Months in development, a brand new Dennis the Menace cartoon series is coming to Children's BBC sometime this year. The 52 x 11 minute episodes of Dennis and Gnasher are a joint effort by Scotland's Red Kite Animation and Australia's Sticky Pictures studio.
A trailer for the new series is now on the Red Kite Animation website, click HERE to view it.
The website promotion states:
"Dennis and Gnasher believe the world is truly their oyster and that kids should make the rules. They are active, creative and possess a charming, cheeky self-confidence which gets them both into and out of trouble!
Dennis and Gnasher is a series for 5 to 10 year olds, where the irrepressible energy and enthusiasm of childhood is celebrated. The series, Dennis and Gnasher, is based on characters from The Beano comic, published in the UK by DC Thomson."
As you'll see, the style of Dennis and Gnasher have been changed somewhat for the new cartoon. The familiar striped jumper and short trousers remain, but Dennis has a more open and less aggressive face than Davy Law's traditional comic design. (Although to be fair, similar changes were made for the previous Dennis and Gnasher series a few years ago.) Dennis' hair is now swept forward rather than his unkempt spiky look and I can't help feeling he looks "softer" than the Menace we know. (Bizarrely he reminds me of my Brickman character now!)
More significantly, there's no mention in the promotion or the series' title of Dennis being a Menace! Too "negative" a term for today's safe children's tv perhaps? More likely it's simply been dropped to avoid confusion with the Hank Ketcham American Dennis the Menace, which was also adapted for animation years ago.
Although the changes may unsettle older fans of the character the new Dennis and Gnasher tv series should help to boost sales of The Beano and its companion comic BeanoMAX. It's likely that for the sake of consistency the style of the cartoon series will influence the look of the character in the comic, again angering traditionalists. However, the crux of the matter is that The Beano is primarily read by children, and holding on to those readers is what's most important. In that regard a major new CBBC series can only be benificial to the comics. Watch this space for future developments!
Official BEANO website: http://www.beanotown.com/
The Beano is published every Wednesday, price £1.25.