Little Red Tractor
Little Red Tractor is a British stop frame animated children's television series produced by the Little Entertainment Group. The ten minute episodes are usually broadcast in the UK by the BBC, usually on the CBeebies channel.
The series is produced using stop motion model animation and features unusually detailed sets and models. It features the voices of Derek Griffiths and Stephen Tompkinson. The characters are based on the books by Colin Reeder, which were narrated for TV in the mid 1990s by Brian Glover. Despite apparent similarities to Tractor Tom, Little Red Tractor has a completely different style, with more realistic story-lines, a larger human cast and no surreal livestock behaviour. It is mainly aimed at an audience of two- to three-year-olds.
Tractor Tom was produced by Contender, the video distribution company for Little Red Tractor Projects Limited, owners of the original Little Red Tractor series. Despite not having television exposure, Little Red Tractor broke into the top ten children's videos and stayed there for several weeks. In total, the original series sold over 300,000 copies and Contender, the originator of Tractor Tom, wanted to duplicate that success. However, the television rights were sold to Keith Littler's Little Entertainment Group because Peter Tye, the director/writer of the series, preferred their expertise in stop frame animation and empathy with the original. Despite losing the television rights to Little Red Tractor, Contender went ahead and produced their unauthorized version.
The characters of the series are:
- Little Red Tractor (leader) – a small, old but reliable farm tractor, mute but capable of expressing emotions. Stan restored him to his as new condition. Identical to Tom from Tractor Tom.
- Stan – Little Red Tractor's driver and constant companion. Stan lives at Gosling Farm, and keeps 2 cows Daisy and Veronica, and 2 pigs.
- Patch – is Stan's dog.
- Big Blue Tractor (co-leader) – a large, up-to-date farm tractor owned by Mr. Jones. Has no anthropomorphic traits. Identical to Travis from Bob the Builder.
- Harvey – Combine harvester owned by Mr. Jones but sometimes borrowed by Stan. Identical to Wheezy from Tractor Tom.
- Mr. Jones – Stan's neighbor and owner of Big Blue Tractor and Harvey. He often appears selfish, materialistic or otherwise antisocial, but tends to be socially inept or smug rather than actually unpleasant. His full name is Mr. Jasper Jones and he lives at Beech Farm.
- Thomas – Mr. Jones' nephew who comes to stay at Beech farm with him on occasion since Mr. Jones' sister moved back from the city to the country. Thomas is learning to like the country life which he initially thought was smelly, dirty and not as good as computer games.
- Stumpy – the miller. Friendly and mildly eccentric. Drives his quadbike, "Nipper" very badly. Stumpy plays in Walters band.
- Elsie – She is Stumpy's wife.
- Nipper – a quadbike ridden by Stumpy. Identical to Buzz from Tractor Tom.
- Ryan – Child neighbour of Stan. He and his sister like to play with Little Red Tractor and help out.
- Amy – Ryan's sister.
- Mr Turvey – Ryan and Amy's father. He likes to run and plays keyboards in Walters band.
- Mrs Turvey – Ryan and Amy's mother. She likes to paint and does arts and crafts.
- Walter – Runs the Babblebrook garage and likes to play rock and roll. Walter is easily led astray. Walter is lead singer and plays the guitar for his band called Walter and the Wolverines.
- Nicola – Walter's daughter who also runs the garage. She tends to be far more sensible than her father. Nicola also plays an instrument in her fathers band.
- Leo – Walter's nephew, becomes a friend of Ryan an Amy. He is a more than competent drummer who Stands in for Nicola in Walter's Band.
- Sparky – Tow truck which Nicola and Walter drive.
- Rusty – Walter's unreliable car and restoration project. Breaks down regularly.
- "About", Little Entertainment Group