It’s the start of February right now and in the hope of me having some maternity leave from blogging I have sat down to do what I thought would be some quick and easy TV reviews. Oh how wrong I always am. I was going to watch an episode from Noddy in Toyland on the Channel 5 catch up site, which I had already placed a link to in my guide to Blyton on TV. Unfortunately, none of the episodes work. They just take you to a 404 error.
So after a rethink I found there are some episodes of Make Way for Noddy available (from around #51 to #100) and so what is what I will do instead. I don’t like starting near the end of a series but seeing as I can’t start at the beginning I just chose an episode title I fancied.
We start with what can only be desribed as a very annoying theme song which seems to go on for ages. I pity the parents whose children love this show and subject them to this song over and over (and thoroughly hope I will not be one of them!)
You can tell the show is an older one as the CGI world is not very good. The characters are OK, they have texture and so on but the inside of Noddy’s house, for instance, looks very cheap and flat. Also, strangely, he has a shower cubicle in the corner of his one-room house, and a sink, but no toilet. Then again, Blyton never had anyone use a toilet so perhaps it is in keeping with the books that way.
LOSING THE BELL
Quite a few things in Toyland make Noddy’s head start nodding – but not the milkman. The first is his alarm clock waking him up, and then later, a sudden stop in his car sets him off again. It is at this point he realises he doesn’t hear his bell ringing, it’s gone! He hears a deeper bell, and that’s the town clock chiming. Then another bells rings, but that’s on the door of a shop. That can only mean one thing, apparently. His own bell is lost.
FINDING THE BELL
Noddy being the brainless toy that he is, decides he will search all of Toytown to find his bell. Straight away I was thinking ‘but hang on, he hasn’t been down any alleys between shops or through the park…”
Thankfully Big Ears is at least as bright as I am, and asks Noddy if he has been to any of the places he has searched before. By this point that include behind shops, in flowerbeds and in dustbins.
Only then does Noddy understand that he should retrace his steps to find the bell. He takes this a little bit too literally and takes his car in reverse (literally) along the route he had taken that morning. PC Plod must have been on a day off otherwise I am sure he would have had something to say about Noddy driving at speed in reverse all around the place.
Rather conveniently, at every stop the person there can remind him of where he had been he saw them. So the clockwork clown sends him to Mr Sparks at the garage (a darker-skinned Scotsman but definitely not a golliwog), Mr Sparks directs him to Dinah Doll’s stall (Dinah a dark-skinned doll was added to the books around the time the gollys were removed), Dinah reminds him he brought Martha Monkey from the train station. After that he manages to remember he had come from home before that.
And lo and behold, his bell is sitting right outside his own front door.
I’m sure two-year olds will like it. It’s brightly coloured and it had a simple but fairly interesting story line to follow.
These older shows are nice because although they have fallen foul of the ‘everything must be CGI’ way of thinking, they at least are not full of technology. I don’t understand why every show now must have a tablet computer or smart phone device assisting the main characters. Your average pre-schooler doesn’t carry a tablet around every day (even if they do have one at home to play with) so why do TV characters seem surgically attached to theirs?
Anyway I’m getting away from the point here. I thought it was OK, not really enough to hold an adult’s interest or spark any real debate or discussion but it wasn’t designed for that. It will entertain a toddler for the ten minutes it’s on.