Wenlock and Mandeville

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Mandeville (left) and Wenlock (right) inside the Olympic Stadium

Wenlock and Mandeville were the official mascots for the 2012 Summer Olympics and Paralympics in London, United Kingdom.[1] They were created by Iris, a London-based creative agency.[1][2]

The mascots were unveiled on 19 May 2010,[3] marking the second time (after Vancouver's Miga, Quatchi, Sumi and Mukmuk) that both Olympic and Paralympic mascots were unveiled at the same time.

Characteristics[edit]

According to the associated (fictional) storyline, they were formed from the last girder of the Olympic Stadium. Their skins are made of highly polished steel allowing them to reflect the personalities and appearances of the people they meet. Their one eye is a camera and on their heads are yellow lights symbolizing those of a London Taxi.

Wenlock[edit]

Wenlock’s name is inspired by Much Wenlock in Shropshire, England, where in 1850 the Wenlock Olympian Society held its first Olympian Games, regarded as an inspiration for the modern Olympic games.[3] The five friendship rings on his wrists correspond to the five Olympic rings, and three points on his head represent the three places on the podium. The pattern on his body symbolises the whole world coming to London, and the shape of his helmet represents the shape of the Olympic Stadium.[citation needed]

Mandeville[edit]

Mandeville is named after the Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. In 1948, Stoke Mandeville organised the first Stoke Mandeville Games, considered to be the precursor to the Paralympics.[3] The three spikes on Mandeville's helmet represent the Paralympic Agitos. He also represents friendship.

Animated shorts[edit]

The British children book writer Michael Morpurgo wrote the story concept to go with Wenlock and Mandeville and an animation titled “Out of a Rainbow” was produced by the London office of Beijing based Crystal CG.[4][5][6] This was followed by a sequel, "Adventures on a Rainbow", which was released on 1 March 2011.The video featured guest appearances from Olympic athletes: Phillips Idowu, Shanaze Reade and Tom Daley as well as Paralympic athletes: Ellie Simmonds and Mandip Sehmi.[7] These were followed by "Rainbow Rescue" and "Rainbow to the Games".

Comic strip[edit]

The featured mascots in an Olympic-themed comic strip in The Beano issue 3601, and the strip, drawn by Nigel Parkinson and written by Ryan C. Gavan, ran up until the Olympics began in July 2012.[8]

Reception[edit]

The mascots received mixed reviews. Creative Review said "Both are clearly of the digital age. And we have to say, we think they look rather good".[9] However, others were more critical, with one columnist claiming that the pair were the product of a "drunken one-night stand between a Teletubby and a Dalek".[10] Others have compared the mascots to Izzy, the mascot of the 1996 Summer Olympics, another critically panned mascot.[11] Still others have remarked that the pair resemble Kang and Kodos from The Simpsons.[12] However it has been found that children of the target audience (5 to 15 years) find the duo appealing.[13] Media critic James Bridle has observed that the characters' huge eyes make them fitting mascots for London, the most surveilled city on earth, with the highest ratio of CCTV cameras to inhabitants.[14]

Character appearances[edit]

The mascots were available to make appearances at schools and community events around the host nation. The then Chair of the London Assembly Baroness Dee Doocey raised the issue of the fees. She suggested only the "richest of schools" would be able to afford the appearances. Appearances were £850, rising to £1,720 for events requiring an overnight stay, and £2,450 for a trip to Scotland or Northern Ireland. Although LOCOG insisted they only charged the Appearance fee, the fee actually covered the performers, cohort, van hire, and accident liability insurance. Doocey also said that LOCOG does issue some free appearances to schools demonstrating a "commitment to the games", but claimed that poorer schools would be "too busy with students to deal with the paperwork".[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Gibson, Owen (19 May 2010). "London Olympics 2012: Meet Wenlock and Mandeville, drips off the old block". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 May 2010. 
  2. ^ "iris worldwide | London 2012 Mascots". Irisnation.com. Retrieved 2012-05-16. 
  3. ^ a b c "London 2012 unveils Games mascots Wenlock & Mandeville". BBC News. 19 May 2010. Retrieved 19 May 2010. 
  4. ^ "The London 2012 mascots". London 2012. 19 May 2010. Retrieved 20 May 2010. [dead link]
  5. ^ "animates London 2012 Mascots". Crystal CG. Retrieved 2012-05-16. 
  6. ^ "Organisation". Crystal CG. Retrieved 2012-05-16. 
  7. ^ Laing, Jemima (2 March 2011). "Plymouth diver Tom Daley stars in animated Olympic film". BBC News. Archived from the original on 30 March 2013. 
  8. ^ "Beano Comic Issue 3601". The Beano. Retrieved 5 May 2012. 
  9. ^ "Wenlock & Mandeville: London's Olympic mascots". Creative Review. Retrieved 2012-05-16. 
  10. ^ "Behold the One-Eyed Compromise Monster", Globe and Mail, 21 May 2010
  11. ^ Rhone, Nedra (2010-05-21). "Atlanta's Olympic mascot meets its ugly match". ajc.com. Retrieved 2012-05-16. 
  12. ^ Alpert, Emily (26 July 2012). "London Olympics: Making sport of mascots Wenlock, Mandeville". Los Angeles Times. 
  13. ^ "Interview: London 2012 Olympic mascots' creator discusses their design - News - Digital Arts". Digitalartsonline.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-05-16. 
  14. ^ HOLO Magazine, Volume 1. August 2013.
  15. ^ Eccles, Louise; Martin Robinson (29 July 2011). "Outrage at £850 fee for Olympic mascots to visit your school". Daily Mail (London UK). Retrieved 31 July 2011. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Miga and Quatchi
Olympic mascot
Wenlock

London 2012
Succeeded by
Polar Bear, Hare, Leopard
Preceded by
Sumi
Paralympic mascot
Mandeville

London 2012
Succeeded by
Ray of Light, Snowflake