|Created by:|| Will Brenton|
|Developed by:||Tell-Tale Productions for BBC Worldwide|
|Starring:|| Sally Preisig|
|Opening theme:||"Are You Ready to Play?"|
|Ending theme:||"Are You Ready to Play?" (instrumental)|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of episodes:||390 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s):|| Judy Whitfield|
|Producer(s):|| Kay Benbow|
|Camera setup:||Davy Johnson|
|Running time:||18–20 minutes|
|Production company(s):||Tell-Tale Productions|
|Original channel:|| BBC; CBBC; CBeebies (UK)|
|Original run:||6 September 1999 – 24 July 2002|
Overview and historyEdit
The idea for the programme came from Iain Lauchlan and Will Brenton, a pair with a track record of being involved in BBC children's programming. Together with Karl Woolley and Helen Cadwallader they set up Tell-Tale Productions at Elstree Film Studios in Hertfordshire. Iain Lauchlan was a presenter on Play School, Fingermouse and Playdays, meeting Brenton, a director, writer and also a presenter, during the latter. Together they started producing two of the Playdays strands before forming their own production companies Tell-Tale Productions and, more recently, Wish Films. They also created The Fun Song Factory, Boo!, BB3B, Jim Jam and Sunny, Basil Hair The Squirrel and Entertainment Right's The Magical Lives of Toys.
Tweenies is a production of Tell-Tale Productions in association with the BBC. Animation for the show was produced by A Productions, an animation studio based in Bristol, England, with Ealing Animation providing some animation in a few early episodes. Computer animation for the series was provided by Clockwork Digital, with Ben Mars animating Mungo, the computer creature who appears in some later episodes. The characters are well developed and children are able to predict what their responses might be. The mixture of story, song and creative activity provides excellent opportunities for children to learn through play. Music plays an important part in the programme and children are encouraged to join in with songs and actions. The programme is set in a nursery attended by the four Tweenies themselves: Bella, Milo, Fizz and the youngest, Jake. They are in the care of two adults, Max and Judy, and two dogs - Doodles & Izzles.
The show includes a "Tweenie Clock", with five circular lights arranged in a pentagonal shape with the lights denoting "News Time" (Circle Time in United States) – Orange, "Messy Time" – Blue, "Song Time" – Yellow, "Telly Time" (Video Time in United States) – Green and "Story Time" – Red. "Surprise Time" is a special time determined when all five lights glow. A button at the centre of the clock (Purple) is pressed to select the activity that will be undertaken next.
It was formerly shown on CBeebies, from 11 February 2002 until 1 April 2016. Like a number of other CBeebies programmes, a live stage version of the show has toured in the UK. The most recent tour, Top of the Tots, toured the British Isles during 2009, the series' 10th anniversary. In addition, the tour also played several shows in Hong Kong in late September and early October 2009. The Tweenies were also regulars on the annual CBeebies Live tours around the British Isles. Between 2003 and 2005, there was also a Tweenies theme park, at Alton Towers in the Cred Street section aimed at younger children, which replaced the Barney section and then was removed in favour of Bob the Builder. In 2000, Tweenies won two awards: Best PreSchool Educational Program and Best Live Action PreSchool Programme.
The original prototypes for the Tweenies characters were designed by Sally Preisig of Mimics Productions; they were later re-scaled into two sizes for the characters shown on the series. In addition, Preisig also designed the character costumes and was co-constructor/developer for the Tweenies' full-size puppets. The costume fabric comes from the UK and was imported and dyed into their present colours; it is about the same thickness as fleece jumpers.
The Tweenies consist of Bella, Milo, Fizz, Jake, Doodles, Izzles, Max, Judy, and are sometimes joined by Max's sister Polly. Other characters have appeared occasionally, including Milo's uncle, Mickey, Jake's mother, Fizz's father and Bella's grandmother. There have also been several animated characters.
The four main characters appeared in the first episode Tweenie Band, which was filmed in 1998 at Elstree Studios & aired on 6 September 1999. The Tweenies were played by only one set of actors, while the voices were provided by other actors. Unless otherwise indicated , all the following actors and voice talent were in the show from 1999 until its last episode, What Makes Summer? on 24 July 2002.
|Bella||Blue-skinned with yellow hair which is usually accompanied with a red hair ribbon. She has a very bossy attitude and likes her own way. Sometimes she causes things to go wrong — the oldest and the tallest Tweenie She is five years old.||Tamsin Heatley (1999–2000)|
Esther Collins (2000–2002)
|Sally Preisig (1999–2000)|
Emma Weaver (2000–2002)
|Fizz||She is yellow-skinned with red hair which has beads hanging from it. She is sweet, but sometimes shy. Fizz's best friend is Bella. She loves doing ballet,dressing up as a princess and playing with the dolls. She is four years old.||Jenny Hutchinson (1999–2000)|
Angela Reynolds (2000)
Francesca Anderson (2001–2002)
|Jake||Oranged-skinned with a yellow mohican - the youngest and the shortest Tweenie. Jake sometimes shows signs of being homesick. He often gets words mixed up. Jake's best friend is Milo. He is three years old.||Samantha Dodd (1999–2002)||Justin Fletcher|
|Milo||Purple-skinned with black hair . He is energetic, but friendly and cheerful. He is four years old.||C.H. Beck
|Judy||Pale green-skinned with purple hair , originated from Ireland.||Simon Grover||Sinead Rushe|
|Max||Dark pink-skinned with white hair,||Bob Golding|
|Doodles||A red and yellow male dog.||Andy Farley||Justin Fletcher|
|Izzles||A purple and cream female dog, who was first introduced to the Tweenies in 2001, as Doodles' new friend.||Fiona Watkins||Colleen Daley|
- ↑ Revealed in episode #147 Giraffes