The Shoe People

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The Shoe People
Format Animated television series
Voices of Philip Whitchurch
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of episodes 52
Production
Running time 5 mins
Broadcast
Original channel TV-am
Original run April 1987 – 1988

The Shoe People was an animated television series which was first broadcast in the UK in April 1987 on TV-am. The Shoe People went on to be broadcast in 62 countries around the world.

It was the first series from the West to be shown in the former Soviet Union and became so popular there that they sold over 25 million Shoe People books.[1]

The Shoe People was created by James Driscoll, who got the inspiration for the show from noticing that the style and appearance of peoples shoes told you about their owners personalities. He then wondered what stories these shoes could tell about themselves when they were new and when they had gradually worn out.

The theme song for The Shoe People was written and sung by Justin Hayward of The Moody Blues.

A second series titled 'The New Adventures of The Shoe People' consisting of 26 episodes was commissioned using a number of new characters, however there is little known information as to how the episodes became in the public domain.

The Story[edit]

In a Shoe Repairs Shop, not too far away, the Shoe Mender tries to repair all the shoes he gets, but sometimes he cannot repair them all. But he does not throw away these shoes, he puts them in the back room of the shop.

These join the other shoes and boots he could not bear to throw away and the ones where their owners never came back for them but this room has a secret. Every night when the Shoe Mender locks up the shop, he makes sure the back room door is shut. This door does not shut very easily and when he slams it shut, the strangest thing happens. A large cloud of dust from the room fills the air and when it settles, the Shoes come to life and the back wall disappears and Shoe Town appears.

Just below Toecap Hill is Shoe Town, where all the Shoes and Boots live.

The characters were voiced by Philip Whitchurch and Jo Wyatt (Jo does the female voices in the Shoe People sequel, the New Adventures of the Shoe People, while Phillip does all the male voices).

Original Characters[edit]

  • P.C. Boot - He is the policeman of Shoe Town and lives in 'Shoe Street Police Station'. Like any good policeman, he is dedicated to his duty of maintaining law and order. He is very formal and likes to over-explain things, to the annoyance of others. He talks with a little bit of a lisp.
  • Charlie - On the corner of Shoe Street lives Charlie, a clown. He lives in a circus tent called 'The Little Big Top'. He likes to perform magic tricks and juggling, but best of all, he likes to make people laugh. The Shoe People have to be careful when talking to him, as he either pulls a face, or squirts water at them through his fake flower. He seems to have lots of unusual ideas that are useful for helping others in Shoe Town.
  • Trampy - He is a worn out Irish boot that has a hole in its toecap and he is a bit scruffy. He lives next door to Charlie in a house, with a crooked chimney, called 'Tumbledown House', which has not been painted or maintained in years and the garden is overgrown. He loves to relax and enjoy his natural garden and likes to keep the peace between the other inhabitants of Shoe Town. He likes to go on walks in the country with Margot and Baby Bootee and tell them stories. Plus he likes his friends from the countryside to come for tea. He has had a soft spot for Margot, ever since he laid eyes on her. It has been speculated that Trampy - being Irish and dishevelled - is actually a gypsy or pikey who has left his travelling roots behind.
  • Sergeant Major - He lives in 'Drill Hall' and still thinks he is in the army; he was in the Foot Regiment. He likes everything to be neat and tidy and shouts a lot. The grass in his garden is mown in perfect lines, he even measures the width of them, and all the plants stand to attention. The trouble is, he lives next door to Trampy, and gets very cross when the overgrown garden next door grows into his garden. At least once a day he complains to Trampy about it, but never takes any real action. He keeps calling Charlie, "Stupid Clown", but he always comes to watch his circus act. He hates being called Sarge. Despite his grumpy, bossy manner, he does have a soft side which he rarely shows.
  • Margot - She is a ballerina who lives in 'Swan Lake Cottage' and she loves to dance. She looks after Baby Bootee. When she first arrived at the Shoe Repair Shop, she had a big tear in her side and she thought she would never dance again. Luckily for her the Shoe Repairer had other ideas and he fixed her. She was then put back into the window of the shop to wait for the little girl who brought her in, to collect her, but she never came back. Now she has a new life in Shoe Town and she loves to put on shows for everyone.
  • Wellington - He loves being wet and lives in 'Puddle Villa'. He loves water so much that he has drilled holes in the guttering of his house and stands underneath it when it rains. He hates being called a Welly.
  • Baby Bootee - She is looked after by Margot at 'Swan Lake Cottage'. She does not do much else, apart from loving the Teddy that Charlie won for her at the fair.
  • Sneaker - He likes to sneak around and he takes things without asking people, hence why he looks like a burglar and talks a sneaky tone of voice (which may sound a little like Michael Caine). He also likes to do odd jobs for people. If you look closely, there is a wanted poster of him on the outside of 'Shoe Street Police Station'. He has his own yard and his catch phrase is "Sneaker by name, sneaker by nature".
  • Gilda Van Der Clog - She is a Dutch clog who lives in a windmill and needed Charlie and P.C. Boot's help to remove the nest from her windmill sails, and then made a picnic for all the shoes after their mystery tour.
  • Flip Flop - a flip-flop that went to the seaside with Trampy, Sergant Major, Baby Bootee and Charlie. When she got swept away by the tide, Charlie (with his shoelace) and Trampy pulled her to safety on the rocks.
  • Mr Potter - the station master of The Shoe Town Railway Station who rang up P.C. Boot to warn him about a tree fallen along the railway tracks and nearly cancelled the trip before cheeky Charlie bought an elephant called Bertha to help remove the tree. He is the only original character who doesn't make any appearances in The New Adventures of the Shoe People.
  • Sid Slipper - the elderly slipper who sometimes went to the park with The Shoe People like on that day when Baby Bootee crawls off to the flying kites whilst he was snoozing away under a tree and Margot was getting ice cream. In The New Adventures of the Shoe People, he owns his own garden and vegetable garden.
  • Marshall a cowboy who loves country and western music, loves Wild West films and does a safekeeping around Shoetown.

New Characters[edit]

  • Beverley - She comes all the way from LA to Shoetown that she is an American beauty. Beverley likes cheerleading and wears a georgous ponytail in her hair and earrings.
  • Bebop and Alula - The 1950s couple who loves to dance to rock 'n' roll music. Bebop has his hair likes Elvis Presley and Alula has her hair up in a ponytail. They appeared in the old series but weren't named until The New Adventures of the Shoe People. They are a bit like Danny and Sandy from a musical Grease.
  • Morris - Morris is a miner who works in the underground in Shoetown. He loves digging and he even has a light on his hard hat.
  • Toby - He is the world's best actor and loves theatrical stuff. He always has a good personality about performs works of Shakespere.
  • Dr. Merryweather - He's a doctor in Shoetown who takes care of the residents in Shoetown and make them feel better.
  • Sacha - a Russian boot comes all the way from Russia.
  • Farmer Fred - a farmer who works on the farm.
  • Coach He likes sport like baseball.
  • Officer Malone - a cop from New York City who works with P.C. Boot. When he first arrived in Shoe Town he arrested most of the Shoe People for what he thought were trouble making however he let them go after P.C. Boot told him that the real trouble makers were the Boot Boys.
  • The Boot Boys - The Boot Boys are a trio of roller skates sometimes referred to as The Rollerskate Gang. The Boot Boys are Spike the leader, Ace the silly one and Rowdy the dopey one. They love to cause trouble in Shoetown and they are up to no good.

Original Episodes[edit]

Only 26 episodes were broadcast on TV-am as part of its 'Wide Awake Club' from April 1987.

# Title Summary
1 Can You Keep a Secret? The introduction of the Shoe People and Their places in their world of Shoe Town
2 Sergeant Major We are introduced to Sergeant Major, his penchant for smartness and drill practice, and his trouble with his neighbour, Trampy.
3 A Day at the Seaside Some of the Shoe People take a trip to the seaside, but Flip Flop gets washed out to sea and Charlie and Trampy must rescue her.
4 Trampy We are introduced to the kindly and generous Trampy, and his untidy lifestyle.
5 Trampy's Birthday Surprise
6 Margot Margot, the ballerina at Swan Lake Cottage, is fully introduced, and performs a garden ballet for her friends.
7 Charlie We are introduced to Charlie the clown, who lives at the Little Big Top. It also turns out that Sergeant Major wants a word with Charlie - has Charlie squirted him with his flower once too often?
8 A Rainy Day Problem
9 Tea at the Little Big Top
10 Fun and Games in the Park
11 Charlie's Car
12 P.C. Boot to the Rescue
13 Trampy's Dream
14 The Fair Comes to Shoetown
15 Delay at Shoetown Railway Station A tree falls across the track at the railway station, and Mr Potter, the station master, calls on the help of PC Boot and Sergeant Major. In the end, however, it is Charlie who comes up with the right solution.
16 Sneaker A simple job for Margot by Sneaker (that is clearing off the leaves on Margot's thatch roof with Charlie's tightrope and Trampy's ladder) brings a warning from P.C Boot.
17 The Windmill Has Stopped A nest is on the windmill. It's down to PC Boot and Charlie to find a solution for the sails to be moving again.
18 A Job for Wellington After a burst pipe in Shoetown Police Station, there is only one person fit enough to fix the leak and help PC Boot escape.
19 Margot's Mirror On a surprise visit to Margot's house, Charlie breaks a mirror by accident. The only way to replace it is to find one of his own mirrors from the circus, which does not have the normal "mirror" effect.
20 The Missing Jumble
21 The Paper Chase After laying a paper trail for Margot, Charlie and Baby Bootie, Trampy settles down for an afternoon nap. However Sergeant Major interrupts the trail mistaking the paper for litter, until he finds Trampy who explains about the trail. Can Sergeant Major save the day?
22 Where's Baby Bootee
23 Trampy Mows the Lawn Trampy offers to mow Sergeant Major's lawn but all does not go to plan, which leaves the lawn looking like a pile of spaghetti. Charlie has an ingenious plan to help Trampy cover up the mistake.
24 The Great Sledge Race The residents of Shoe Town gather on the hill for the Annual Great Sledge Race. With a number of different sledges, the competition is as close as it's ever been. However one resident doesn't have a sledge at all!
25 The Mystery Tour
26 Our Very Own Circus

The New Adventures of The Shoe People[edit]

A new title sequence accompanies the second series showcasing many of the new characters.

# Title Summary
N/A Coconut Crazy
N/A Beehive Yourself
N/A Ghosts in the Windmill
N/A The Show Must Go On
N/A Marshall's Round Up
N/A Your in the Army Now
N/A Rock and Rolled
N/A Wellington On Ice
N/A Sergeant Major's Spot of Bother
N/A Sid's Marrow
N/A Injun Trouble
N/A Wellington the Babysitter
N/A Back in the Old Ball Game
N/A Sergeant Major Looses His Voice
N/A Charlie the Pilot
N/A From Russia With Snow
N/A Racing Uncertainties
N/A A Quiet Day in Showtown
N/A Fools for Fitness
N/A Anchors Aweigh
N/A Shoes in Space
N/A The Purple Ploople
N/A Dr. Marryweather's Day Off
N/A Marshall's Bar-B-Q
N/A Ice Cream Sundae
N/A All At Sea

Changes by Nick Jr[edit]

When all 26 episodes of the Shoe People series in 1987 aired on Nick Jr. from 1999 to 2000. the Fairwater Films/The Shoe People Ltd copyright in 1987 was changed to FilmFair Ltd and the restored by CiNAR Studios and International Studios. the FilmFair copyright can be seen at the end of each episode on The Shoe People Complete Series DVD.

VHS Releases[edit]

Since their broadcasts on TV-am in 1987, Tempo Video (with its 'Children's Stories' range of cartoon shows on video and distributed by M.S.D Video Ltd) released 24 of the 26 episodes on video, except for The Mystery Tour and Our Very Own Circus which went on a 30 minute video in 1988 (Cat No.V8805) with Sgt Major, Margot, Sneaker and Trampy's Dream

VHS video title Year of release Episodes
The Shoe People (V9026) 1987 Can You Keep A Secret, Sergeant Major, A Day at the Seaside, Trampy, Trampy Mows the Lawn, Margot, Charlie, A Rainy Day Problem
The Shoe People- P.C. Boot to the Rescue (V9061) 1988 Tea at the Little Big Top, Fun and Games in the Park, Charlie's New Car, P.C. Boot to the Rescue, Trampy's Dream, The Fair Comes To Shoe Town, Delay at Shoe Town Railway Station, Sneaker
The Shoe People- Shoe Town Stories (V9114) 1988 The Windmill Has Stopped, A Job for Wellington, Margot's Mirror, The Missing Jumble, The Paper Chase, Where's Baby Bootee?, The Great Sledge Race, Trampy Mows the Lawn

Between 1989 and 1990 W.m. Collins Sons and Co.Ltd released a couple of special edition videos

VHS video title Year of release Episodes
The Best of The Shoe People (92562) 1989 Charlie's Car, Trampy's Dream, The Fair Comes to Shoe Town, Delay at Shoe Town Railway Station, Sneaker, Can You Keep A Secret, A Day At the Seaside, Margot, A Rainy Day Problem, Where's Baby Bootee?, The Great Sledge Race, Trampy Mows the Lawn
The Shoe People Bumper Video (94012) 1990 The Mystery Tour, Sneaker, Trampy Mows the Lawn, Margot's Mirror, Trampy's Birthday Surprise, Trampy's Dream, Sergeant Major, The Windmill Has Stopped, A Day at the Seaside, Charlie's Car, The Missing Jumble, Our Very Own Circus, Where's Baby Bootee?

On 5 November 1990, Wienerworld Presentations released two combined fun packed videos with 13 stories on each of them.

VHS video title Year of release Episodes
The Shoe People Bumper Special (WNR 2015) 1990 Can you Keep a Secret?, Trampy, Trampy's Dream, Delay at Shoe Town Railway Station, PC Boot to the Rescue, the Mystery Tour, a Job for Wellington, Margot, a Rainy Day Problem, Charlie, Where's Baby Bootee?, Charlie's Car, the Fair comes to Shoe Town
Great Adventures of the Shoe People (WNR 2016) 1990 A Day at the Seaside, Sergeant Major, Trampy Mows the Lawn, Sneaker, the Missing Jumble, Trampy's Birthday Surprise, Margot's Mirror, The Paper Chase, Tea at the Little Big Top, The Great Sledge Race, Fun and Games in the Park, The Windmill has Stopped, Our Very Own Circus

Apparently No videos of the New Adventures Of The Shoe People (1992 series) were ever released.

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Shoe People - The Complete Series DVD, The Shoe People Fact Files, Revelation Films Ltd., 2004

External links[edit]