In The Night Garden...: Isn't That A Pip! Review
I wish that my friends were so pleased to see me that, like Upsy-Daisy, they simply squealed their own names in excitement. That's true friendship. Unfortunately, they have barely progressed beyond what they settled for during their teenage years, being an, "Alright?" and nothing more. But when Igglepiggle arrives off his little boat and jogs into the garden trailing his blanket, Upsy-Daisy is so thrilled that she squeaks out an, "Upsy daisy! Daisy doo!" So many aspects of life would be better if it reflected In The Night Garden... Just think of how much more exciting the average commute would be if giant Haahoos drifted down the streets of our towns and villages, if there was a Makka-Pakka who made their way through office blocks cleaning everyone's face or the day ended with everyone squeezing into a gazebo for a dance. Wouldn't that be a pip!
Having used a previous review of In The Night Garden... to describe the show itself, this short review concerns itself with the five episodes on this disc, which begins with The Pontipine Children On The Roof. Risking very young children imitating their actions on the London Underground or the Manchester Tram, the entire Pontipine family go for a ride on board the Ninky Nonk. Unfortunately, Mr and Mrs Pontipine cannot find their children. Where are they? Well, the teeny-tiny Pontipine children, rather that sit inside the little house that is their carriage, they sit on its roof, even as the Ninky Nonk spins around, goes upside down and even under the Haahoos. "What naughty dollies!"
Igglepiggle arrives in the night garden. He and Upsy-Daisy are Looking For Each Other but, much to their concern, they simply cannot find one another. What are they to do? No matter how loudly they shout, they always seem to miss each other. "Oh! Daisy Doo! Oh!" Not even Makka-Pakka and the Tombliboos can help. But can the children at home? "He's behind you!" they'll cry out. Meanwhile, in Slow Down Everybody!, everyone is having to do things very fast on account of the Tombliboos playing their music so quickly. Upsy-Daisy and Igglepiggle get very tired dancing so much, Makka-Pakka is washing his rocks faster than he has ever done before while even the Haahoos bounce up and down very quickly.
O lucky man! Igglepiggle Goes Visiting everyone in the night garden and everyone does something special for him. Makka-Pakka makes him a special pile of stones, the Tombliboos play him some special music and Upsy-Daisy does a special dance. But the Pontipines don't give him anything as Igglepiggle can't find them. They're too teeny-tiny! Finally, in Where Is The Pinky Ponk Going?, everyone in the garden gets on board the Pinky Ponk to go on a special journey. Higher and higher it goes and further into the forest...but where to? All the way to see the magical olly-bolly-dob-dob flower, that's where. It's very rare indeed. Now isn't that a pip!
This remains a bedtime treat for very young children. The charming nursery rhyme chimes of the music, the brightly coloured characters and Derek Jacobi's soothing narration all add to this, easing children into the bedtime ritual of teeth-cleaning, a story (or two) and a hug goodnight. As they leave for bed, so too does Igglepiggle, sleeping in his little boat as the sun sets and the lights of the garden become those of the stars in the sky. Even the Haahoos are sleeping. Time for bed indeed.
Like everything else that has been released by the BBC's Children's department, In The Night Garden is anamorphically presented in 1.78:1 widescreen and is of a very good quality throughout. Colours stand out, the image is bright but the only fault in the picture is how obvious the blue/green screen is, most notably on the Tittifers. This is made even worse with the sharpness of the transfer, something that is a cut above the average DVD. Everything about the DD2.0 audio tracks is well handled, not least that they sound clean and without any obvious problems with background noise or audio effects. Once again, the BBC are to be congratulated for included English subtitles across this set.
There are no extras on this DVD.