DVD REVIEW: BING: SWING AND OTHER EPISODES / CERT: U / DIRECTOR: NICKY PHELAN / SCREENPLAY: VARIOUS / STARRING: ELLIOT KERLEY, MARK RYLANCE, EVE BENTLEY, AKIYA HENRY / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Imagine a world where sentient knitted cuddly toys are tasked with bringing up talking toddler animals inside the confines of a world entirely suited to their needs. In what seems like some kind of idealistic biome, Bing (a young black bunny) learns valuable life lessons from his stuffing-filled carer, Flop, ranging from learning to cope when toys break to taking turns and where shadows come from. Is this some sinister alien plan to raise a menagerie and intelligent animals to conquer the universe? No, not really, it’s just a very endearing (if undeniably odd) children’s TV series aimed at pre-schoolers.
While the vivid colours and simplistic (yet effective) stories are a large part of the attraction here, the key to its resounding success is down to the wonderful Mark Rylance. It’s the Olivier Award-winning actor’s calming tones as Flop which really hook you in to the show’s purpose, essentially showing parents of little ones how best to guide their impressionable offspring through the various challenges facing them. The little knitted ‘parent’ takes everything in his stride, never gets cross and always keeps his cool (definitely an alien!).
There are 10 five-minute episodes here covering subjects such as sharing, winning and losing and generally learning to cope with disappointment. All are great and eminently re-watchable which is essential for parents of little ones who value repetition.
Beyond that there are no extra features, but then this is for toddlers and we doubt they’d be interested in a Director’s Commentary, unless it was narrated by Mark Rylance of course.
Special Features: None