The Adventures of Abney & Teal
|The Adventures of Abney & Teal|
|Created by||Joel Stewart|
|Developed by||Ragdoll Productions for BBC Television
|Narrated by||Adrian Scarborough|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||52|
|Executive producer(s)||Anne Wood|
|Running time||11 minutes|
|Production company(s)||DHX Media (2013–present)
Ragdoll Productions (2011–2013)
|Original release||26 September 2011– 28 October 2012|
The Adventures of Abney & Teal is a British-Canadian, mildly surreal children's television programme which uses a mixture of 2D and CGI animation based on the works of writer and illustrator Joel Stewart. The show, which follows the adventures of two friends, is set on a series of small islands on a lake in a park in an unnamed city. The show was first broadcast on Cbeebies in the United Kingdom in September 2011, and is produced by Ragdoll Productions.
The Adventures of Abney & Teal centres on two animated rag dolls named Abney and Teal who live on an island in a lake in a park in a city. Abney lives in a hut at the base of a tree. Teal sleeps in the branches of the tree, with her only possessions a blanket and an umbrella. Abney & Teal share their environment with several friends:
- Neep, a small burrowing creature like a turnip.
- Bop, an aquatic mammal somewhat resembling a furry male elephant seal who drinks 'tea' (actually water from the lake) and blows bubbles.
- The Poc-Pocs, a set of 7 identical-shaped but different-sized comma-shaped wooden objects or hard tropical tree seeds, so named after the noise they make jumping about.
- Toby Dog, a melodeon-playing dog who always sits upright on the same place on the lake's mainland shore. He normally plays the same tune, which the narrator describes as several sorts of music. There are rare occasions where Toby Dog will play a variation of his tune, notably the lullaby on the episode Bop's babies.
From time to time Neep's 'friends and relations' come to visit. They look much like Neep but are different colours and have varying other features. For example, Zeep has a long blond moustache and Meep wears glasses.
The show is produced by Anne Wood who, as founder of Ragdoll Productions, had previously brought successful children's shows such as Teletubbies and In the Night Garden to BBC Television. Wood stated that she had been an admirer of Stewart's picture books and their "distinct brand of gentle, fantastical humour and exquisite drawing style", but stated that it was his work on the book Addis Berner Bear Forgets that prompted her to contact the author. As well as creator Stewart is also the series director, and spent three years working on the show before it aired. Stewart stated in 2011 that the characters were all original constructs, designed in his sketchbooks, and the inspiration for the setting came from a visit to Victoria Park in East London. The show is co-written by Steve Roberts and Matilda Tristram.
The show is narrated by British actor Adrian Scarborough who also provides the voice for Abney, while Teal is voiced by Shingai Shoniwa, who is best known as the lead singer of the Noisettes. None of the other characters have speaking roles, apart from Neep's ability to say his own name. Each episode is roughly eleven minutes long. The first series of 26 episodes started airing in the United Kingdom during September 2011. The show is aimed at 3-6 year-olds, but has been recognised for its adult friendly style, which harks back to earlier British children's programmes, drawing comparisons with the work of Oliver Postgate. BBC licensing manager, Julie Kekwith, acknowledged the show's retro-feel in 2011, stating "we're sure [it] will appeal to adults and parents as well as children." and that the show has a "unique nostalgic and literary feel". While Kate Monaghan in a 2011 review described the animation as having an "old-fashioned, puppet-esque feel", Fernando De Jesus of ITV Studios commented that the show has a "sort of chic brashness".
In January 2012 it was announced that the show would be further promoted by a range of soft toys and games, made by Rainbow Designs.
The first six episodes of Series 2 were broadcast in April 2012. The remaining episodes began airing on 28 October 2012. Series 2 also had 26 episodes.
Each of the series's episodes are self-contained and do not follow a larger story narrative or chronology.
- Series 1
1 The Porridge Party
2 The Star Stick
3 The Poc Pocs' Holiday
4 The Storm
6 Firefly Lullaby
7 The Rainbow Whistle
8 The Radio
9 Sky High
10 The Poc Poc Hunt
11 The Train
12 The Mystery
13 Neep's Birthday
14 Abney Finds A Hole
15 Faraway Island
16 Bop's Best Bubble
17 The Slide
18 The Enormous Neep
19 The Buzzing Thing
20 The Moon
21 The Snow Neep
22 The Perfect Tree
23 The Artwork
24 Abney's Magic Show
25 The Woolly Tangle
26 The Leaf Sweep
- Series 2
1 The Very Cold Day
2 Straw Hat Trouble
3 The Visit
4 The Enormous Sneeze
5 The Handbag
6 Neep and the Dragon
7 The Mysterious Mist
8 The Very Hot Day
10 The Enormous Cabbage
11 The Summerhouse
12 Brilliant Wheels
13 Bop's Babies
14 Sleep Digging
15 The Porridge Tower
16 Abney's Aquarium
18 The Café
19 Abney's Precious Things
21 Sticky Neep
22 Porridge Machine
23 The Camera
24 Spring Cleaning
26 Rock Music
- "Network TV BBC Week 39: Monday 26 September 2011". BBC Press Office. Retrieved 23 January 2012.
- Young, Graham (29 January 2012). "Play it Again: The Teletubbies are 15 years old!". Sunday Mercury. Retrieved 7 February 2012.
- McMullen, Marion (6 January 2012). "Ragdoll says eh-oh to Abney and Teal... Firm behind Teletubbies brings two new stars to children's TV". Coventry Newspapers. thefreelibrary.com. Retrieved 23 January 2012.
- Stewart, Joel (22 September 2011). "The Adventures of Abney & Teal". BBC. Retrieved 23 January 2012.
- "Noisettes star in kids' TV role". Belfast Telegraph. 29 September 2011. Retrieved 7 February 2012.
- Hogan, Michael (14 February 2012). "Is pre-school TV having a golden moment?". guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 22 November 2012.
- "The Adventures of Abney & Teal - Rainbow Designs awarded master toy and gift licence". BBC Media Centre. 16 September 2011. Retrieved 23 January 2012.
- De Jesus, Fernando Gutierrez; Monaghan, Kate (8 September 2011). "Bomb Squad / Jo Brand's Big Splash / Adventures of Abney and Teal". broadcastnow.co.uk. Retrieved 7 February 2012.
- Loveday, Samantha (6 January 2012). "Ragdoll's Abney & Teal bolstered by new toy line". licensing.biz. Retrieved 23 January 2012.
- "CBeebies Programme - The Adventures of Abney and Teal".