Teletubbies

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Teletubbies
File:Teletubbies Logo.png
Creatit bi Anne Wood
Andrew Davenport
Developit bi Ragdoll Productions
Darrall Macqueen Ltd[1]
Starrin Original series:
Dave Thompson
Simon Shelton
John Simmit
Nikky Smedley
Pui Fan Lee
Revival series:
Nick Kellington
Rebecca Hyland
Jeremiah Krage
Rachelle Beinart
Voices o Original series:
Toyah Willcox
Eric Sykes
Mark Heenehan
Revival series:
Jane Horrocks
Jim Broadbent
Fearne Cotton
David Walliams
Rochelle Humes[2]
Narratit bi Tim Whitnall[3]
Daniel Rigby[4]
Openin theme "Teletubbies say 'Eh-oh!'"
Kintra o oreegin United Kingdom
Leid(s) English
No. o episodes 425 (Leet o episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) David G. Hiller
Vic Finch
Location(s) Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire[5]
Runnin time 25 minutes
Distributor Pinewood Studios[6]
DHX Media[7]
Viacom International[8]
Broadcast
Oreeginal channel CBeebies
Pictur format
Oreeginal airin Original series:
31 Mairch 1997 (1997-03-31)
16 Februar 2001 (2001-02-16)
Revival series:
9 November 2015 (2015-11-09) – present
External links
Website

Teletubbies is a Breetish pre-schuil bairns' televeesion series creatit bi Ragdoll Productions' Anne Wood an Andrew Davenport. The programme focuses on fower multi-coloured creatures kent as "Teletubbies," named for the televeesion screens implanted in thair abdomens. Recognised throughout popular culture for the uniquely-shaped antenna protruding frae the heads o each character, the Teletubbies communicate throu gibberish an war designed tae bear resemblance tae young bairns.[9]

Parteecularly notable for its heich production values, the series rapidly acame a commercial success in Britain an abroad. It wan multiple BAFTA awards an wis nominated for twa Daytime Emmys throughout its run.[10][11] A single based on the shaw's theme sang reached nummer 1 in the UK Singles Chart in December 1997 an remained in the Tap 75 for 32 weeks, selling ower a million copies.[12]

Tho production on the first 365 episodes haed been annoonced cancelled in 2002,[13] sixty new episodes war ordered in 2014.[14] Thay are currently aired on CBeebies in the Unitit Kinrick an on Nick Jr. in the Unitit States.[15] Re-runs o the oreeginal 1997 - 2001 series continue tae be shawn on relevant television channels worldwide, some 16 years efter the oreeginal run's conclusion.

Plot[eedit | eedit soorce]

The programme takes place in a grassy, floral landscape populated bi rabbits wi bird calls audible in the background. The main shelter o the fower Teletubbies is an earth house kent as the "Tubbytronic Superdome" implanted in the grund an accessed throu a hole at the tap or an especially lairge semicircular door at the dome's fit. The creatures co-exist wi a nummer o strange contraptions sic as the Noo-noo, the group's anthropomorphic blue vacuum cleaner, an the Voice Trumpets. The shaw's colourfu, psychedelic setting wis designed specifically tae appeal to the attention spans o infants an unlock different sections o the mind whiles an aw educatin young bairns o transitions that can be expected in life.

An assortment o rituals are performed throughout the course o every episode, sic as the playful interactions atween the Teletubbies an the Voice Trumpets, the mishaps caused bi the Noo-noo, the footage o live bairns displayed on the screens in the Teletubbies' stomachs, an the magical event that occurs ance per episode. The event differs each time; it is eften caused inexplicably an is frequently strange yet whimsical. Each episode is closed bi the Voice Trumpets an the narrator tae the disappointed, reluctant, but eventually obedient Teletubbies, who bids farewell tae the viewer as thay go back tae the Tubbytronic Superdome whiles the Sun baby sets.

Characters[eedit | eedit soorce]

File:Teletubbies.png
The main characters. Frae left to right: Dipsy, Laa-Laa, Po, an Tinky Winky.

Main characters[eedit | eedit soorce]

  • Tinky Winky (played bi Dave Thompson and Simon Shelton in the oreeginal series and bi Jeremiah Krage in the revival series)[16][17] is the first Teletubby, as well as the lairgest and auldest o the group. He is covered in purpie terrycloth and haes a triangular antenna on his heid. He awmaist always cairies a reid bag.
  • Dipsy (played bi John Simmit in the oreeginal series and bi Nick Kellington in the revival series)[18] is the seicont Teletubby. He is green and named efter his antenna, which resembles a dipstick. Dipsy is the maist stubborn o the Teletubbies, an will occasionally refuse to go alang wi the others' group opinion. His face is notably darker than the rest o the Teletubbies, an the creators hae stated that he is black.[19]
  • Laa-Laa (played bi Nikky Smedley in the oreeginal series and bi Rebecca Hyland in the revival series)[18] is the third Teletubby. She is yellae and haes a curly antenna. Laa-Laa is very sweet, likes to sing and dance, an is eften shawn leukin oot for the ither Teletubbies. Her favorite toy is an orange rubber ball.
  • Po (played bi Pui Fan Lee in the oreeginal series and bi Rachelle Beinart in the revival series)[18] is the fowert Teletubby, as well as the shortest and youngest. She is reid and haes an antenna shaped lik a stick uised for blowing soap bubbles. Po normally speaks in a saft vyce and haes been stated bi the shaw's creators tae be Cantonese.[19]

Supporting characters[eedit | eedit soorce]

  • The Noo-noo (operated bi Mark Dean in the oreeginal series)[20] is a conscientious vacuum cleaner who acts as baith the Teletubbies' guardian and housekeeper. He hardly ever ventures ootside the Tubbytronic Superdome, instead remainin indoors and constantly cleaning wi his sucker-lik neb. He communicates throu a series of slurping and sucking noises.
  • The Voice Trumpets (voiced bi Fearne Cotton, Jim Broadbent and Antonia Thomas in the revival series)[21] are several devices resembling periscopes that rise frae the grund and interact wi the Teletubbies, eften engaging in gemmes wi them and serving as supervisors. Thay are the anly residents of Teletubbyland who speak in complete sentences.
  • The Sun Baby (played bi Jess Smith in the oreeginal series)[22] appears at the beginnin and end of each episode. She acts as a wake-up caw for the Teletubbies.
  • Numerous rabbits are foond throughout Teletubbyland, an are depicted bi several Flemish Giant rabbits. The Teletubbies enjoy watching them hop and play. The rabbits are the anly teep of Yird ainimal foond in the land, an tak residence in rabbit holes and bushes.
  • The Tubby Phone (voiced bi Jane Horrocks)[21] is a character in the revival series, who transports the Teletubbies to the modren warld.
  • The Tiddlytubbies (voiced bi Teresa Gallagher) are baby Teletubbies appearin in the revival series. Thair names are Mi-Mi, Daa Daa, Baa, Ping, RuRu, Nin, Duggle Dee and Umby Pumby.[23]

Release[eedit | eedit soorce]

On 31 Mairch 1997, the first episode of Teletubbies aired on BBC2. It filled a timeslot previously held bi Playdays. This schedule chynge initially received backlash frae parents, but the shaw wis nae moved.[24] The programme's unconventional format quickly received attention frae the media, an it wis attracting twa million viewers per episode bi August.[25] In Februar 1998, The Sydney Morning Herald noted that it haed "reached cult status" in less nor a year on the air.[26]

Teletubbies haes been aired in ower 120 countries in 45 different leids.[27][28] In the United States, the series airs on Nickelodeon as pairt o the Nick Jr. block.[29][30] Episodes are an aa released throu the Nick Jr. mobile application and on-demand services.[31][32] The oreeginal series is available as pairt o the Noggin subscription service in North Americae.[33][34] It haed aired on PBS Kids until 2008. BBC Worldwide channels cairy the series in maist of Africae, Asia and Poland.[35] A Spaingie dub airs on Clan in Spain.[36] In Greece, the series airs on Nickelodeon Greece.[37] NPO Zappelin cairies the shaw in the Netherlands and MTVA airs it in Hungary.[35] In Australia and New Zealand, the series airs on CBeebies Australia[38] and ABC Kids. JimJam's Benelux feed airs the series and Ultra airs it in Serbia.[36] Teletubbies an aa airs on SIC in Portugal and e-Junior in the Middle East.[35]

Promotion[eedit | eedit soorce]

Merchandising[eedit | eedit soorce]

A kiddie ride at Chuck E. Cheese's featurin the Teletubbies characters.

Golden Bear Toys distributed the first line of Teletubbies dolls shortly efter the programme's debut.[39] Thay war sauld internationally, wi talking toys available in multiple leids.[40] Hasbro signed on to develop a new range of products in 1998.[41] In 1999, Microsoft UK released a set of interactive "ActiMates" toys based on the characters.[42] The Rasta Imposta company introduced Teletubbies costumes for childer and adults in the same year.[43] Twa educational video games featurin the characters war an aa released throughout the series' run.[44][45]

Teletubbies dolls war the tap-selling Christmas toy in 1997.[46][47] Demand outstripped supply at maist retailers, reportedly prompting mony shops to ration them to one per customer.[48] In some cases, shoppers camped ootside stores overnight in hopes of purchasing Teletubbies merchandise.[49][50] Fights ower the toys broke oot amang parents and collectors on occasion.[51][52] Ower one million dolls war sauld in Britain bi 25 December of that year, wi Golden Bear representatives estimating that sales coud hae reached three million if supplies haed been available.[53] The plush toys war named "Toy of the Year" bi the British Association of Toy Retailers in 1998.[54]

Kids' meal tie-ins hae been released at fast-food restaurants throughout North Americae. In Mey 1999, Burger King distributed a set of sax Teletubbies plush toys.[55] Thay an aa included chicken nuggets shaped lik the characters on thair menu for a brief period of time.[56] Keychains modelled efter the characters war available at McDonald's in Apryle 2000.[57] Thir promotions became controversial amang adults who believed thay war intendit to attract toddlers to heich-fat food.[58] Psychiatrist Alvin Francis Poussaint considered the deals "troubling."[59] He voiced his opinion on the matter publicly, but did nae tak action against the companies.[60]

Twa kiddie rides featurin the characters war manufactured bi Jolly Roger.[61] Thay war available at select amusement parks and arcades, sic as Chuck E. Cheese's and Fantasy Island.[62]

Overseas Teletubbies merchandise sales throughout the 1990s delivered €136 million in profits for the BBC.[63] Bi the time o the programme's cancellation, Teletubbies toys haed generated ower £200 million in revenue for co-creautor Anne Wood alone.[64] In 2005, Chris Hastings and Ben Jones of The Daily Telegraph cried Teletubbies "the most lucrative show in BBC television history."[65]

Live events[eedit | eedit soorce]

To commemorate the tenth anniversary o the premiere of Teletubbies, a series of events teuk place frae Mairch to Apryle 2007.[66] The characters headlined an invitation-anly event in London on 21 Mairch 2007. Thay appeared in New York City's Times Square, Grand Central Terminal, and Apollo Theater. Thay war an aa interviewed on The Today Show in an episode that included the first televised appearance o the actors wioot thair costumes. A partnership wis formed wi Isaac Mizrahi in which Mizrahi designed Teletubbies-inspired bags tae be auctioned off to benefit charities. A new line of claedin wis launched at the Pop-Up Shop[67] and ither specialty stores. New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg annoonced 28 Mairch 2007 "Teletubbies Day" and gae the key to the ceety to the Teletubbies. Following thair shaw in New York, the Teletubbies went on thair first live European tour, performing in London, Paris, Bremen, Darmstadt, Halle, Hamburg, Köln, and Hannover.[68]

In Januar 2016, costumed Teletubbies characters appeared at the American International Toy Fair.[69] In Apryle 2016, the series' premiere on the Greek Nickelodeon channel wis advertised wi a series of appearances bi the Teletubbies at malls throughout Athens.[70][71] This began wi a live shaw at Avenue Mall on 16 Apryle, which featurt baith the Teletubbies and a host frae the network.[72] Throughout Mey 2016, the characters appeared on various breakfast television programmes to promote the upcoming series' debut on Nickelodeon in the United States.[73][74]

Reception[eedit | eedit soorce]

Critical reception[eedit | eedit soorce]

The series received mixed reviews frae critics. Common Sense Media's Emily Ashby foond that "while the show's examples of cooperative play, wonder, and simple joys are gentle and pleasing, the creatures can still be a little grating to parents watching along."[75] Caryn James of The New York Times stated in her review that the episodes "offer a genuinely appealing combination: cute and slightly surreal."[76]

Upon the shaw's release, some critics feared that the characters' uise of babbling in place of complete sentences wad negatively affect young viewers' ability to communicate. The Daily Mirror reportit in 1997 that mony parents objected to its "goo-goo style" and "said the show was a bad influence on their children."[77] Marina Krcmar, a professor of communication at the Wake Forest University, told interviewers in 2007 that "toddlers learn more from an adult speaker than they do from a program such as Teletubbies."[78] Psychiatrist Aric Sigman haes expressed his belief that "Teletubbies is as bad for your child as a violent video game."[79] Houiver, Paul McCann of The Independent defended this aspect o the shaw, statin that "Teletubbies upsets those who automatically assume that progressive and creative learning is trendy nonsense. Those who believe that education should be strictly disciplined and functional, even when you're 18 months old. Thankfully Teletubbies isn't for them. It's for kids."[24]

Tinky Winky controversy[eedit | eedit soorce]

Tinky Winky stairtit a controversy in 1999 acause of his carrying a bag that looks much lik a woman's handbag (awtho he wis first "outed" bi the academic and cultural critic Andy Medhurst in a letter of Julie 1997 to The Face).[80] He aroused the interest of Jerry Falwell in 1999 when Falwell alleged that the character wis a "gay role model". Falwell issued an attack in his National Liberty Journal, citing a Washington Post "In/Out" column which stated that lesbian comedian Ellen DeGeneres wis "out" as the chief national gay representative, while trendy Tinky Winky wis "in". He warned parents that Tinky Winky coud be a covert homosexual seembol, acause "he is purple, the gay pride colour, and his antenna is shaped like a triangle: the gay pride symbol."[81] The BBC made an offeecial response, expleenin that "Tinky Winky is simply a sweet, technological baby with a magic bag."[82] Ken Viselman of Itsy-Bitsy Entertainment commented, "He's not gay. He's not straight. He's just a character in a children's series."[83]

In Mey 2007, Pols Ombudsman for Childer Ewa Sowińska revisited the matter, an planned to order an investigation.[84] "I noticed that he has a woman's handbag, but I didn't realise he's a boy," Sowińska said in a public statement. She asked her office's psychologists to leuk intae the allegations. Efter the research in late 2007, she stated: "The opinion of a leading sexologist, who maintains that this series has no negative effects on a child's psychology, is perfectly credible. As a result I have decided that it is no longer necessary to seek the opinion of other psychologists."[85]

Despite the objections, the Independent on Sunday's editors included Tinky Winky as the anly fictional character in the 2008 inaugural "Happy List", alongside 99 real-life adults recognised for makin Britain a better and happier place.[86]

Cult following[eedit | eedit soorce]

Awtho the programme is aimed at childer atween the ages of one and fower, it haed a substantial cult following wi aulder generations, mainly university and college students.[51][87][88] The mixture of bricht colours, unusual designs, repetitive non-verbal dialogue, ritualistic format, an occasional forays intae physical comedy appealed to mony who perceived the programme as haein psychedelic qualities.[89]

Awards and nominations[eedit | eedit soorce]

Year Presenter Award/Category Nominee Status Ref.
1997 City of Birmingham Awards Best Midlands-Produced Childer's Television Production Ragdoll Productions Wan [90]
NHK Japan Prize Grand Prize (Pre-School Eddication) [91]
Royal Television Society Childer's Entertainment Award [92]
1998 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Best Pre-School Programme [93]
Marketing Society Awards New Product o the Year Golden Bear Toys [94]
Online Film & Television Association Best Childer's Series Ragdoll Productions Nominatit [95]
Television Critics Association Outstanding Achievement in Childer's Programming [95]
UK Independent Television Productions Awards NATS Childer's Award Wan [96]
1999 Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Pre-School Childer's Series Nominatit [97]
Licensing Industry Merchandiser's Association Oweraw License o the Year Wan [98]
Independent Television Productions Awards Nickelodeon UK Childer's Award [99]
Television Critics Association Outstanding Achievement in Childer's Programming Nominatit [100]
2000 Independent Television Productions Awards Audiocall Indie Childer's Award Wan [101]
Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Pre-School Childer's Series Nominatit [102]
Royal Television Society Eddication Award Wan [103]
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Outstanding Contreibution in Childer's Television and Film Anne Wood [104]
2002 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Best Pre-School Live Action Series Ragdoll Productions [11]
2014 Prix Jeunesse "Most Edgy" Programme o the Last 50 Years [105]
Greatest Impact Programme o the Last 50 Years [105]

Other media[eedit | eedit soorce]

In popular culture[eedit | eedit soorce]

CD single[eedit | eedit soorce]

In December 1997, BBC Worldwide released a CD single frae the series, based on the shaw's theme sang, cried "Teletubbies say 'Eh-oh!'" It is the anly single frae Teletubbies, makin the characters a one-hit wonder in the United Kinrick. The sang wis written bi Andrew McCrorie-Shand and Andrew Davenport, and produced bi McCrorie-Shand and Steve James. The single reached nummer 1 in the UK Singles Chart in December 1997, an remained in the Tap 75 for 32 weeks efter its release.[107]

References[eedit | eedit soorce]

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