to the songs. ITS JOKES WE LOVE IT.

“You said a mouthful”

I don’t know why there is water in the sea
I don’t know why monkeys like to climb up a tree
I don’t know why milk is in the coconut
There are lots and lots of things I don’t know but…..
I know its a lovely day
I know that there’s time to play
I know that this has to be the very best day ever… the best day ever…
The best day ever made !!!!!

Fantastic lyrics

It is a cult film but should so be distributed that all can appreciate it.

Psychedelic and possibly considered not P.C but who cares this is a top top film.

The BBC currently have animated hippos swimming in circles as if towards the sun light above the ocean surface, its brilliant and pops up all the time in between programs, it always reminds me of Hugo and I have written to them asking to air it as tho it is dated it is a real quality family film that any1 can enjoy.
It teaches about mankind’s greed and how some will stamp out anything if it helps excel their own success.
Love and kindness and how we are all indebted to each other 1 way or an other.

Good conquers evil !!!!

Please watch this film

the river horse, “he walks like an elephant he swims like a whale”

Kind regards to all fans,

Amber, Brighton UK


You can get a signed dvd copy of Hugo fom Bill Feigenbaum the writer/director/animator of “Hugo the Hippo” at “” I contacted him a couple of years ago and he signed one for me and one for my mam it was the best presents ever as like most we had to watch clips on youtube.

woops sorry, with all the excitement in finding this site I WROTE THE WRONG NAME DOWN FOR THAT SONG LOL, WOOPS caps !!!!

its actualy called “The best day ever made”




Please leave a comment (it’s the section underneath the title ‘Leave A Reply’ at the bottom of the page when you click the link). If you have any problems posting then please email me – hobbsy[at]hugothehippo[dot]com – and I’ll get them added them to the site!


  1. TGG1804 says:

    Hi, I remember watching this on UTV sometime in the 70′s pretty much the only thing I remember though is the hippo song, h i p p o p t a m u s, every so offen the chorus pops into my head but I could never remember the name of the movie and having tracked it down via wiki and youtube, the actual picture doesn’t ring any bells bizarrely but wiki does say the h i p p o p o t a m u s song was in there.

  2. michelle says:

    i remember seeing this film on tv when i was younger and was transfixed and adored it and still remember the songs now ,such a sad film ……..i wish u could buy it on dvd as my kids would adore it too

  3. I happened to record this on VHS years ago and loved watching it with the children, who are now in their thirties. I’m amazed to read on this site that it was felt to be too violent and non-pc. I’d love my grandchildren to be able to watch it and am relieved that there is at least a fan club!!

  4. Ben Toth says:

    Saw the movie when I was a kid in the 70s in Budapest. Loved it then and was happy to see it had been released on DVD as well as digitally remastered. Bought it for sentimental reasons and tested it on my two sons (then 2 and 4) who happened to love it right away. Average kids never figure the so called “racist” context Phil Hall suggests in his liberal-tasted account on the political correctness of the movie, as an adult I only got stunned by the Harlem Globetrotter-ape analogy (rather slight implication) and was not able to find further ‘racist’ aspects. As for psychedelic colors and atmosphere, never had problems with that, I think average kids of the traget group in the 70s had less sense for realism than the surreal.

    I trust my kids when it comes to cartoons and they keep going back to the film several times every year. Bob Larimer’s music is instrumental in the overall production. The Hungarian lyrics turned out way less awkward then the English versions and I feel the Hungarian singers also did a much better job than the Osmonds. No wonder my kids have kept yelling and singing the songs of the soundtrack ever since. I think the movie is underrated and is definitely handled at the level of politics. Good animation (for the time period), great music, surreal characters but it has morals and it entertains. You can see more dangerous stuff on cartoon channels by the tons every day. Bayun from Hungary

  5. This was the very FIRST movie I ever saw as a young boy. I am now 42. I love movies and film and I just recall being so mesmerized by the darkness of the theater and then the flashing lights and Hugo the Hippo H I P P O. Isn’t it weird how your memory works? Anyway, that’s my tale. First movie ever and I loved it and my love affair with movies is still here almost 40 years later.

  6. I remember crying my little heart out at age 6 watching this film on tv, I’m 40 now. It always stuck in my memory and I only recently rediscovered it. I don’t know if Will be able to get a DVD that’s comparable in the UK but I will keep looking!

    • I bought a DVD off Bill a few years back that he sent over to the UK and it worked fine. Drop him an email and ask, but I think it should be fine.

  7. Hugo the Hippo is now officially coming the DVD via the Warner Archive this June.

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