UK: Making it Tough for Tots - SLEEPY KIDS.

UK: Making it Tough for Tots - SLEEPY KIDS. - Whatever happened to Wind in the Willows? wonders Charles Darwent, on visiting the blood-and-guts world of Sleepy Kids.

Whatever happened to Wind in the Willows? wonders Charles Darwent, on visiting the blood-and-guts world of Sleepy Kids.

"We're going bogies here, Charles," says Vivien Schrager-Powell, with relish. "We're going snot." Her husband, Martin, nods enthusiastically. "We're going vomit." I don't think I feel very well. What, you ask, is the subject of the Schrager-Powells discourse? Do-it-yourself pathology? A joint taste for punk rock? Not a bit of it. The Schrager-Powells are purveyors of children's TV cartoons, and the couple are describing their latest oeuvre, a 26-episode series called Dr Sidney Scuzzbag and his Transylvania Pet Shop. Whatever happened to Wind in the Willows?

Once upon a time, not so very long ago, children's entertainment was an innocent little genre, all Surrey and fluffy toys. As an art form, it, too, had its detractors. The late Algonquin wit, Dorothy Parker, memorably remarked that reading Winnie the Pooh made her want to "fwow up". The Schrager-Powells' newest cartoon would spare her the trouble: its promotional brochure bears the winning legend "Vomit in disgust as Scuzzbag stitches monsters-to-go". Clearly, we are not in A A Milne country. The reasoning behind this is as follows. "Children aren't kiddiewinks any more," says Mrs Schrager-powell, mordantly. "Six-year-olds just aren't content to be fobbed off with 'Mr Wizard go pouf and nasty man go away'. Stories these days have to be believable, contain some logical process." We are witnessing, it seems, the birth of the cartoon verite, warts, consumerism, vomit and all, and the Schrager-Powells are among its cinematic vanguard.

Sign in to continue

Sign in

Trouble signing in?

Reset password: Click here

Email: mtsupport@haymarket.com

Call: 020 8267 8121

Register

FREE

  • Up to 4 free articles a month
  • Free email bulletins

Register Now

Get 30 days free access

Sign up for a 30 day free trial and get:

  • Full access to managementtoday.co.uk
  • Exclusive event discounts
  • Management Today's print magazine

Join today