Classic Children’s Stop-motion Animation: Postman Pat Goes Sledging
As a kid, perhaps my favourite TV show was Postman Pat, the classic, stop-motion series about a British postman with the catchy theme tune and his adventures in Greendale. I was reminded of it today because we got some snow here in Baltimore and the fact that one of my favourite episodes of Postman Pat revolves around snow.
The gist of it is that there’s been a heavy snow in Greendale and as a result, Pat’s round is a bit different than usual, involving snow fights, digging out ploughs and delivering straw to sheep.
I mention this episode not only because it is a wonderful piece of stop-motion animation, it also displays some great slapstick moments. The two I mention come later in the episode and revolve around Pat and Alf Thompson delivering supplies to a snowed-in farm high on a hill.
The journey up is pretty straight-forward, but the journey down is anything but. Suffice to say, things do not go as planned when they hit a bump which knocks them flying. Now, as an adult, you might think, “that’s not very funny”, but as a kid, I thought it was absolutely hilarious. The way they sail through the air and then tumble in the snow is superb, and when you think it was all done in stop-motion, it becomes all the more amazing.
At the end of the run, they slide straight into the barn, complete with a crashing noise that suggests another comedic catastrophe, until both characters walk out as if nothing had happened.
The series has remained popular over the last 25 years and it’s not hard to see why. It may not be educational in the contemporary fashion, but it is extremely entertaining, even more so if you’re in the target demographic. It’s what I grew up with, so I might be seeing things through some rose-tinted glasses, but you cannot deny the skill inherent in the animation. The episode is embedded below for you to watch (14 mins. total) in all it’s YouTube glory.