Monday, April 13, 2009

Dennis and Gnasher in new tv series

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:

The Beano is published every Wednesday, price £1.25.


Peter Gray said...

They never get Dennis voice right..
or maybe its just me..

looks like it will be lots of pranks and fun..

do miss the eyebrows and mouth..I just can't help it..I know it would be difficult to animate..:)

Tom Daylight said...

And now Dennis has a Mancunian accent... just like every other non-American voice on CBBC at this point.

Anonymous said...

Fear not he dosent sound like the Gallagher brothers! I was lucky enough to see an anamatic of it when I visited the Beano offices last July and it looks very good, the staff at the Beano had a lot more control over this series than they had over the 1996 series. Gnasher is more like a dog and less likely to do human things and the stories are more like the comics so no more far out tales of brainwashing shopping centres or cavemen versions of Dennis (mainly due to the length of these episodes 11mins is just right for a dennis story without going mad) I hope these are a success not only for the Beano but for the prospect of other characters making the leap from page to screen! (admit it, you would love to see a Bash St cartoon!) sorry to rant Lew!

Comicology said...

Can't even imagine Dennis the Menace, in a new avatar, or lookout....

Well, atleast the things are moving in a better direction, But I still believe the Old Dennis look rocks.


Edward said...

He really is insufficiently Menace-y, too, which is the real shame. You're probably right about the name change being for copyright/confusion reasons, but it does seem to have extended into the character himself. I miss the old animated program.

Matt said...

Having seen half of the new series, it's fantastic!

Dennis doesn't sound like a Manc, but he does sound Northern, possible Lancastrian which I think is a really good call. In fact, I think all the voice acting is superb! I love the Welsh teacher's accent too! It's so stereotypical, and that's why its funny.

Some of the stories are very weak however, such as one involving a rock concert which frankly just seemed to me to be trying to be cool and not funny. It was really rubbish actually. As is the episodes involving the joke shop. It seems that where new characters have been added, the new characters aren't very good, they seem to be too extreme and unbelievable. The Beano's all about normality, things people can associate - Bash Street Kids, Ivy the Terrible, Dennis the Menace, they're all based in situations we're familiar with and I feel the producers have lost sight of this with new characters.

On the whole though, very well done.

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