Wenlock and Mandeville

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Wenlock (left), mascot of the Olympics, and Mandeville (right), mascot of the Paralympics
Mandeville (left) and Wenlock (right) inside the Olympic Stadium

Wenlock is the official mascot for the 2012 Summer Olympics, and Mandeville is the official mascot for the 2012 Summer Paralympics, both held in London, England, United Kingdom.[1] Named after Much Wenlock and Stoke Mandeville, 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.


According to the associated (fictional) storyline by Michael Morpurgo,[4] 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'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.[4] The pattern on his body symbolises the whole world coming to London,[citation needed] and the shape of his helmet represents the shape of the Olympic Stadium.[4]


Mandeville is named after Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. In 1948, Stoke Mandeville Hospital 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]

Wenlock and Mandeville
Created byMichael Morpurgo
ComposerThomas Hewitt Jones
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of episodes4
Running time5-10 minutes
Production companyCrystal CG
Original networkBBC
UK Cinemas
Original releaseMay 19, 2010 (2010-05-19) –
May 28, 2012 (2012-05-28)

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.[5][6][7] 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.[8] These were followed by "Rainbow Rescue" (5 December 2011) and "Rainbow to the Games" (28 May 2012). The music for the animated films series was scored by British composer Thomas Hewitt Jones.[9]

The official theme song, "On a Rainbow", was written by McFly's Tom Fletcher.[10]

Comic strip[edit]

The mascots featured in an Olympic-themed comic strip in The Beano, starting in issue 3601. The strip, written by Ryan C. Gavan and drawn by Nigel Parkinson, ran until the Olympics began in July 2012.[11]


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".[12] 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".[13] Others have compared the mascots to Izzy, the mascot of the 1996 Summer Olympics, another critically panned mascot.[14] Still others have remarked that the pair resemble Kang and Kodos from The Simpsons.[15] However it has been found that children of the target audience (5 to 15 years) find the duo appealing.[16] 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.[17]

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.[citation needed]


  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. ^ a b c "London 2012 Mascots: Wenlock". www.olympic.org/london-2012-mascots. International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
  5. ^ "The London 2012 mascots". London 2012. 19 May 2010. Archived from the original on May 21, 2010. Retrieved 20 May 2010.
  6. ^ "animates London 2012 Mascots". Crystal CG. Archived from the original on 2011-03-27. Retrieved 2012-05-16.
  7. ^ "Organisation". Crystal CG. Archived from the original on 2010-04-13. Retrieved 2012-05-16.
  8. ^ Laing, Jemima (2 March 2011). "Plymouth diver Tom Daley stars in animated Olympic film". BBC News. Archived from the original on 30 March 2013.
  9. ^ "London 2012 Mascots Wenlock and Mandeville return to the big screen for the final time". Inside the Games. 12 May 2012.
  10. ^ "McFly singer Tom Fletcher writes London 2012 mascots song". The Mirror. 17 November 2011.
  11. ^ "Beano Comic Issue 3601". The Beano. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
  12. ^ "Wenlock & Mandeville: London's Olympic mascots". Creative Review. Archived from the original on 2012-09-13. Retrieved 2012-05-16.
  13. ^ "Behold the One-Eyed Compromise Monster", Globe and Mail, 21 May 2010
  14. ^ Rhone, Nedra (2010-05-21). "Atlanta's Olympic mascot meets its ugly match". ajc.com. Retrieved 2012-05-16.
  15. ^ Alpert, Emily (26 July 2012). "London Olympics: Making sport of mascots Wenlock, Mandeville". Los Angeles Times.
  16. ^ "Interview: London 2012 Olympic mascots' creator discusses their design - News - Digital Arts". Digitalartsonline.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-05-16.
  17. ^ HOLO Magazine, Volume 1. August 2013.

External links[edit]

Preceded by Olympic mascot

London 2012
Succeeded by
Preceded by Paralympic mascot

London 2012
Succeeded by