Channel 5 Confirms CGI Return Of Puppet Classic The Wombles

They have spawned 112 episodes of stop-motion TV content, a live-action movie, a successful music career, and the nickname for a defunct football club, but since 1998 classic British franchise The Wombles (started as a book series in the 1960′s by Elizabeth Beresford) have been pretty quiet.

new_womblesUntil now that is, the format will be making a return to screens in 2015, with digital terrestrial broadcaster Channel 5 announcing that they have signed a deal for a new series of The Wombles through their long-running children’s TV programming block Milkshake.

The order of 52 episodes (with length currently unconfirmed) might not please some more traditional fans of the first series, though, as the show will be produced by Dramatico Animation Ltd., who intend to create the show in CGI, an easier and more professional-looking method, but lacking the charm that the original 70′s version will have held in nostalgic viewers of the historic BBC series.

Channel 5′s ‘head of children’s TV’ Jessica Symons said of the acquisition: “This show was so loved by generations of children and the time is right for it to gain a whole new following. The stories and characters are as compelling as ever and we’re excited to welcome The Wombles to Milkshake.”

Current The Wombles rights holder Mike Batt (who wrote the original theme tune and went on to have a number of hits through running a Wombles novelty band in the UK) added: “It will look more like stop motion but with great fur. We believe that there are audiences of new children who missed The Wombles the first time around and will be thrilled to see the brilliant high quality animation and new musical productions.”

The series, based around a fictional species (with characters often named after places and locations) and a group of them that live underground at Wimbledon Common in London (England), making it their aim to creatively reuse everyday litter, themes carried through the novels, the two original series on BBC and ITV (1973-75 & 1997-98, respectively), the movie, and its band.

Half of the above-mentioned platforms can be sampled below, but while the positive messages of recycling portrayed will naturally be retained (and hopefully without seeming too ‘forced’), will it manage to entertain a new generation of youngsters as planned? It might be a little more difficult with a less ‘captive’ audience than in the 70′s and 90′s…

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Steve Sanger
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  1. The Wombles to return on Channel 5 in 2015 – Tidy Bag

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