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Toonhound presents...







   High in Blanket Sky - a tour of Button Moon
    A whistle-stop tour of Button Moon

    Between 1980 and 1987 we blasted off 91 times to Button Moon. Playboard
    Puppets' terrific tv series took us hither and thither around Mr Spoon's home
    and garden, and up into the sky on board his bean-tin spaceship, to that
    titular moon and beyond.

    The series is playing daily on Nick Jnr here in the UK, and there was a
    a jolly DVD released a wee while back. So if you haven't gazed
    up in Blanket Sky for a while, stick around. We'll take a look through
    Mr Spoon's telescope and see what wonderful places we encounter!...


     Mr Spoon's world

    Mr Spoon's world doesn't appear to have a name. It's known simply as
    "home". Oh, but what a home.  The Spoon family - Mr Spoon, Mrs Spoon
    and Tina Teaspoon - live in a delightful red Ox box house, with a higgeldy-
    piggeldy garden fence and big sweeping brush trees lining up behind
    their super spaceship - beyond which is Mr Spoon's garden shed.

     Mr Spoon's wonderful home

    It's all quite a contrast from the collection of tower boxes not far away,
    where you'll find Winny Wilson.
    Mr Spoon's world is bigger than Button Moon. But it's still rather small.
    Occasionally, we get a long shot of the world, as he blasts off into space,
    Blanket Sky, and by compositing a couple of images, we can get
    a pretty good view from on high. That's Mr Spoon's red house in the middle,
    and there are the tower boxes on the far left of the picture...

    Mr Spoon's world

     Blanket Sky

     Ah, Blanket Sky. It really is an extraordinary place. The route from
     Mr Spoon's house takes us past ever-changing sights, like rippling
     streamers and bright Summer kites, or spinning windmills. 

     Occasionally, bubbles drift by the window of Mr Spoon's spaceship as
     a soapy bucket and mop washes the stars, to make them shine
     even brighter...

     Bucket and mop wash the stars clean    Umbrella stormclouds

     But it's not always so cheerful. At times, Umbrella stormclouds can
     gather, rain pours from big green watering cans and a line of fork lightning
     zig-zags down!...

     Banana Birds take flight    Planet Gooseberry

     Oh, but it was only a passing shower. Now a flock of Banana Birds
     have taken flight, and they lead us on to the fruity delights of
     Planet Gooseberry!...

     Button Moon

     At last we've arrived at our special destination. From a distance,
     Button Moon is merely a round yellow button, with nothing much to
     offer its visitors. But once we land, its secrets are revealed...

     The pipes on Button Moon

    A closer look at those Button Moon pipes

     You see that network of pipes extending away into Blanket Sky? - This
     is where you'll find the Bottle Army, and Big Small and Little Bottle.
     And look closely - yes, that's right - the piping is forever changing
     its layout and colour!

     Along the pipwork you'll find Freddy Teddy's red toybox, and
     Ragdoll's lovely dollhouse...

     Ragdoll and her dollhouse    The Button Moon Theatre

     But the most popular haunt on Button Moon is surely the Button Moon
     Theatre, where the bottles queue up to watch performaces of "The Snoring
     Princess" or the theatrical masterpiece that is "The Paper Garden".

     The Rainbow entrance and box office lead into a large auditorium with
     stalls and a high balcony. There are also two special boxes located
     left and right of the stage - the seats of choice for Mr and Mrs Spoon,
     on the occasion of their anniversary visit. Let's take a closer look...

      Inside Buttom Moon Theatre


     The Paper Garden

     Presented at the Button Moon Theatre on the day of Mr and Mrs Spoon's
     anniversary, this is a deeply romantic tale which brings a tear to Mrs
     Spoon's eye. It goes something like this:

     Opening scene from The Paper Garden

    Princess Ping is the daughter of the Emperor of China, who
    lives in a paper palace with a paper garden. Ping is in love with
    Pong the lowly gardener, but the Emperor sets him a cruel task.
    Pong must bring back a silver claw from the Magic Monster in
    the Mountains if he is to marry his daughter. And thus Pong

    The Princess waits and waits for his return. But when he fails
    to appear she sets sail in pursuit. She sails for many sunsets
    until she encounters a vulture, warning her away from the
    mountainous island she is approaching. But Ping alights and
    climbs the mountain until she meets with a mound of waste
    paper that stirrs and reveals itself to be none other than the
    Magic Monster with the Silver Claws. The Monster has snared
    Pong, who now tends the creature's paper garden.

    Now that Ping and Pong are reunited the Monster sees
    they are very much in love and he relents. He decrees that he
    will have his silver claws cut, and he will donate a claw as a
    wedding gift, provided the couple return to see him again. 

    And thus True Love wins through, and Ping and Pong are
    married and live happily ever after!...

     What a splendid performance! - But it really is time to go now.

     We'll watch Mr Spoon blast off for home in his bean tin spaceship,
     and we'll continue to admire the super sets and puppets created by
     Ian Allen and John Thirtle, and Playboard Puppets. There still
     so much more to rediscover...

     Go on, grab your telescope -
Take a look!

        Pooch says 'Stay tooned!'

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