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Bananas in Pyjamas is an Australian children's television series that premiered on 20 July 1992 on ABC. It has since become syndicated in many different countries, and dubbed into other languages. In the United States, the "Pyjamas" in the title was modified to reflect the American spelling pajamas. This aired in syndication from 1995 to 1997 as a half-hour series, then became a 15-minute show paired with a short-lived 15-minute series The Crayon Box, under a 30-minute block produced by Sachs Family Entertainment titled Bananas in Pajamas & The Crayon Box. Additionally, the characters and a scene from the show were featured in the Kids for Character sequel titled Kids for Character: Choices Count. The pilot episode was Pink Mug.

Bananas in Pyjamas
(Classic) (1992-2001)
Created byHelena Harris
Written by
Directed by
  • Michael Ailwood
  • Ian Munro
Starring
Narrated byKarina Kelly
Theme music composerCarey Blyton
Opening themeBananas In Pyjamas performed by Monica Trapaga
Ending themeBananas in Pyjamas instrumental version
Composer(s)
  • Chris Harriott (1992–99)
  • Peter Dasent (2001)
Country of originAustralia
Original language(s)English
No. of series6
No. of episodes304 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
  • Claire Henderson (1992–94)
  • Mark Barnard (1996)
  • Virginia Lumsden (1999–2001)
Producer(s)
  • Helena Harris (showrunner, 1992–94)
  • Tammy Burnstock (1994)
  • Virginia Lumsden (1996)
  • Mark Barnard (1999)
  • Sophie Emtage (2001)
Production location(s)ABC Studios
Running time5 minutes
Production company(s)Australian Broadcasting Corporation
DistributorAustralian Broadcasting Corporation
Release
Original networkABC
Picture format4:3 (PAL)
Audio formatStereo
Original release20 July 1992 (1992-07-20) –
14 December 2001 (2001-12-14)
External links
Website

The concept was inspired by the success of the song Bananas in Pyjamas, written by Carey Blyton in 1967, on Play School.[1][2] This song, which had become a regular item on Play School, became the theme of the new series.

The series was revamped in May 2011 as a CGI animated series created by Southern Star Entertainment.

SummaryEdit

The main characters are two anthropomorphic bananas named B1 and B2. Other characters include the three teddy bears Amy, Lulu and Morgan, and Rat in a Hat. The bananas, the teddies and Rat in a Hat all live in the same neighbourhood, a cul-de-sac called "Cuddles Avenue". The bananas live next to the beach and serve as beach patrol. The teddies live next to and look after the park. Rat in a Hat works and lives at the community store. The characters enjoy eating "munchy honeycakes" and "yellow jelly".

ProductionEdit

InspirationEdit

The characters were inspired by a 1969 song written for children by British composer Carey Blyton (nephew of renowned children's author Enid Blyton). The jaunty song describes (an unspecified number of) bananas in pyjamas chasing teddy bears, with a slight twist at the end where a musical sting emphasises that the bananas like to "catch them unawares". The song was shown on the Australian version of Play School for many years accompanied by an animation depicting pairs of bananas in blue-and-white striped pyjamas. This led to a "banana" plush toy being created as part of the "toy cast", which formed the basis of the physical appearance of B1 and B2.

FilmingEdit

Creator, producer and showrunner Helena Harris devised the content of the ABC program at ABC Studios. Two of the bear characters, Amy and Morgan, are named after Helena Harris' children.[3] The show was performed using human actors in elaborate costumes, in the style of the British Tweenies and Teletubbies. In the show's early days, the voices of the bananas were provided by the same actors as were inside the costume, but the original actors eventually gave up that aspect of the show and substitutes manned the hot, stuffy costumes. The show aired new episodes from its 1992 debut to its eventual run in syndication in 2002. The show aired approximately three hundred episodes as well as four specials. Its debut in the United States was in 1995. It made videos and other media from 1995 to 1999. A toy line, developed by TOMY, debuted in 1996.

Animated versionEdit

Bananas in Pyjamas
(Animated series) (2011-2013)
Created byHelena Harris
Written by
  • John Armstrong
  • Kym Goldsworthy
  • Holly Lyons
  • Kevin Nemeth
Directed byCraig Handley
Starring
Theme music composerCarey Blyton
Opening themeBananas In Pyjamas
Ending themeBananas in Pyjamas instrumental version
Country of originAustralia
Original language(s)English
No. of series3
No. of episodes156 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)Noel Price
Producer(s)
  • Jacqueline Chan
  • Barbara Uecker
Running time12 minutes
Production company(s)Southern Star Group
DistributorEndemol (2011–13)
Release
Original networkABC2
Picture format576i (SDTV)
Audio formatStereo
Original release2 May 2011 (2011-05-02) –
3 July 2013 (2013-07-03)
External links
Website

On 2 May 2011, a new version of Bananas in Pyjamas, produced by Southern Star Entertainment in full CGI, was premiered on ABC2 in Australia; it was shown in other countries soon after that date. It contains new songs, stories, and characters, including Topsy the cheeky kangaroo, Charlie the inventive monkey and Bernard the wise old dog. Development of the new series commenced in 2009, and production started in early 2010. The new series contains 104 12-minute episodes.[4][5]

On 6 June 2013, there was speculation that production of the show was ceasing, as the animated version of the program had not produced enough revenue to justify the cost of making a fourth season.[6] The ABC quickly refuted the claims and a spokeswoman said a decision on whether there will be another series will be made towards the end of 2013.[7][8]

CharactersEdit

Main charactersEdit

Recurring charactersEdit

  • Bernard the Dog: Keith Buckley (2011–13)
  • Charlie the Monkey: Matthew Whittet (2011–13)
  • Kevin the Butterfly: Mal Heap (1992–93)
  • Maggie the Magpie: Emma De Vries (1994–2001)
  • Mrs Rat the Rat: Georgina Symes (2011–13)[14]
  • Tolstoy the Tortoise: Emma De Vries (1994–2001) and then John Leary (2011–13)[15]
  • Tomasina the Turtle: David Collins (1999) and then Meaghan Davies (2011–13)
  • Topsy the Kangaroo: Roslyn Oades (2011–13)

Farm animalsEdit

  • Farm Animals puppeteers: Mal Heap, Terry Ryan & Emma De Vries (2001)
  • Camembert the Cow: Taylor Sweeney and then Eliza Logan (2011–2013)[16]
  • Pedro the Pig: Michael Phillips and then Anthony O'Donohue (2011–2013)[17]
  • Gregory the Chicken: Matthew Hudak
  • Peck the Duck: Aaron Oberst-Horner
  • Dolly the Sheep: Maura McGinley and then Olivia Pigeot (2011–2013)
  • Flash the Fish: Jacob Matta

EpisodesEdit

Home video releasesEdit

The series has been released to home video, originally for VHS, later also for DVD.

  • Birthday Special (1992)
  • Show Business (1993)
  • Hiccups (1993)
  • Monster Bananas (1994)
  • Big Parade (1994)
  • Special Delivery (1994)
  • Surf's Up! (1995)
  • Wish Fairies (1995)
  • It's Music Time! (1996)
  • Singing Time! (1997)
  • Dress Ups (1997)
  • Bumping and a-Jumping (1998)
  • Holiday Time (1998)
  • Fun Time! (1999)
  • Surprise Party (1999)
  • It's Games Time! (2000)
  • Story Time (2000)
  • Rock-A-Bye Bananas (2001)
  • Summertime (2001)
  • Dancing Daze (2002)
  • Celebration! (2002)
  • Farm Adventure! (2003)
  • Beat Box (2003)

DiscographyEdit

  • Bananas in Pyjamas (1993)
  • Live on Stage (1994)
  • Are You Thinking What I'm Thinking? Mix (1994)
  • It's Singing Time! (1996)
  • Bumping and a-Jumping (1997)
  • Cuddles Avenue Christmas (1997)
  • It's Show Time! (1998)
  • Get Up and Dance! (2000)
  • Banana Split Mix (2002)
  • The Fun Collection (2002)
  • Sing and Be Happy (2004)
  • Welcome to Cuddlestown (2011)
  • Playtime! (2012)
  • Best Of: Classic (2015)
  • 50 Best Songs: 25 Years! (2017)

Cultural impactEdit

The Bananas in Pyjamas were featured among other famous Australians during the parade of the 2000 Summer Olympics closing ceremony.[18]

In 2017, the Royal Australian Mint produced a commemorative set containing five-cent and 20-cent coins to mark the 25th anniversary of Bananas in Pyjamas. The five-cent coin, which is coloured for the first time, depicts Rat-in-a-Hat, while the twenty-cent coin depicts B1 and B2.[19]

Awards and nominationsEdit

APRA Music AwardsEdit

Year Nominated works Award Result Lost to Ref
1995 "We Like Wearing Pyjamas" (Franciscus Antheunis p.k.a. Franciscus Henri) Most Performed Children's Work Nominated The Wiggles – "Can You (Point Your Fingers And Do The Twist)"
[20]

ARIA Music AwardsEdit

Year Nominated works Award Result Lost to Ref
1994 Bananas in Pyjamas Best Children's Album Nominated Mic ConwayWhoopee!
[21]
1996 It's Singing Time! Nominated The WigglesWake Up Jeff!
1999 It's Show Time! Best Original Cast/Show Recording Nominated Judi Connelli & Suzanne JohnstonPerfect Strangers
[22]
2005 Sing And Be Happy Best Children's Album Nominated The WigglesLive: Hot Potatoes
[21]
2012 Playtime! Nominated The WigglesSurfer Jeff

Logie AwardsEdit

Year Nominated works Award Result Lost to
1996 Bananas in Pyjamas Most Popular Children's Program Nominated Agro's Cartoon Connection
2000 Most Outstanding Children's Program Nominated Hi-5

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Plus Licens: Bananas in Pyjamas". Pluslicens.se. Archived from the original on 18 August 2010. Retrieved 8 May 2010.
  2. ^ "Bananas in Pyjamas – About". ABC Television. Archived from the original on 19 May 2010. Retrieved 8 May 2010.
  3. ^ Wood, Patrick (20 July 2017). "Bananas in Pyjamas creator and original stars reflect on 25 years of chasing teddies". ABC News. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  4. ^ "Bananas in Pyjamas- ABC for Kids". ABC Television. Retrieved 29 April 2011.
  5. ^ "Southern Star and ABC Australia to launch Bananas in Pyjamas in May 2011". AnimationXpress Asia Pacific. 15 March 2011. Retrieved 29 April 2011.
  6. ^ "ABC ends production of Bananas In Pyjamas". Herald Sun. 6 June 2013.
  7. ^ "ABC refutes claims of axe for Bananas In Pyjamas". ABC News. 6 June 2013. Retrieved 23 June 2013.
  8. ^ "Bananas in Pyjamas". ABC. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  9. ^ "Stephen Shanahan Bio". RMK Voices. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  10. ^ "BANANA TIME!". The Canberra Times. 13 March 1994. p. 1 (Junior Times). Retrieved 14 July 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  11. ^ "Filmography by year for Troy Planet". IMDB. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  12. ^ "Troy Planet's Page". Voiceover Universe. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  13. ^ Shane McNamara on IMDb. Retrieved 4 June 2013.
  14. ^ "Georgina Symes". Your BlahVoice. Archived from the original on 10 April 2013. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  15. ^ "Filmography by year for John Leary". IMDB. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  16. ^ "Eliza Logan Resume". AFTRS. Archived from the original on 15 June 2013. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  17. ^ "Anthony O'Donohue profile". LinkedIn. Archived from the original on 16 June 2013. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  18. ^ "Bananas In Pyjamas". Australian Television Memorabilia Guide. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
  19. ^ Travers, Penny (4 June 2017). "Bananas in Pyjamas: Royal Australian Mint celebrates 25 years of chasing teddies with new coins". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 4 June 2017.
  20. ^ "Nominations – 1995". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) | Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (AMCOS). Archived from the original on 8 March 2011. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  21. ^ a b "Best Children's Album", ARIA
  22. ^ "Best Original Soundtrack, Cast or Show Album", ARIA

External linksEdit