8. The Clangers
Clangers is a British stop-motion children’s television series, comprising short films about a race (or perhaps a family) of creatures who live on, and inside, a small moon-like planet. They speak only in whistles, and eat only green soup (supplied by the Soup Dragon) and blue string pudding. The programmes were originally broadcast on BBC1 between 1969 and 1972, followed by a special episode which was broadcast in 1974. The series was made by Smallfilms, the company set up by Oliver Postgate (who was the show’s writer, animator and narrator) and Peter Firmin (who was its modelmaker and illustrator). Firmin designed the characters, and his wife knitted and “dressed” them. The music, often part of the story, was provided by Vernon Elliott.
9. Camberwick Green
The series was written and produced by Gordon Murray and animated by Bob Bura, John Hardwick and Pasquale Ferrari. Music was by Freddie Phillips while narration and song vocals were provided by Brian Cant. There are thirteen fifteen minute colour episodes produced by Gordon Murray Pictures. The inspiration for the name is believed to have stemmed from the East Sussex village of Wivelsfield Green, supported by the nearby villages of Plumpton (Trumpton) and Chailey (Chigley). Each episode begins with a shot of a musical box which rotates while playing a tune. It is accompanied by the following narration: Here is a box, a musical box, wound up and ready to play. But this box can hide a secret inside. Can you guess what is in it today?
10. Bertha – 80s kids
Bertha is a British stop motion-animated children’s television series about a factory machine of that name, comprising 13 episodes that aired from 1985 to 1986. Other major characters in the series were Mr Willmake (factory owner), Mr Sprott (Bertha’s chief designer) and Tracy (Mr Sprott’s young assistant). All the characters were designed by Ivor Wood, and the series was produced by his company, Woodland Animations. It was broadcast on BBC Television. A series of six storybooks based on Bertha was published by André Deutsch at the same time as the series was broadcast. They were adapted by Eric Charles and illustrated by Steve Augarde, who was also responsible for the artwork and music in the children’s series Bump.