The Beano Video (1993)/The Beano Videostars (1994) When it was announced in 1993 that a video would be released featuring famous characters from The Beano in animated form for the first time, I was really pleased. I had been reading The Beano for about three or four years by this point, and had got to know and enjoy some of the characters, so this was definitely something that I wanted as a Christmas present.
The Beano Video was definitely one of the highlights of Christmas 1993 for me. I still remember when I watched the tape for the first time how odd it was seeing these characters finally coming to life. The characters that were featured were Dennis The Menace And Gnasher, Minnie The Minx, The Bash Street Kids, and The Three Bears.
Lots of questions such as what would happen in the video and how would the characters sound were answered. There was some impressive voice talent on board, including Enn Reitel. Now if he is not a name you are familiar with, you will almost certainly know his voice. One thing that I have learned from watching vintage advert breaks on YouTube, is that he seemed to voice every third advert on British TV for about the last 35 years. He does has a good voice but it is remarkable just how often you do hear him flogging everything from corn flakes to cars. Other voice actors taking part included Kate Robbins and Susan Sheridan.
Out of all of the stories featured, my favourite has to be “Space Case” featuring The Bash Street Kids, where a prank is played on the mortarboard-wearing teacher (voiced by Reitel) that an alien has invaded the school, but the teacher doesn’t believe them. “Piffle and poppycock, silly boy.” But then he sees the alien for himself, cue silly sound effects! It turns out it was actually Spotty all hang. How cheeky. Just how daft it all is still makes me laugh now over 20 years later.
Such was the success of The Beano Video that a year later they did it all again, and in Christmas 1994 the sequel The Beano Videostars was released. This was an hour long video, featuring all the stars of the first one, plus Roger The Dodger and Ivy The Terrible appearing for the first time, and for me it was definitely as good as the first one.
Although I’m sure that neither of these videos have ever been shown on TV, in 1996 Dennis The Menace would go on to have his own animated show on CBBC which was always great to watch too. These two videos are among some my favourite tapes that I had when I was younger, it was a great idea and seeing these classic comic characters finally on the screen was fantastic.