Thursday, 22 May 2008

Lauren Child "Charlie and Lola"

I know a three year old who loves Bafta Award winning Charlie and Lola and I do too. We are used to praising the classics of children's animation but look here, we may have one in our midst. I Will Not Ever Never Eat a Tomato is the episode I watched at the weekend in which five year old Lola proclaims very confidently just how much she detests the fruit (and other vegetables and fruits that are good for growing kids.) Seven year old Charlie proceeds to show her the error of her ways. We are transported along with the sister to a magic world in which the fruits appear in a different guise. To illustrate, how about the humble carrot? Little green men on Mars love carrots and change colour accordingly whilst garden peas are Green Drops from the sky and the world has an emerald glow. It is produced for the BBC by Tiger Aspect whose claim to fame was the animated Mr Bean. Lauren Child's massively selling picture books have been adapted since 2005 to animations perfectly blending a collage of simple drawings, fabric, live action footage and some use of cut-outs. The children's voices and the always imaginative presentations work beautifully. YouTube seems to have several episodes posted at present though my wife tells me it's an ever-present on UK television's CBeebies: in two sections then - Tomato and Tomato 2. You may also enjoy the interactive Charlie and Lola website. and even purchase DVDs of a much higher quality than YouTube. And, my word, Wikipedia delivers on the series.

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