Legendary British children's animation of the early 70s made by the 'Smallfilms' team of Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin, this series chronicled the melancholically funny lives of the ... See full summary »
Legendary British children's animation of the early 70s made by the 'Smallfilms' team of Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin, this series chronicled the melancholically funny lives of the Clangers, a flutey-voiced family of woolen, knitted aliens living below the surface of a knobbly little planet far out in space. Their misadventures brought them into contact with such unlikely creatures as the Soup Dragon, the Froglets, the Iron Chicken and the Glow Buzzers. The series remains a marvelously still point in a hectic world! Written by
To keep the puppets upright during filming they had to be tacked to the set through their conveniently black flipper-like feet. The tacks can often be seen appearing and disappearing as the Clangers move around, as can the consequent slight damage to the set. See more »
Far from Earth on a distant planet live the Clangers a strange, mousey form of alien life that sound uncannily like a load of penny whistles being played. Each episode, the Clangers face a different story on their quiet little planet and none of them are ever straight forward. This series ran for less than 30 episodes but its influence runs deeper and it is telling that everyone knows the noise a Clanger makes and they are still sought after toys that are produced all these years later.
The stories are never that amazing but, narrated by Postgate, they have a sense of humour and unique wit that is often associated with Smallfilms cartoons and things like Magic Roundabout it is hard to put into words but it is unmistakably British and not something that you see repeated often. The narration works wonderfully and really helps the shorts work but it is the imaginative animation that makes it stand out as one of those short animations that stay with children for decades. How I pity the generation that grow up the Saturday morning computer-generated serials that all involve robots and guns and constant action they all look the same and do nothing to encourage imagination or invention in their minds.
The movement of the characters is jerky of course but it is not the quality that is important, rather it is the unique feel to it that works and the imaginative characters etc. It looks good and many people would be able to identify the series just by a single frame so distinctive is it. The overall effect is a classic British animation that is funny, imaginative and distinctive with silly stories blessed with a touch of absurdist wit. Well worth seeing and well worth getting kids now to watch.
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