This is an homage to the awesome Lore Sjoberg’s ratings.
I can’t quite feel anything for Iggle Piggle, much. I don’t dislike him, but I don’t like him either. He’s a bit of a blank, isn’t he? Oh, sure, he likes bridges and dislikes mucky patches, but don’t we all? He likes Upsy-Daisy, but we never get a sense of how that relationship evolved. Iggle Piggle lacks depth. He carries that blanket around as a substitute for a personality, but I’m not fooled. Also his song is a bit of a half-arsed riff on the theme tune. C
I confess, I wasn’t much of a fan of Upsy-Daisy to begin with. Too much singing and skirt-inflation, not enough… well, anything else. But a few episodes recently have changed my mind. She couldn’t decide if she wanted to sing or play with the ball, to ride the Pinky-Ponk or the Ninky-Nonk! It was a masterful performance, and totally switched me round. Her song is a pretty solid composition, too, and I frequently find myself singing it to my daughter. B
Oh, I really don’t get on with the Pontipines. They’re kind of difficult. Wooden, for a start, and so simply animated that it is hard to get any personality from them. What do we have to go on? They’re terrible parents and make odd millinery choices. Mr Pontipine has a large moustache, like a retired colonel, and one can’t help but think the Pontipine children keep running away because he is a terrible authoritarian. You don’t get that feeling from the Wottingers, who are definitely the happier family. No moustache clinches it, also Mr Wottinger doesn’t have a hat which looks like a clothes peg. But you see them about once every fifteen episodes, and those bloody Pontipines turn up all the time C-
Now you’re talking. The Tombliboos live in a hedge, but not in a tramp way. Their platform-filled, black-as-night house will no doubt be the setting for many a childhood dream, leading some people to wonder if they only dreamed it, did it ever exist? But, you know, also they lose their trousers. A lot. The episode where they kept putting on each other’s trousers, then losing them on the Ninky-Nonk, then having to change behind a rock… I was in tears of laughter. Genuine comic genius. Trousers. And Derek Jacobi’s delivery is perfect – “Tombliboos, are you wearing the right trousers?” They are also excellent toothbrush advocates/propogandists, with some cracking rhymes (Tombliboos, form a line/Brush your teeth and make them shine) Okay, not quite a full A because their Pinky-Ponk Juice antics are a bit dull. A-
Mikka Makka moo!
Ikka akka, ooo
Ing, ang, ooo
Mikka Makka moo
Clearly, the Ninky-Nonk rules. The Pinky Ponk is just so slow and ponderous, it takes forever for anything to happen and if the Tombliboos get on they’re just going to arse about with Pinky-Ponk Juice. I do like the Ponk Alarm, though. Good to have a safety device that goes parp. The Ninky-Nonk is anarchic, has a lot of attitude for what is basically a bus shaped like a TARDIS being towed by a banana, and can climb trees. What’s not to love? Especially the trippy scale-factors. Is it knee-high? Is it truck-sized? Is it small enough to go along a little branch? It’s all of this! Okay, Derek is a bit wary of it (“Oh no! It’s the Ninky-Nonk!”), but he’s an old man, he’s probably worried about whether it’ll accept his Freedom Pass Oyster. Ninky-Nonk B+/Pinky-Ponk C+