Midweek in Febraury: A no-man’s land of mirth for most people up and down the country. Luckily for me I came across Rastamouse and some faith has been restored for a while. I didn’t actually realise just how dry children’s TV had become until I came across this today. For me this is a ray of sunshine in children’s TV programming in the UK and I applaud CBeebies (BBC) for championing it.
Rastamouse is a classic styled stop-motion animation series. It has 26 episodes that were originally adopted from Genevieve Webster’s illustrated children’s books. The animation is simple but thoughtfully executed and great care has been taken to maintain the integrity of the accents and personalities. The stories are primarily focused on the adventures of a Rastafarian Mouse and his group of good-doing mice called ‘Da Easy Crew’. They hang out at ‘Nuff Song’ records making music and assisting the President of Mouseland (Wensley Dale) when he needs help. The problems in the stories are almost always solved through love, understanding and respect and if you can work all that into a children’s animation series and even throw in a good helping of reggae and dub to set it off, then you’re onto a winner in my book.
I have a feeling that Rastamouse won’t just disappear like so much disposable kid’s TV does these days. It’s a good example of the wealth of creativity that British animators and Children’s TV producers are historically known for. I wonder what the chaps at Cosgrove Hall or indeed, the late Oliver Postgate would have made of it? It’s so effortlessly brilliant and simple that I’m sure they’d have admired it. Thanks to Janice P for putting this my way today!