Think of Morph as Gumby with attitude. Or Gumby with a purpose. Or Gumby, but funnier. In fact, don't think of Gumby at all, even though this clay animation series looks like the green guru of the '60s. This fresh series from the BBC is head and shoulders above most entertainment for kids and adults. Produced in the early '90s by Aardman Animations (which would later go on to make the Wallace and Gromit films), The Morph Files
is a collection of 2- to 10-minute shorts with the red Morph and his sidekick, Chaz, tooling around their desktop home. They might be trying to make a garden or simply playing around with a ball. There's a good deal of shenanigans and whimsical animation that reminds one of Tim Burton's early dabbles, or Looney Tunes. The simplicity of Morph, just a humanlike red stick of clay, is part of the allure. Eyes bulge, bodies shift shape, gobbledygook is spoken, and household objects become sensational plot twists. There's also the occasional side trip to the nearby computer, where Morph and his pals can be sucked inside and play around--and sometimes bring newly made creatures back into their world. There are three volumes of The Morph Files
; each tape has four segments. (Ages 5 and older)
In the third volume, Morph plays games with Chaz with awkward results, shows a film to his friends, plays cowboy, and throws a birthday party. --Doug Thomas
The Morph Files
was created by Aardman Animations' founders, David Sproxton and Peter Lord. Lord, an Oscar-nominated animator (Wat's Pig
), is also codirector, with Nick Park, of Chicken Run
, Aardman Animations' first feature film. Parents and kids alike will enjoy Morph's imaginative adventures--a colorful blend of clay animation and computer animation. There are four delightful episodes on each 45-minute volume. Through these three videos, families will share a secret desktop world inhabited by Morph, a lively character who lives in a wooden box and has the magical ability to metamorphose at will, and his playful pals. The series incorporates magical, moldable fun the whole family will want to watch again and again.
Looking for something to do that won't cause any trouble, Morph takes up boating, but soon decides that computer games and soccer are a lot more fun--and not as wet!
The Film Show
Morph orders a new suit from Chas, but isn't happy with the results. Later, Morph tries to get into pictures when some old home movies have everyone in stitches.
When Morph and Chas's gunfighting antics make a mess of everything, Sheriff Grarmorph vows to "clean up the town" no matter what it takes!
The Birthday Party
Morph wakes up to find that no cards or presents are waiting for him on his birthday, but a well-planned surprise party is all it takes to brighten up his spirits!