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Charley Says was a series of very short cut-out animated cartoon public information films for children, produced by the British government's Central Office of Information and broadcast in the United Kingdom in the 1970s and 1980s.
Most of the topics dealt with everyday safety issues children face, such as not going off with strangers or not playing with matches. They featured a little boy called Tony (voiced by the seven-year-old son of one of the neighbours of producer Richard Taylor) and his cat, named Charley, voiced by Kenny Everett, who would "miaow" the lesson of the episode, which the boy would then translate and explain. Often Charley served as the boy's conscience, similarly to Davey and Goliath or Jiminy Cricket of Disney's film Pinocchio. When Charley and the boy did the right thing, they were rewarded with something for the boy and a fish for Charley, which he ate rapidly. However, on other occasions, Charley suffered the consequences of doing the wrong thing (e.g., in Charley's Tea Party he pulled a tablecloth and a teapot fell on him and scalded him).
The films were produced by Richard Taylor Cartoons who also produced Crystal Tipps and Alistair. They also produced the controversial Protect and Survive series, narrated by Shakespearean actor Patrick Allen.
Six films were produced:
- Charley – Falling in the Water (60 s)
- Charley – In The Kitchen (45 s)
- Charley – Matches (30 s)
- Charley – Mummy Should Know (60 s)
- Charley's Tea Party (45 s)
- Charley – Strangers (60 s)
References in popular culture
In 2005, the Charley Says series was voted #95 on the Channel 4 TV special 100 Greatest Cartoons, and in 2006 was voted the UK's favourite public service advertisement by readers of the BBC News website.