Friday, September 25, 2015

Animation in Great Britain

The BBC's short history of British animated cartoons.

In the first half of the 20th Century, British animation's chief avenue of exposure was as part of the Allied war effort.

Animation played a key role in British propaganda during both World War One and World War Two, raising morale by lampooning the Kaiser and Hitler as well as communicating government messages. ...

As television sets made their way into many more UK homes in the 1960s, there was a growing new audience for animation to entertain.

French import The Magic Roundabout (although we're claiming it as British due to Eric Thompson's brilliant re-working of the scripts) was one of many animated shows to achieve cult status and provoked a storm when it was moved from its pre-evening news slot to an earlier children's viewing time. ...


Chris Sobieniak said...

The Magic Roundabout became something of a cult classic in the UK for the way Eric Thompson wrote/narrated each episode. Unlike the usual method of adapting a foreign production for another language, Eric didn't rely on translating the original scripts at all, and went for the approach of simply watching the episode silently and writing off what came to his mind from what he was seeing (a method probably best known in Saban Entertainment's release of "Samurai Pizza Cats"). The show took on a very surreal approach that went over children's heads and spoke to a generation of adults unaware of the five minutes they may had given up before the news came on. The show certainly spoke to them more often than not. Here's some examples.

America did get to see this eventually, though it was a completely different English version produced for Nickelodeon's "Pinwheel" series. It used roughly the same names as before, but the dialogue and scripts were closer to the original than simply made up.

Then of course there was the CGI movie from a decade back that did poorly stateside, but not so bad back home (nostalgia and all).

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