"Look around you. There are many things to see, that some would say could never be.
These things I know. It's true and I will tell you so. They are there to see, if you believe.
Trolls and wizards and fairy kings, birds that talk and fish that sing.
And if your heart is true, then you will find them too.
In every wish and dream and happy home, you will find a kingdom of the Gnomes."

David the Gnome is an animated series that is based on the world-famous children's books The Gnomes and The Secret of the Gnomes, by Dutch authors Rien Poortvliet and Wil Huygen. Originally a European show, it was transplanted to the United States intact, with the only change occurring in the character's voices (which were now American). It premiered on the Nickelodeon Network in 1986, and ran for two 13 episode seasons.

The show centers around the titular character, David the Gnome, who is the patriarch of the Wood Gnome community. The Wood Gnomes are a tiny race, with the average adult standing between 12 and 18 centimeters high, and weighing between 225 and 300 grams. Their average lifespan numbers into the hundreds. The gnomes build their houses in the roots of a tree, and their roof tiles are often made from pinecone shells. Except for their natural enemies, the trolls, the gnomes are well loved throughout the forest. They are even known to help out humans in their own way, secretly fixing broken lamps or perhaps moving a ball inside that has been left in the garden overnight.

David himself is 275 years old, though that isn't considered elderly at all; his parents and grandparents are all still alive. He stands only 15 cm tall, but appears taller because of his bright red cone shaped hat, which he wears so that the birds don't mistake him for a mouse as he scampers through the forest. All gnomes wear hats like this, and the male gnomes let their beards grow to ZZ Top proportions. They only trim them for special occasions, such as weddings, visits from relatives, or before setting out on long journeys. Many king gnomes have beards that extend all the way to the ground.

David has a wife named Lisa, and she is only 200 years old (Quite the catch, if I do say so myself.) Female Wood Gnomes always wear green or blue hats to represent the forest and the sky. Lisa and her female friends enjoy wearing more colorful clothes and caps when attending special functions--especially weddings!

Whenever the trolls create trouble, David calls upon his trusty companion, Swift, with a loud whistle. Swift is a red fox, and David rides on his back. Though the trolls are their sworn enemy and always up to no good, David is more or less a pacifist, and believes in the inherent good in the world. Because of this, the shows always had non-violent conclusions (which is becoming a rarity today, even in children's shows.)

The voice talent includes a few well known actors. David is voiced by Tom Bosley, who played Mr. Cunningham on Happy Days, and the show is narrated by Christopher Plummer, of The Sound of Music and The Insider fame.


Tom Bosley
Jane Woods
A.J. Henderson
Barbara Pogemiller
Richard Dumont
Adrian Knight
Rob Roy
Christopher Plummer

Episode List

Season 1

  1. Good Medicine
  2. Witch Way Out
  3. David to the Rescue
  4. The Baby Troll
  5. Little Houses for Little People
  6. The Wedding That Almost Wasn't
  7. To Grandfather's House We Go
  8. Ghost of Black Lake
  9. Kingdom Of The Elves
  10. The Magic Knife
  11. Young Dr. Gnome
  12. Happy Birthday to You
  13. The Siberian Bear

Season 2

  1. Foxy Dilemma
  2. Three Wishes
  3. Ivan the Terrible
  4. Rabbits, Rabbits Everywhere
  5. Any Milk Today
  6. The Shadowless Stone
  7. Friends in Trouble
  8. Airlift
  9. Big Bad Tom
  10. Kangaroo Adventure
  11. The Careless Cub
  12. The Gift
  13. The Mountains of Beyond


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