Penny Crayon (CBBC, 1989-1990)
Guess what, it’s time for a review of yet another cartoon that I remember watching on CBBC in the afternoon a long time ago. This is a cartoon that was produced by the same team behind The Family Ness and Jimbo And The Jet Set (that I both reviewed recently), again it had a similar animation style to those two shows, and it would be their third and final cartoon for CBBC.
One notable thing about Penny Crayon is that the voice of the main character was provided by Su Pollard, who around the time was best known for appearing in sitcom Hi-De-Hi!. It was a typically enthusiastic performance, and she had a rather bizarre laugh too. The idea of the show was that it starred a beret-wearing girl called Penny who was very creative and liked to draw things, and she would always take the opportunity, whether she was at school, an amusement park, a museum, and so on.
However, the crayon (usually kept behind her ear) that she used to draw things was magic, meaning that the pictures always came to life! Well of course, this would cause all manner of excitement. It really is fun. The only other main character in the show was Penny’s friend Dennis. Now I don’t mean to use this piece to spend more time going on about something else instead of the actual show, but all of this couldn’t help but remind me of a strip that I used to enjoy in long-gone comic Buster that had a rather similar idea.
This was called Chalky, and it was all about a boy who had some chalk, and he would often draw pictures on walls (his catchphrase was “I’m quick on the draw!”), to get him out of, or maybe even into, trouble. I don’t think his pictures came to life though, but you see, Chalky used chalk, and Penny used crayons, so it’s definitely two totally different ideas, no arguing.
I was rather surprised to discover that there were only 12 ten-minute long editions of Penny Crayon made, because it was shown rather frequently, and it was repeated on BBC2 as late as 2002, well over a decade after it was originally shown. Plenty of episodes were released on VHS, as always happened with cartoons from around this time, and there has also been a DVD release (I really should add some more cartoons to my DVD collection, it’s not just old comedy shows, honest).