The Hound says "Welcome to Toonhound!" Toonhound logo
  cartoons, animation, comic strips and puppets in the UK  Union Jack


  british toon
  news & chatter
  animated films
  & shorts

  animated series

  animation studios

  & people

  string, hand
  & finger puppets

  characters, strips
  & comic books

  British animators
  & illustrators


Toonhound presents...






British TV series


    Noggin the Nog

producers: SmallFilms for the BBC
    animation: 2D animation

                            1959-1965 / 30 x 5mins / b/w
                            1981 / 6 x 10mins / colour

   "In the lands of the North, where the black rocks
    stand guard against the cold sea, in the dark night
    that is very long, the men of the Northlands sit by
    their great log fires and they tell a tale..."

  spacer number two

   SmallFilms' bleak and brilliant Norse tales focused on Noggin, King of the Nogs,
   of the Northlands and his endeavours to keep his wicked Uncle, Nogbad the Bad,
   from getting his hands on the throne of the Nogs. Instead of 'stories' we had
   'sagas' to watch, in keeping with the Viking/Icelandic concept.

   By the end of the first saga, Noggin was married to the beautiful eskimo Nooka,
   and in time they had a son called Knut. Noggin reported all the royal affairs to the
   Council of Elders. The bravest Nog soldier was Noggin's friend Thor Nogson, and
   the strongest was Olaf The Lofty. Many recall the royal bird Graculus, who was
   akin to a vey large cormorrant.

   The series took its cue from the famous Isle Of Lewis chessmen, unearthed in
   the Hebrides and now residing in the british Museum. Peter Firmin was inspired
   by the find and he went on to bring the Nogs to life with a wonderfully muted
   palette of earthy browns, golds and greens. In the accompanying books he went
   further, embellishing tales with celtic knots and symbols. Add to the visuals Oliver
   Postgate's melancholic storytelling and - well - you have a legendary realm brought
   splendidly to life.

   Initially, the Noggin concept was rejected by ITV, but the project was snapped
   up by the BBC who paid the princely sum of £100 per episode. It became the
   very first production to be undertaken at Peter Firmin's 'cowshed' conversion near
   Canterbury which was to become the regular SmallFilms studio until they
   closed its doors in the early 1980s.

   The intial run of sagas ran from 1959 to 1965 and each comprised of 6 x 5min
   episodes. In 1970 three sagas were re-edited into 15min episodes. Later
   still in 1982 Oliver and Peter presented us with a short series of colour films,
   one a remake of "Noggin and the Ice Dragon", the other a new story
   focusing on Knut, but still called "Noggin and the Pie".

   Many remember the atmospheric music from Vernon Elliott. He played the
   bassoon on the soundtrack with his daughter Bridget on clarinet. In the second
   saga Oliver Postgate devised a series of 'musical sketches' to guide Vernon's
   musical scoring - much like a musical storyboard.

   Noggin fans should track down the equally-legendary Dragons Friendly
   Society, a fan-club of sorts for Noggin and his Nogs. The DFS originally featured
   in the saga of "Noggin and the Ice Dragon". In their modern form they offer
   up exclusive editions and videos for folks to purchase and treasure.

  spacer number two

    In the news

Noggin the Nog
     SmallFilms saga on BBC Four...

     Toy Tales
     Noggin the Nog at The Cartoon Museum...

  spacer number two

    The Sagas of Noggin The Nog

    In black and white
    1959 - The Saga of Noggin the Nog
    1961 - Noggjn and the Ice Dragon
    1963 - Noggin and the Flying Machine
    1964 - Noggin and the Omruds
    1965 - Noggin and the Firecake

    In colour
    1982 - Noggin and the Ice Dragon (remake)
    1982 - Noggin and the Pie

  spacer number two

    Noggin in print

    Twelve Noggin storybooks were published by Kaye & Ward to accompany
    the original series. In addition a handsome selection of 'Starting To Read' Noggin
    books were produced. All of these volumes were written and illustrated by
    Oliver and Peter. In the late 1970's/early 1980's Picture lions reprinted
    several tales with new Peter Firmin artwork. And in 1977 a terrific (and
    limited edition) celebration of The Northlands called 'Nogmania' was
    published too....

     Kaye & Ward 'Starting To Read' books

     Noggin The King        
       Noggin And The Moon Mouse 
     Noggin And The Whale 
     Nogbad And The Elephants
     Noggin And the Dragon
       Noggin And The Money
     Nogbad Comes Back            Noggin And The Storks

  spacer number two

      made by SmallFilms

      stories by Oliver Postgate
      puppets and pictures by Peter Firmin
Vernon Elliot
told by:   
  Oliver Postgate
                    Ronnie Stevens (not 1st saga)

  spacer number two

     On the web

     The official SmallFilms site...

     Dragons-Friendly Society 
     Smallfilms' very own society site...

     Double: Take
     Double: Take hold clip rights to the colour episodes... 

     The Northlands
     Neil Jones' topnotch Noggin fan site...

     Jedi's Paradise
     Jediman features a transcript of a lecture given by the
     SmallFilms duo at the NFT a few years ago....


index »    previous »   next »     

©SmallFilms - Peter Firmin & Oliver Postgate / F2010