Friday, 15 May 2009

A man who likes to dress up! - Mr Benn

Advantages: Nice vehicle for teaching kids morals

Disadvantages: None

Mr Benn is another one of those wonderful kids short TV programmes from the 1970s. It features a character called Mr Benn, naturally. Who likes to... erm... well for want of a better phrase... dress up.. 

He is a business man type character in his suit and bowler hat. 

We see him leave his house at 52 Festive Street and he strolls through his town, where he will eventually end up at the Fancy Dress shop. 

When he gets to the Fancy dress shop, the shopkeeper will always appear "as if by Magic". Mr Benn then proceeds to try on an outfit which would then, providing he went through the "door that always led to adventures" lead him into a total fantasy world. 

This is fascinating stuff, jam packed with fantasy and imagination, unlike some of today's children's television, which just tries to show kids the reality they live in. Mr Benn is brilliant escapism. Not only is it escapism though, there is normally some sort of moral attached which hopefully the child viewer will learn from. 

Before long though the shopkeeper will appear within the fantasy, "as if by magic", usually putting the icing on the cake that is the story's moral. 

There is something a bit creepy and wierd about this, but watching it as a child, I didn't think this. 

I always loved the souvenir that Mr Benn might find in a pocket, which always concluded nicely into that wonderfully jaunty theme music.

Summary: Well thought out kids telly from the 1970s

No comments:

Post a Comment