Description: Ivor the Engine, Noggin the Nog, Pingwings, Pogles Wood, Clangers, and Bagpuss - the iconic animations produced by the Canterbury-based Smallfilms studio between 1958 and 1984 - constitute a significant thread of British cultural history. The lasting appeal of the imagined worlds created by Smallfilms is evident in the highly-successful BBC reboot of Clangers (2015-present), which has introduced a whole new audience to the pink moon mice. As well as the shows likely to be famiilar to readers, this history expands the Smallfilms story to include those less well-known animated shows that nonetheless played an important part in the studio's history. Through extensive studio access, interviews with many key Smallfilms collaborators, press and audience analysis, Chris Pallant provides a comprehensive and definitive historical record of the studio's work. Beyond Bagpuss is illustrated with 100 images from the Smallfilms archive, including those that have not previously been published.
Review: Chris Pallant has dived deep and long, leaving no stone unturned, and has finally come up for air with a valuable treasure-trove of thoroughly researched facts and enlightening insights into the weird and whimsical worlds from the studios of Smallfilms. -- Daniel Postgate, Smallfilms Ltd/Quintet Pictures, UK
In an eagerly awaited study, Pallant finally places the extraordinary worlds of Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin at Smallfilms into proper perspective as one of the most significant achievements in British Animation. Using primary interviews, rare archival holdings, and an extensive audience study, Pallant pieces together a detailed, thematically-driven, history of production and reception, offering astute insights about the distinctive aesthetic 'stillness' and craft values of Smallfilms' folk art. This is not merely a reiteration of the whimsy and nostalgia often invoked by the iconic Bagpuss, however, but a thorough interrogation of Smallfilms' meaning and affect. -- Paul Wells, Loughborough University, UK
Chris Pallant shines a fine scholarly light on to the story of Smallfilms, a little studio begun in a barn in the Kentish countryside, that created some of the most memorable British children's programs of the Twentieth Century. -- Tom Sito, University of Southern California, USA
A thorough, engaging and innovative study of the creative pairing of Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin which not only offers fresh insight into Smallfilms' much-loved classics like Bagpuss and The Clangers, but also greatly expands our understanding of lesser-known works which are ripe for rediscovery. -- Jez Stewart, British Film Institute, UK
Contents: 1. Introduction 2. The Whimsical Authenticity of Smallfilms: Ivor the Engine (1959-1964; 1975-1977) 3. Building Worlds - The Sagas of Noggin the Nog (1959 - 1965; 1982) 4. Aesthetic Transition and the Persistence of the Hand-Made in The Seal of Neptune (1960), The Mermaid's Pearls (1962) and Pingwings (1961-65) 5. Low-Angle Persons - The Pogles (1965) and Pogles Wood (1966-1968) 6. Technology and Inventiveness within Smallfilms animation: Clangers (1969-1974) 7. The Forgotten History of Smallfilms: Sam on Boffs' Island (1972-1973) 8. Creative Collaboration and the Bricolage of Bagpuss (1974) 9. Smallfilms at the End of the Road? Tottie (1984/1986), Life on Earth Perhaps (1985), and Pinny's House (1986) 10. The Afterlife of 'Smallfilms': Adaptation and Renewal APPENDIX A: Smallfilms - statistical perspectives APPENDIX B: Examples of Oliver Postgate's Screenwriting Style Works Cited Filmography Index
Author Biography: Chris Pallant is Reader in the School of Media, Art and Design at Canterbury Christ Church University, UK. He is the author of Demystifying Disney (2011) and Storyboarding: A Critical History (2015), and editor or Animated Landscapes: History, Form and Function (2015). He currently serves as Vice-President for the Society for Animation Studies and is Festival Director for Canterbury Anifest.
Promotional Information: The first comprehensive history of Britain's iconic Smallfilms animation studio.