Well, here’s a little something I’m quite happy about.
For my university dissertation I studied and wrote about the changing relationship between stop-motion and CGI, their continuous confrontations and the divide between the two. During the three months of trials and tribulations, and 12,000 words later, I came away with a deeper and new found respect for the world of computer graphics (but still firmly on the side of stop-motion!).
I couldn’t, and still cannot help but feel that the world of CGI has encroached too far.
Far too far.
It has stolen ‘Fireman Sam’, ‘Noddy’, ‘Thomas the Tank engine’, ‘The Magic Roundabout’, ‘Bananas in Pyjamas’, ‘Guess with Jess’, and now even talk of ‘The Wombles’ being reduced to the usually inexpensive, and equally unimpressive standards of children’s CGI shows. Why??
Don’t get me wrong, I am impressed by CGI, and have a great respect for it. I don’t think artists or fans should stand entirely on one side of the technique ‘war’, nor do I think the two worlds should be entirely separate while we figure out which is best. I like them both, and think they both have amazing attributes that the other doesn’t. My issue is, like with any art form, there’s good, and there’s bad.
There’s good and bad CGI, and the graphics that seem to be given to children’s programmes, is lifeless and creepy. Soulless.
They seem so static and insubstantial. The whole point of Noddy, as far as I remember it was that he was a living TOY made of WOOD- the CGI children’s version does not seem to lend to the same ideals as the book, or even the old version of the programme at all! How is the above, better than this…?
Personally, I don’t see it! It’s not that I have a grudge against CGI, but I wish that the effort made with these new programmes matched the heartfelt honesty seen in the old ones. Children loved these characters because they were REAL- LIVING toys. How is this an attitude to be carried on now? What magic will these computer generated characters have? What are we taking from children by denying them this little belief in magic? Maybe I’m just thinking too much about all of this, and worrying that the kids of today are growing up way too fast, but I am sad at the loss of these beloved protagonists, and don’t want them to rot in the corner of an old museum, representations of a bygone age of television.
All of this, is why today, I was happy to see this little article.
Daniel Postgate, son of the great creator Oliver Postgate, has ousted a plan by the media company ‘Coolabi’ to reboot the beloved 1970’s children’s ‘Bagpuss’. At this, I could not contain my own private glee- I don’t want Bagpuss to go down the same road that ‘Noddy’ did, or ‘Fireman Sam’, or my favourite ‘Postman Pat’.
Although it means there will probably not be a re-boot for quite some time, I think that for the diminishing quality of children’s TV, this is a sacrifice I am willing to make.
Here’s a little Bagpuss for your reminiscent enjoyment.