Friday, August 10, 2012

Thomas & Friends Cartoon Animation Series









Thomas & Friends  the Tank Engine & Friends until 2002 is a British children's television series, which had its first broadcast on the ITV network on 4 September 1984. It is based on The Railway Series of books by the Reverend Wilbert Awdry and his son, Christopher Awdry. These books deal with the adventures of a group of anthropomorphised locomotives and road vehicles who live on the fictional Island of Sodor. The books were based on stories Wilbert told to entertain his son, Christopher, during his recovery from measles. From Series one to four, many of the stories are based on events from Awdry's personal experience.

The series started production in 1983 by Britt Allcroft Productions, Clearwater Features Ltd David Mitton and Robert D. Cardona's company and the ITV company Central Independent Television. The series was originally shot and produced with live action models at the Clearwater in house studio in Battersea London, Series 1, then relocating to Shepperton Studios, Middlesex, southwest of London for subsequent Series'. The use of moving models was seen at the time of the show's conception as an effective method of animating the stories. Locomotives and other vehicles were operated by radio, while humans and animals were static figures. Stop-motion was occasionally employed for instances in which a human or animal character would move. Hand-drawn animation was used in Series 3 to create bees.

The original live action models were filmed on an extensive model railway layout built at the studios. The models were built to the 1:32 scale, known in model railway circles as "Gauge 1". The locomotives used chassis made by Märklin with specially made bodies. Along with the moving-eye and eyelid mechanisms and clay faces, these bodies also included smoke generators. Coaches and trucks were made using Tenmille kits. Later models were constructed entirely from scratch. Some of the models from the sister television series Tugs were reused in later episodes of the series.

Mike O'Donnell and Junior Campbell composed the show's original main title theme, incidental music and songs, (see List of Thomas & Friends songs), which were used for Series 1 to 7 comprising 182 episodes between 1984 and 2003.

In 2004, Robert Hartshorne took O'Donnell and Campbell's place as composer, while Ed Welch became the show's songwriter from Series 8 to The Great Discovery, and Welch left after The Great Discovery and Hartshorne took his place as songwriter from Series 12 and onwards. Peter Hartshorne joined Robert Hartshorne as composer and songwriter in 2011, starting with Day of the Diesels.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts with Thumbnails