The Clangers

Clanger_7491The Clangers was (and is in its new incarnation) a British animated stop go animated children’s series.  It involves small pink creatures formed of wool that live on a bleak moon down burrows, eating blue string pudding and a green soup.  The Clangers name comes from the fact that their burrows each have a dustbin lid on them which clanged when opened or closed.  I grew up watching this series (which I loved).  Recently (in 2015) the series has been remade using some computer graphics, but otherwise is very like the original clangers series.  I was reminded of the Clangers after an interview with one of its surviving creators Peter Firmin.  What I had also forgotten until I read this interview was how eco aware the series was.  Peter Firmin said they reused a lot of junk to make the sets etc.  This was not just for environmental reasons, but more since they could afford to otherwise.  What is more interesting was that this recycling made it into the plot lines of the show.

The clangers make their living by collecting bits of space junk all of which seems to be human in origin.  Sometimes this crash lands on the Clanger’s moon at other times they go to collect it in a small space ship powered by musical notes from a music tree.  Every time the Clangers try to puzzle out what they have found (never being able to do so of course), but put to a new use that they think is appropriate.  Its fair to say the ecological message got home to Oliver Postgate. He campaigned on nuclear issues and in the last few years of his life against climate change.  Its difficult to say how much you take in as child but the programme probably introduced a whole generation including me to the idea of recycling.

Neil

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