diamond geezer

 Saturday, August 06, 2016

This might be the best glass case in a museum ever.

Unless it's this one.

Or maybe this one.

Oliver Postgate's animated finest are currently on show in a mini-exhibition at the V&A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green.

It's called Clangers, Bagpuss & Co, and takes up a small area in the main hall opposite the gift shop. These are the actual knitted aliens and pink-striped cat, along with proper Froglets, the Iron Chicken and the one and only Professor Yaffle. Smallfilms also produced Noggin the Nog and Ivor The Engine, and they're here too, though as a hand-drawn cut-outs moved across evocative hilly backdrops.

Rather cleverly, a couple of tablets have been set up so that visitors can create their very own stop motion animation of Ivor puffing through the Welsh countryside. Alas children tend not to stop and read the instructions so are more likely to simply press on the screen a lot, get quickly bored and walk away. Neither are they likely to be overly interested in the 20 minute showreel of Smallfilms favourites, whereas parents (or more likely grandparents) will definitely want to plonk down on the sofa to watch some classic scenes.

There are scripts to read and important bits of Meccano to ogle, as well as little cards with histories and background snippets. These include the fact that Professor Yaffle was based on friend of the family Bertrand Russell, that the Clangers were named after the noise the dustbin lids on their planet would have made, and that Ivor The Engine's home village of Llanmad is 'damn all' backwards, in homage to Dylan Thomas.

The V&A's small celebration of Smallfilms kicked off in March, but if you've not been yet, only six weeks remain.

(The Pogles are also present)

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