On 14 September 1981 the BBC launched a new animated series
in the 5:35 PM slot before the evening news. Willo The
Wisp followed in the footsteps of The Magic Roundabout
and Hector's House, a children's series whose appeal
spread to the adult population. Created by Nick Spargo and
voiced by the genius of Kenneth Williams the show became an
instant hit and over the years has become firmly established
as a children's (and adult's) TV classic...
the Wisp needs
no introduction. It's a timeless animated classic which both
adults and children of all ages will enjoy. This DVD release
includes all 26 episodes which have been remastered from the
result was well worth the wait. I
haven't seen this show since it was first broadcast on the
BBC back in the early '80s and I was a little unsure as to
whether I'd enjoy watching it again. I was pleasantly surprised
to find that, if anything, I actually found it more entertaining
as an adult (albeit a rather childish adult).
I've long thought that Kenneth Williams was a comedy god,
his work on Willo the Wisp leaves no doubt about his
comedic talents. In fact, at times, I found it hard to believe
that he provided all the voices.
also noticed that one of the trees, which appears in the background
throughout the series, looked an awful lot like a bottom.
Whether this was intentional or not is unclear (although I
doubt it for a prime time children's show) but surely someone
would have noticed this. Maybe it's just me being all Freudian.
episodes in this series include the episodes where Arthur
builds his own chrysalis (out of wood) in order to help him
change into a moth; an explanation of how The Beast became
The Beast; an episode in which Evil Edna walks around naked;
and the tale in which Arthur gets the Midas touch.
only negative aspect of this disc is the unforgivable fact
that the DVD producers have rather clumsily tagged a five
minute advertisement for the new Willo the Wisp series
to the start of the "Play All" section. Surely this
should have been included in the "Extras" section.
of extras, besides the ad for the new series, we also get
a 9 minute British Gas public information film from 1975.
This was the first animation produced starring Willo the Wisp
and is an explanation on how gas finds its way from the North
Sea to our living rooms.
more could you ask for for £8? Willo the Wisp
fans will have a gas with this fantastic release.