Disney to make Famous Five cartoon

Hearing news like this makes me wonder whether to laugh or cry. Disney has bought the rights to Enid Blyton’s Famous Five and will be making a modern-day cartoon.
I was brought up on Enid Blyton books such as Noddy, the Famous Five, the Secret Seven, Mallory Towers, Amelia Jane, the Faraway Tree and numerous other titles.
The Independent sums up the likely changes:

Gone will be “gosh”, “golly” and “jolly nice”, replaced – potentially – by the likes of “cool”, “awesome” and “boss”. The idea of “lashings of ginger beer”, the Famous Five “catchphrase” which does not appear in any of the books, to wash down high tea is likely to be replaced by more 21st-century fare and, instead of having a ball of string and a rubber band for “tools”, the Five will be able to use technology to ensnare villains.
The Five will even have different names because they are the children of the original characters. Instead, they will be called Cole, Dylan, Jo and Allie.

Why make things more complicated by creating new characters? And what if the original charm of the series is completely lost?
My biggest nightmare would be hearing something like this: “Yo, Jo – how about a soccer match?”
It seems that the main purpose is to make something palatable for a mass audience. Disney appears to be catering to a new generation who may not have read Blyton’s books. Imagine doing that with Lord of the Rings.
Gingerpop, an Enid Blyton resource website, urges readers to write in to publishers, stating on their “Save the Famous Five campaign page that “Intelligent children understand the concept of history, and can appreciate that the Famous Five stories are of a time and place.”
Technorati Tags: Enid Blyton, Famous Five, Disney, adaptations


  1. Walter

    Its a travesty! I can’t imagine them speaking with a modern day “yo dude!” and hip-hop accents. Sheeesh…..
    I can still remember that little ditty when Famous Five was a television series produced in UK…”We are the Famous Five…. Julian, Dick and Anne, George and Timmy the Dog..”
    Now I would be really interested to see how George turns out in this modern context.

  2. Malcolm Potter-Brown

    The first Famous Five Adventure was published in 1942. Julian was 13. The Famous Five would therefore now be in their mid-seventies and any descendants active in the age of mobile phones would be their grandchildren.
    Fans of the original FF might do better to read Robin Gordon’s “The Kirrins and the Mystery of the Sandy-haired Dwarf” in which the children of the Five tackle terrorist smugglers in the early 1980’s. Don’t be put off by the parodistic tone of the opening chapters: the story develops into one that EB herself would have found pretty thrilling. Look out too for the dogs, Timmy VI and Mycock. Their interests may include things about which EB would not have wished to write, but their puzzled dogs’ eye view of the adventure is not without charm.
    Find it at http://auksford.250free.com/rg/kirrins/

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