Top 10 Animated Shows From Britain
VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Fred Humphries
These are the greatest cartoons, claymation and stop motion animations that Britain has to offer. Join http://www.WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Animated Shows From Britain. For this list, we're looking at animated shows produced in or made for Britain that are for children and adults alike.
Special thanks to our users jkellis for submitting the idea using our interactive suggestion tool at http://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest
Script written by Fred Humphries
Top 10 Animated Shows From Britain
These are the greatest cartoons, claymation and stop motion animations that Britain has to offer. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 animated shows from Britain.
For this list, we’re looking at animated shows produced in or made for Britain that are for children and adults alike. These shows have a unique art style, interesting premise or compelling story that sets them apart from the rest.
#10: “Postman Pat” (1981-2013)
This stop-motion children’s show follows the daily rounds of Pat Clifton as he inevitably gets caught up in the misfortunes of the villagers of Greendale, a fictionalized version resembling Lancaster, Lancashire but inspired by the valley of Longsleddale. Always accompanied by his faithful black and white cat Jess, Pat will do his best to help his friends out and ultimately get them their post. A role model for his fellow townspeople and the viewer at home, Pat is unwavering in his kindness and generosity – meanwhile, the show’s success has spawned a 3D computer-animated film, a TV spinoff, and books.
#9: “The World of Peter Rabbit and Friends” (1992-95)
This adaptation of Beatrix Potter’s famous body of work has her collection of animals voiced by a number of high profile names in the British acting world. The likes of Hugh Laurie, Prunella Scales and Ian Holm lend their considerable talents to bring the show to life. The animation is incredibly similar to that used in the books, which makes the British countryside look almost whimsical. It is wonderfully innocent and reminds you of a much simpler time.
#8: “Clangers” (1969-74; 2015-)
One of the more abstract programmes on this list, the Clangers are a family of knitted space mouse-like creatures living on a small planet eating blue string pudding. They have no capability for speech themselves, but instead use a series of whistles to communicate, with the narrator giving an overview of the action. Each episode revolves around the family creating a new invention or being visited by spacemen or Eggbots. With little dialogue, it’s reliant on music to aid the flow of the story and so has a beautiful score to supplement the goings on during the show. In 2015, “The Clangers” was revived, Monty Python’s Michael Palin providing narration this time around.
#7: “Creature Comforts” (2003-06)
This stop motion clay animation franchise began with a highly unique mockumentary by Nick Park and Aardman Animations featuring the voices of everyday Britons synced up with a variety of different animals. An unusual idea for sure, but the short film resulted in pure hilarity, as well as in several UK TV ads and the 2003 TV series that makes our list. Though no longer directed by Park, “Creature Comforts” the series was still produced by Aardman Animations and included aquaphobic sharks, a bickering cat and dog, a philosophical amoeba and more. The show masterfully twists the general public’s tendency to ramble for the camera during interviews and gives every animal a bizarre and misguided – but amusing - outlook on life.
#6: “Danger Mouse” (1981-92, 2015-)
The mousey lead character of this spy-romp is the greatest secret agent in his own particular world and, as such, is archenemy to the evil toad Baron Greenback. Episodes follow much the same plot of intrigue, investigation, and world safety as you'd expect from James Bond, but just... mousier. With his trusty but cowardly sidekick Ernest Penfold, the White Wonder foils the plans of a selection of ne’er-do-well anthropomorphic villains week after week. Its unmistakable British wit made it a huge hit with kids and adults alike on both sides of the North Atlantic.
#5: “Paddington” (1975-86)
Wider audiences may have become familiar with the bear from deepest, darkest Peru through the 2014 film, but Paddington first sprang frombook to screen back in 1975. His series of misadventures throughout Britain are displayed in an unusual style that has Paddington as a stop-motion puppet moving within a 3D space but interacting with a 2d, animated environment. His blue rain-slicker and red hat have become an iconic and instantly recognizable image in countries around the world, as demonstrated by the multiple TV adaptations that followed and the popularity of the books.
#4: “Shaun the Sheep” (2007-)
After a popular outing next to Wallace and Gromit in 1995’s “A Close Shave”, the little sheep finally got his own show in 2007, documenting his attempts to spice up life on a dull country farm. The antics of the flock of sheep he lives with are often smattered with clever references to popular culture, with even The Great Escape, Jaws and Star Wars all getting a little nod. Even with no dialogue, the characters are fleshed out and relatable, which is testament to the attention to detail and level of commitment in the production of every single episode.
#3: “Wallace and Gromit” (1989-)
The best-known creation of Nick Park and Aardman Animations focuses on a cheese-loving inventor and his silent yet sensible dog. Wallace and Gromit are considered icons of British culture and in their various adventures have travelled to the moon, created robotic trousers and fought a were-rabbit (the last one in a feature-length film!) Although it wasn’t the first Claymation show ever, this series of short films certainly set new boundaries for what was possible with the method. New installments of the show rarely come out, but when they do, they are some of the most eagerly anticipated pieces of TV.
#2: “The Wind in the Willows” (1984-87)
Carrying on from the popular film of the same name, we go into the world of The Riverbank that is home to Ratty, Mole and Toad. They have frequent conflicts with the mischievous Wily Weasels while also having to contend with the environmental destruction of their natural habitat, which represents the main message of the show. Rather than using traditional animation, malleable latex figurines are used for stop motion that makes for an interesting and unique visual appearance. Thanks to its success, the series has since led to a feature-length film and TV spin-off.
Before we reveal our top pick, here are some honorable mentions.
“Count Duckula” (1988-93)
“Peppa Pig” (2004-)
“The Wombles” (1973-75)
#1: “Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends” (1984-)
Even though Thomas is the main tank engine, he’d never be able to solve any problem without the help his friends, a group of locomotives and road vehicles with a vast set of personalities and uses. Set on the Island of Sodor, there’s always some problem or accident that only the trains are capable of solving. One person narrates all this action and that individual happened to be Mr. Conductor - played by Beatles drummer Ringo Starr for the first two seasons. The animation, which included moving models, stop-motion and hand drawn, as well as the environment used in the children’s TV series, are reminiscent of a model train set, which taps directly into a child's imagination and brings everything to life in an unforgettable fashion.
Do you agree with our list? Which British animations have you grown to love? For more beautifully animated top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.