may be small, but I feel so tall in Toytown ..."
This terrific little series is often confused
with its equally-terrific remake from
the 1990s. Both series were brought to the
screen by the production partnership
of Brian Cosgrove and Mark Hall, but this
first version was created under the
banner of their former production company
Stop Frame Productions and
is cut from rougher cloth than it's glossier nineties
companion. The series
has a wonderful gruffness in its scripts and
characterization with poor Noddy
frequently at the end of an accusing finger, venemous
stare or barrage of some
form or another from the Toytown residents.
Stop Frame populated the opening and closing
credits with little ladybug
creations. Noddy keeps nodding his head, uncontrollably,
episode and the numerous Toytown residents
are most skilfully articulated.
Mr Wobbly Man wobbles, the Toy Bears shuffle
as they walk, etc. The
splendid animation is supported by equally-splendid
of actor Richard Briers (Roobarb,
Noah & Nelly).
There's a grand grumpiness
to his Big Ears, Plod and the rest, but they never
Noddy is of course, an Enid Blyton creation
dating from 1949 and brought
to life by Dutch artist Harmsen Van Der Beek.
He first appeared on television
in 1955 courtesy of the black and white puppet
series "The Adventures of Noddy".
"The Further Adventures of Noddy" followed
in the 1960's - this time in colour.
Stop Frame's series was the first full-fledged
animated adaptation. It's also
renowned for being supposedly very non-PC,
with all sorts of politically
incorrect behaviour going on, but that certainly
doesn't seem to be the case
with the episodes The Hound has been viewing
again. Maybe they
have been re-edited since their initial broadcast...?
Ruth Boswell adapted the Toytown stories for Stop
Frame. Her CV includes
credits for "The Tomorrow People", "Timeslip",
and "The Molly Wopsy". She went
on to co-create Toonhound favourite Moschops.
The author of the show's
hummable theme tune is Mike McNaught. His eclectic
an arranger's credit for the soundtrack of "Monty
Python's Meaning of Life".
In the very first episode - "Noddy Goes to Toyland" - Noddy
have a name, or indeed, that
blue hat with a bell on the end. He is encountered
en route to Toytown - or
more precisely - struck by Big Ears the Brownie on
his bicycle after he encounters
him in the middle of the Toytown road. The lad
has run away from his Toymaker,
as he explains:
"He made a lion. I don't
like lions. They frighten me!"
Big Ears takes him under his
wing and names him Noddy because he keeps
nodding his head uncontrollably
when he speaks. The blue hat is a present from
Big Ears at the end of the first
tale, when Noddy is granted permanent status in
Toytown after saving a little
girl from one of Noah's animals. And guess which
animal? - Yep, a lion...
Noddy doesn't aquire his famous red and yellow car until the second
He's given the vehicle by Mr
Polly as a reward for catching Gobbo the Goblin
and his gang when they carjack
gets on particularly well with the doll Angela Goldenhair. Indeed,
appears to be a rather tender
affection between the two. Could she be Noddy's
old Noddy can't read or write, or add up properly, nor tell left from
right - things he only discovers
in episode four, "Noddy Goes to School".
This after he's been driving
his car around for a couple of episodes, taking
taxi fares and pennies for
odd-jobs - yoiks!...
can't drive particularly well either. In "Hurrah for Noddy"
to right-off Mr Polly's
red car whilst pursuing Gobbo and his gang. Then,
in "Noddy and His Car"
he brakes sharply whilst giving The Big Pink Cat a
taxi ride. She's thrown
over the windshield - poor thing!
Noddy Goes to Toyland Noddy
at the Seaside
Hurrah for Noddy Noddy
and the Magic Rubber
Noddy and His Car Here
Comes Noddy Again
Noddy Goes to School
Look Out Noddy
Well Done Noddy Noddy
Goes to the Fair
Noddy and the Bumpy Dog
produced and directed by Mark
Ruth Boswell from Enid Blyton's 'Noddy' books
designed by: Brian
Cosgrove, Bridget Appelby
prod team: Chris
Taylor, Simon Bosanquet,
Wride, Marj Graham
dub mixer: Tony