Morph (franchise)

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Morph
Morph-NMM-Bradford.jpg
A model of Morph on display at the National Media Museum, Bradford
First appearance Take Hart, 14 September 1977
Created by Peter Lord

Morph is an animated plasticine stop-motion comedy franchise, featuring the eponymous character that appeared with Tony Hart, beginning in 1977, on several of his UK TV programmes, notably Take Hart and Hartbeat.

Details[edit]

Morph was produced for the BBC by Aardman Animations, later famous for Wallace and Gromit.

Morph's 30th birthday was celebrated in 2007 by creator Peter Lord and celebrity fan and comedian Phill Jupitus at events for the Encounters Film Festival in Bristol.

Morph appeared mainly in one minute "shorts" interspersed throughout the show. These were connected to the main show by having Hart deliver a line or two to Morph who would reply in gobbledygook but with meaningful gestures. Later on, Morph was joined by cream-coloured Chas, who was much more badly behaved.

Morph and the other plasticine characters could change their morphology. Sometimes they would become spheres in order to move around, or extrude themselves into cylinders to pass to different levels. They could also mimic other objects, or creatures.

Morph lived in a wooden microscope box on an artists desk, and he and Chas both loved to eat cake, as seen in many of the shorts.

Some of the early plasticine models of Morph were destroyed in a fire at the warehouse they were being stored on 10 October 2005.[1]

Morph and Chas appeared in shorts on the British children's TV programme SMart from 1994 onwards.

In March 2009, shortly after Hart's death, a flashmob of Morph characters was organised in London outside the Tate Modern art gallery.[2]

In 2009, the BBC drama Ashes to Ashes featured Morph in a guest appearance as a representation of a present-day medic.[3]

In 29 October 2013, Peter Lord (co-founder of Aardman Animations) created a fund raising project on the crowdfunding site Kickstarter. The campaign set a target of £75,000 to be used to fund 12 new one minute episodes. The target was reached on 6 November 2013 after only 9 days, attracting contributions from over 1,700 backers who will receive a variety of rewards, including early access to the new animations and a small box of clay used in the production, depending on the individual's level of funding.[4][5]

In January 2014, Peter Lord and Aardman started production on 15 brand new episodes of Morph, with the help of donations from fans. The series is to be premiered on Morph's official YouTube channel on the 4th of July.

Films, shorts, and TV series[edit]

1977–1983 Take Hart
1980–1981 The Amazing Adventures of Morph
1984–1993 Hartbeat
1994–2005 SMart
1995 The Morph Files
1997 Morph TV (with Tony Hart)
1998 On Your Marks
2006 Morph (TV series)
2009 Ashes to Ashes (guest appearance)
2012 Ricky's Radical Reinventions
2014 Morph (TV series continued)

Characters[edit]

  • Morph - The curious and creative main character with terracotta skin.
  • Chas (pronounced Chaz) - Morph's mischievous cream-skinned friend]].
  • Nailbrush - Morph's 'canine' companion, a barking nailbrush.
  • Grandmorph - Morph's elderly, bearded grandpa, who travels by skateboard and frequently invents things.
  • Delilah - A bossy, bespectacled female character in a yellow dress with dark purple skin.
  • Folly - A scatter-brained girl made of tin-foil.
  • Gillespie - A large, blue, dimwitted but peaceable friend of Morph's.
  • The Very Small Creatures - An array of small plasticine balls with eyes who travel in a swarm; the smallest of the group, Little Green, features prominently on his own in a number of episodes.
  • Goobledygook - A green, omnivorous alien child (who arrived on the table by accident piloting a milk bottle-like craft in the original series - in the Morph Files, he arrived by accidentally printing him from the 'space raiders' style game).
  • Rick The Cleaner - A hairless sweaty character who is insincere and over familiar, particularly to Chas & Folly.

Credits[edit]

1980[edit]

  • Narrator: Tony Hart
  • Animated, Written and Directed by: Peter Lord, David Sproxton
  • Special Effects: Peter Harwood
  • Editor: Alan Trott
  • Produced by: Patrick Dowling
  • Executive Producers: David Hamilton, Claire Derry

1995[edit]

  • Narrator: Neil Morrissey
  • Animation by: Aardman Animations
  • Storyboard: Andy James
  • Stop-Motion Animation: Mike Booth, Gary Cureton, Dave Osmond
  • Modelmaker: Chris Entwistle
  • Lighting/Camera: Nat Sale
  • Computer Animation: Alan Snow
  • Sound Designers: Tom Myers and Will Norte
  • Dubbing Editor: James Mather
  • Special Sound Effects: Peter Harwood
  • Special Visual Effects: Alan Snow
  • Foley Artist: Jana Vance
  • Sound Design & Foley: Skywalker Sound, a division of Lucas Digital Ltd., Marin County, California
  • For Skywalker Sound: Gary Rydstrom, Tom Myers, Randy Thom, Ben Burtt, Tom Johnson, Christopher Boyes
  • Additional Digital Effects: Industrial Light & Magic, a division of Lucas Digital Ltd., Marin County, California
  • For Industrial Light & Magic: John Knoll, Thomas Knoll, George Lucas, Jill Brooks, Ryan Church, Kevin Sprout, Brandon Warner
  • Licensing & Marketing: Link Licensing
  • For Link Licensing: David Hamilton, Claire Derry
  • Special Thanks to: Nick Park, Peter Lord, David Spraxton, Aardman Animations Staff, ILM Staff, and George Lucas
  • Music by: Hans Zimmer
  • Film Editor: Andrew Hassenruck
  • Production Designer: Peter Lord
  • Director of Photography: Nick Park
  • Executive Producers: Peter Lord, David Sproxton
  • Produced by: Jacqueline White
  • Written by: Andy Walker
  • Directed by: Peter Lord

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]