The 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....
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A sequel, of sorts, to Camberwick Green but set in the larger, nearby town of Trumpton. Each episode opens with the town hall clock and ends with the fire brigade band playing. Every show tells the story of one of the townsfolk.
The 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. 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 »
.. The finest thing to come out of the small screen at any time EVER.
The animation is the sort of thing you imagine you could knock up in your kitchen table on a few long winter nights.. stop camera, nudge puppet, expose a couple more frames, nudge puppet again.. it's jerky and quirky and utterly unsophisticated.
The Clangers themselves are basically pink knitted socks with eyes, and the props are, I believe, worked up from bits of thin brass sheeting, cardboard and Styrofoam.. with cotton wool and string, of course.
Without any visible lips to sync speech to, the Clangers just whistle and Oliver Postgate interprets what they say on the fly.
In spite of - or because of - this, the Clangers are more alive and have more personality than the most sophisticated cgi-generated and superbly voice-acted creations.
I look at the Clangers and I believe in them - they're real, but "illustrated" rather than depicted. The Clangers are a story being told, and carry the message with the film as words on a page carry a story. You don't accept that the ink on the paper is somehow alive, but you listen to the story behind the words. AND the storytelling is fantastic.
I look at Shrek, and I believe I'm seeing superb animation, but there's no real character behind the glossy facade. I see the printed words asking me to accept that they are real, rather than what they tell me is real. (yes, I like Shrek)
The Clangers are comfortable childhood dreams, the cosy warmth of snuggling down with a teddy bear with no worries beyond wondering what the weather will be like tomorrow.
The clangers inhabit a cosy, surreal reality where no-one ever gets hurt and something wonderful always happens to delight the senses, even if Mother Clanger doesn't always approve..
image.. Tiny Clanger fishing from her music-powered flying boat with a rod, line and horseshoe magnet and catching a passing "Hoot" - a baby musical horn which she takes home to discover it growing and hooting loudly enough to annoy the "grown up' Clangers..
Time for soup, said Mother Clanger.
Watch it with someone you love.
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