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.”
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