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Toonhound presents...






British TV series

  Creepy Crawlies - Ariadne the spider


producers: Cosgrove Hall Productions
                    for Thames Television
    animation: stop-motion animation
      episodes: 52 x 10mins

     "Creepy Crawlies...  
      They know what being small is...
      Creepy Crawlies...  
      They're not like big and tallies..."

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    And so another bright new day dawns upon the home of the Creepy Crawlies.

    Mr Harrison the snooty snail, Suppose the lowly red-nosed worm, Ariadne the
    spider, the  irksome woodlouse-come-pill-bug called Anorak, meek Ladybird,
    Lambeth the brawny-but-brainless beetle and Ancient the aged caterpillar dwell
    right down
at the bottom of the garden, near the shed, on and around an old
    broken sundial that "nobody wanted".

   Anorak the woodlouse-come-pill-bug 

    These bugs have a miniature but exciting time, rescuing friends from jam jars,
    communicating with conkers, finding new homes and generally having The Best
    Day Ever almost every day. To be truthful, not a lot happens, but with the Crawlies
    time is never of the essence anyway. Just listen to the end song:

     "Creepin' and crawlin' gives you time to think.
      Rushing is enthralling, but you're sure to miss a lot
      if you should blink..."

    Still, whatever wonderful mysteries the day brings, you can bet that puzzles will
    be completed, mysteries solved, and problems sorted just in time to watch the
    sun go down beyond the old sundial...

       Lambeth 'the mighty'...

    What a treat. These elegant models move on and around a few small, but
    equally-well realised garden sets, Paul Nicholas furnishes each character with
    the perfect voice, and Malcolm Rowe and Keith Hopwood add a jolly hummable
    theme. Book-ending each episode are atmospheric shots of the sun rising
    and setting beyond the sundial - *sigh*

    There are lots of little pleasures to unearth here. Lambeth is always boasting
    about his "bulguler musclefication" whilst Mr Harrison rolls his antennae and
    reminds all and sundry about the beetle's lack of a brain. Anorak, meanwhile,
    remains insistent that he's a pill-bug, and not a woodlouse regardless of what
    the others think. Then there are incidental events, like Ariadne reading her poem
    in The Best Day Ever . It's actually part of an ingredients label from a tin
    of beans. And then there's the other worm in
Storm In A Tea Cup. It's really
    just an old boot lace!

   You know, several communities of animated insects have sprung up over the last
    few years, from "James and the Giant Peach" to "A Bug's Life" and beyond, but
    this series predates  them all. And what's more, irrespective of the technological
    leaps and bounds that have been made over the intervening years "Creepy
    Crawlies" is still a class act: Just look at the eyes on Ariadne's hat, rolling
    around on occasion, or Lambeth the muscular beetle breathing heavily after
    a round of acrobatics. The pleasure's in the detail and in knowing it was all
    manipulated by hand - no CGI here, no software assistance, folks.

    This fine series was originated and written by Peter Reeves, with the characters
    designed by Bridget Appleby (Engie Benjy). Sadly, the gang appear to have been
    left beghind in the rush to revive the likes of Chorlton and the Wheelies and
    DangerMouse on DVD, and that's a crying shame because only a season's worth
    of episodes were ever released on video, which leaves three whole seasons
    out there in the CHF library. Aficionado's would surely be happy to pay top-dollar
    for a well-conceived DVD release, with a careful selection of extras. Let's keep
    all those insect legs crossed in hope...

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    Creepy Crawlies episodes

     The Red Voice                           The Cold
     Pleasurabolosites                        Lambeth The Conqueror
     The Stone Dream                       Storm In A Tea Cup
     The Art Of Noise                        The Leaving
     When The Garden lost Its Grip      The Best Day Ever

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       producers:       Brian Cosgrove, Mark Hall
       assoc prod:      Chris Taylor
       exec prod:        John Hambley
       director:           Francis Vose
         & originator:
     Peter Richard Reeves
          Bridget Appleby
       animators:        Lloyd Price, Rachel Hall
       music:              Keith Hopwood, Malcolm Rowe
                               sung by Paul Nicholas
       sets:                 Terry Brown
       realisation:       Chris Walker, Graham Maiden,
                               Pippa Lewis, Helen Plaumer,
                               Paul Simpson, Rowena Watson,     
                               Noel Baker
      Peter Saunders, Colin Batty,
                               Peter Bentley, Claire Elliott,
                               Marcia Pidgeon    
       model camera:  Brian Parsley, Joe Dembinski 
       film editors:      John McManuus, Ellis Ward    
       asst editor:       Jane Hicks
       dubb mixer:      Ted Spooner
       narration:         Paul Nicholas

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     On the web

      Pluto Music
      Info here on the sound studio owned and operated by Keith Hopwood
      and Malcolm Rowe, who wrote that hummable theme...

      Cosgrove Hall Ate My Brain
      Laura's big bright site is stuffed with CH info, facts, images and more.
      The Creepy Crawlies are indexed here too...

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© Cosgrove-Hall Productions Ltd / F2010