Thursday, March 20, 2008

The new Famous Five

From The Press Association:
Enid Blyton's Famous Five have been reconstructed for the 21st Century.

A new Disney TV series features the offspring of the original ginger beer-loving adventurers - and their dog.

But the Famous Five's children are now multicultural, their enemies include a fake environmentalist, and they are armed with modern gadgets.

The TV series, Famous Five: On the Case, features 12-year-old Anglo-Indian Jo, whose name is "short for Jyoti, a Hindu world meaning light". Countryside-dwelling Jo is the team leader and like her mother George in the original Famous Five - who was thought to be modelled on Blyton herself - a tomboy.

Other characters include Allie, a 12-year-old Californian shopaholic who enjoys going out and getting "glammed up" but is packed off to the British countryside to her cousins. Her mother was Anne in the Famous Five, the reluctant adventurer who has now become a successful art dealer.


  1. I think they look great, especially Timmy ( or whatever they decide to call the mutt). Smugglers, ginger beer ('lashings of') and red cheeked policemen on bicycles might be what traditionalists and nostalgists want, but surely, if the idea has any currency, it needs to appeal to the audience Enid Blyton always intended?
    My only worry is that they rely too much on 'brand appeal'. There's some amazing animation out there (the character design is very much like the cartoon network's 'Juniper Lee')so they've really got their work cut out. If this isn't to end up a spook-free 'scooby doo' they need to create characters that really stand out.
    -Then again, I'm 34, and hardly the
    'key demographic'...

  2. I'm also in two minds about this. I'll nail my colours to the mast and say one of the first series I ever wrote was the live action, TV film series of the Famous Five, which was a co-pro between Southern TV and a German company. (My fondest memory was we had to have a German actor for Uncle Quentin: "I tell you I am ze famous Britishe scientist!"

    But the whole point of any children's series is to appeal to its audience which, natch, is children. Nostalgia means nothing to a 5 year old. And it's lovely their parents have warm and fuzzy memories of Enid Blyton, but that's not going to make Junior and/ or Missy love a series and watch it like little angels, mesmerised. I also think the producers missed a trick. Surely the new Timmy the dog should have been scientifically cloned?

  3. Anonymous8:43 am

    Doesn't the whole thing look a bit Scooby Doo? or maybe the original famous five inspired scooby doo? its very chicken and eggy.....

  4. Anonymous11:13 am

    Yes, I agree... it does seem rather like scooby doo.
    I only hope the cartoon doesn't wreck the books, which were amazing...

  5. Anonymous7:21 am

    Does anyone know that the famous five are actually 5 famous Canadian women that are responsible for getting the vote for Canadian women?!

  6. Anonymous9:43 am

    I feel that it really should have been left alone, it is what it is an adventure that we can escape into. It shouldn't have been messed with. as for George having had children this is crazy, read the original and see if you think like I do - George wouldn't have had children!

  7. Anonymous3:46 pm

    i think they spoiled the book !!!!..... :-(

  8. so cool haha!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Anonymous11:06 am

    Totally depressing.

  10. Anonymous9:22 am

    Wasn't the original Famous Five set in the 1950's? So it would make more sense to me if the new Famous Five were the GRANDchildren of the original...

  11. Anonymous8:45 pm

    It has really spoiled the originals

  12. Anonymous8:34 pm

    They make a joke of the originals


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