Aardman Animations may be better known now for Wallace and Gromit, but back in the 1980’s their most famous work was the little orangey brown plasticene man called Morph. Â Morph first appeared as a little bit of light relief on childhood hero Tony Hart’s art show Take Hart, but before long was graced with his own short show, naratted by and starring Mr. Hart.
Morph lived in a little wooden box on Tony’s desk, which had a hook fastener on the front that Tony could lock shut when Morph started misbehaving, which happened quite frequently. Â Morph was a bit full of himself you see, and it got him into trouble at times.
The Amazing Adventures of Morph started in 1980 and the series introduced us to Morph’s extended family, each of whom seem to speak in a similar way to Morph, that being a series of strange squeaky sounds. Â The characters were beautifully animated however, and whilst you might not have been able to understand a word they were saying (thankfully Tony translated most of what they said) but you could get the general idea from the way they moved their arms about, or the expressions on their faces.
Morph was joined on his adventures by Chaz, who looked identical to Morph except for being made of white plasticene. Â He was quite badly behaved too, and often wound Morph up into a frenzy. Â Then there was Gillespie, a large version of Morph made from blue clay, who was a bit of a gentle giant really. Â Grandmorph was just like Morph but with a beard, and tended to travel around on a skateboard.
The two female characters were Delilah, another Morph look-a-like who was made from brown clay, and wore a yellow felt dress. Â She also wore glasses and a mop of brown hair. Â The other girl character was Folly, who was made entirely from scrunched up tin foil. Â I think she was meant to be a kind of robot.
Other incidental characters were the Nailbrush dog, basically little more than a normal wooden nail brush that just ran about the place making dog like sounds, and the Very Small Creatures, who were little more than tiny balls of colored plasticene.
As you may expect from his name, Morph was able to change his shape, which was fairly fitting given he was made of plasticene. Â Whilst he could form himself into different animals and objects, this skill was often used for travel purposes. Â He could travel through the surface of the table upon which is box home lived by transforming into a long sausage which gradually reduced in length as it apparently passed through the table. Â Morph also used to roll into a ball to travel between places more quickly.
Want to check out an episode of this great series. Â Thought you might, so here’s the very first episode for you to enjoy. Â Look out for the amazing punch up between Morph, Chaz, Gillespie and Delilah, which is really brilliantly animated with each of the little characters throwing loads of action into their punches!