Famous Fiz-ive IN DA HOUSE

One of Britain’s best-known children’s book series, Enid Blyton’s Famous Five, has been turned into a 21st century cartoon

Oh this doesn’t fucking bode well, does it. A remake, AND a TV cartoon? I have bad feeling about this. They’ll be trying to make it edgy and cool (which is code for B-Boy stances and skateboarding, because TV execs cool glands are mysteriously stuck in the late 80’s) and also ethnically diverse (because otherwise they’ll Get Letters).

Let’s read on:

“The new series stars Anglo-Indian Jo – George’s daughter whose full name “Jyoti” is Hindu for light – who, like her mother, is a proud tomboy, and loves the outdoors.

Next is 13 year-old Max, Julian’s son, an avid mountain biker and skater. Anne’s daughter, Allie, 12, is a Californian who loves shopping and sending text messages.

Dylan, 11, the son of Dick, is a gadget nerd and aspiring businessman who follows the stock market on his laptop.”

Oh for chrissakes. Read that again a few times, and marvel at the fact that if you shot the creators of this shit in the brains, it’d be YOU that went to jail.


  1. I think I should keep well away from that.

  2. That is not the Famous Five. Not even close. That’s… I don’t know what that is, but it’s awful. The essence of the Famous Five is their 1940s-50s English dorkiness; take that away and you’re left with nothing.

    Shame! Shame, I say! I shall be writing to the Times about this!

    • I can tell already there will be no lashings of ginger beer 🙁

      Actually, I was never much of a Enid Blyton fan. But I do like ginger beer.

      • And no gypsy caravans and potted meat either. I love the original Famous Five and their never-ending adventures. I for one, shall not go near this drivel.

        I mean really, if there’s no Nazi smugglers who have kidnapped a prof. and are now hiding in an old lighthouse in Cornwall, then I’m not watching!

        • The only thing cooler than the famous five, was the comic strip’s five go mad in dorset and five go mad on mescalin.

          There were not really pistakes, not really.

  3. Further awesomeness:

    “…the new characters uncover a pirate DVD factory on nearby Shelter Island.”

  4. “Oh my George, the complexion on young Jo…” chirped Anne “…she’s a bit ‘colourful’.”
    “Well her doner was this nice Doctor my life partner and I found, he’s from New Deli.” replied George as she topped up her latte from her hip flask.
    “Gosh, you mean a nigger! George how could you.” blurted Ann.
    “Well if you want to use names, technically he’s a wog, wogs are from india. Niggers are from Africa.” jibed George smoothly sipping at her latte.

    Apologies to Fawlty Towers and Enid Blyton 🙂

  5. They’ll be trying to make it edgy and cool (which is code for B-Boy stances and skateboarding, because TV execs cool glands are mysteriously stuck in the late 80’s)

    Well, I had a look at the photo that’s been accompanying the Famous Five press release news articles, and it doesn’t look like a lame ’80s cartoon. It has a smarter, more contemporary style to it.

    Now, I like me a good mystery story, but when I was a kid I thought the Famous Five were dull and I much preferred Scooby Doo. This cartoon sounds like a cross between the original Famous Five characters and the Scooby Doo kids.

    But, really, it’s a cartoon about kids solving mysteries. Is it really worth getting outraged that – gasp! – one of the characters is mixed race and another – OMG! – likes text messaging? Does this not reflect contemporary pre-teens?

    • To me, this is a bit like the situation with I, Robot. Yes, you can argue it was a “modern retelling” or somesuch, but the reality of the industry is someone had a great idea to generate some revenue off a brand and they had a license sitting around somewhere to use.

      It’s just pissing on existing work without adding anything new to it. Would it stand up without the license on it’s own merits? It wouldn’t even get a fucking word anywhere without it.

  6. Shouldn’t it be the Famous Five’s grandkids if it’s meant to be contemporary? doesn’t really appeal but then I wouldn’t be handing original Famous Five books to my kids either -having to explain/deprogram all the sexism, racism, classism whateverelseism would just take too long.

    Mind you I’ve probably inherited my Mother’s attitudes about Enid Blyton. Mum didn’t usually censor my reading material – sex was fine, violence tolerated but Ms Blyton was vorboten. I read a few on the sly and didn’t really think much of them.

  7. With all the crap about ‘Blyton’s books are sexist/racist etc’ you know what? Being a kid that was brought up to read damn near anything I could get my hands on*, I never even noticed any sexism or racism or anything in all of those books. Including Tintin and a whole heap of others that are not deemed ‘PC’ anymore. This was because they were books, they’re not real, things that happen in story books don’t come true. Etc etc.
    I don’t know, maybe my parents just bought me up right.

    * My Mother once told me that (may have been my brother too) we used to read the back of the cereal packets while eating breakfast if there wasn’t anything else around to read.

    • I think with the ‘PC’ stuff it really depends on the age/stage of the kid whether I’m comfortable just letting them go to it with things with old-fashioned or dodgy ideas. A kid who is 10 or 12 and has already formed their ideas about the world and is good at separating what is real and relevant from what isn’t would be fine reading just about anything. I have a six year old who reads at a 12-13 year old level but still tends to take things pretty literally and at face value so there’s a bunch of stuff that I’m either waiting until he’s older or reading to him so we can discuss it as we go.

  8. Heh, boyfriend just said:
    ‘Hey, I know, why don’t we rewrite the Bible to make it more PC and up-to-date, we could include Buddha and Mohammed, and Jesus could do miracles via text message, that would be super awesome!’
    Thought you might get a giggle from that 🙂