Noddy is a character created by British children's author Enid Blyton, originally published between 1949 and 1963. The television show based on the character is the longest running show in British television since 1955, and continues to appear to this day.
Noddy is a little wooden man who lives in his own little House-for-One in Toyland.
The first book explains Noddy's origins. He was carved by a woodsman but ran away after the man began to make a wooden lion, which Noddy was scared of. As he wanders through the woods, with no clothes, money or home, he meets Big Ears, a friendly brownie. Big Ears decides that Noddy is a toy and takes him to live in Toyland. He generously provides Noddy with a set of clothing and buys a build-it-yourself house for him. While Noddy is quite happy to be a toy, the citizens of Toyland are not sure that he is actually one. They put Noddy on trial and examine whether he is a toy or an ornament. Eventually, Noddy is declared a toy, but still has to convince the court that he is a good toy. The judge accepts that Noddy is good after a doll tells the court that he saved her little girl from a lion; and he is allowed to stay in Toyland. Noddy gets his car within a few books. It is given to him after he helps solve a local mystery.
Noddy loves driving his friends around Toyland in his little red and yellow taxi. The other toys can hear him coming by the distinctive "Parp, Parp" sound of his taxi's horn and the jingle of the bell on his blue hat. Often he uses his car to visit all the places in Toyland. When his Taxi business is not doing so well, or when he needs help, he turns to Big Ears. Big Ears will often lend him what he needs. On occasion, Noddy will allow people to make his head nod, in exchange for small items, like his morning milk.
Noddy is kind and honest, but he often gets in trouble, either through his own misunderstandings, or because someone (usually the naughty goblins Sly and Gobbo) has played a trick on him. He is very childlike in his understanding of the world and often becomes confused as a result. For example, in the first Noddy book, Noddy and Big Ears are building Noddy's house for one. Noddy suggests that they build the roof first, in case it rains. With no understanding of gravity or of the need for roof supports, this is perfectly logical to him. As the series continues, Noddy becomes wiser but without losing his charm and lovable naivety.
Noddy's best friends are Big Ears, Tessie Bear, Bumpy Dog and the Tubby Bears. Tessie is a gentle hearted, gold bear who often wears a bonnet with flowers and a skirt. She very kind and very loving towards all of her friends and neighbors. Bumpy Dog is Tessie's pet. He loves to run up and 'bump' people over. Noddy frequently gets annoyed with Bumpy but still likes him. Whenever Noddy threatens Bumpy, Tessie gets upset, and sometimes even begins to cry. The Tubby Bears live next door to Noddy. They are gold and chubby teddy bears. Mr. and Mrs. Tubby Bear frequently help Noddy. It is clear that Mr. and Mrs. Tubby Bear are the superiors of Noddy, as if he was a child. Their first names are never mentioned and Noddy always refers to them as Mr. and Mrs. They have one son, also named Tubby, who is occasionally referred to as Master Tubby. Tubby is naughty and is usually in trouble, for breaking rules, being rude, or doing something wrong. Noddy often attempts to scold or punish Tubby, with little result. On one occasion, Tubby gets tired of always being bossed around and being punished and decides to run away to sea. Noddy and Bumpy accidentally join with him. By the end of the journey, Tubby misses his parents and brings them back presents from his trip, as an apology.
Noddy has many run-ins with Mr. Plod, the local policeman. Some are caused by Noddy's lack of understanding of how Toyland works. Other times it is because a case of mistaken identity. While Mr. Plod is generally long-suffering towards Noddy, Noddy likes Mr. Plod and frequently goes out of his way to help him. Mr. Plod often catches the mischief makers on his police bicycle, by blowing his whistle and shouting "Halt, in the name of Plod!!" before locking the culprits up in his jail.
- Big-Ears, a wise, bearded Brownie who lives in a toadstool house outside of Toytown. He is Noddy's best friend.
- Mr Plod, The Toytown Police man. He is a good friend of Noddy and thinks Toytown can't live without him.
- Bunkey, a thoroughly mischievous character, who purports to be half bunny and half monkey. He is later exposed as a fraudulent monkey who escaped from a travelling circus.
- Mr. Wobbly Man, a funny little man who cannot lie down. He has a round base which he wobbles about on. He rocks back and forth to get around.
- Master Tubby Bear, Mr. and Mrs. Tubby Bear's son
- Clockwork Mouse, a toy mouse who often requires winding up.
- Dinah Doll, a china doll who sells all kinds of everything in the market. A later addition, not in the original books.
- Tessie Bear, A clever and kind teddy bear and a great friend of Noddy.
- Mr Sparks, Toyland's handyman, who can mend anything. His favourite catchphrase is "A Challenge? I Like it!" He replaced Mr Golly at the Toyland garage.
- Miss Harriet the Pink Cat (aka Miss Pink Cat), a cat who sells ice cream. She is portrayed as a fussy and neat cat with a French accent and no patience for foolishness , even her own.
- Mr Jumbo, an elephant friendly with Clockwork Mouse.
- The Skittles, a family consisting of Mrs Skittle and her many children of various sizes. Skittles are red and yellow in colour with black hands. The skittles are like bowling pins and love to be knocked down. They frequently run out in front of Noddy's car so he will hit them and knock them over.
- Twinkly, a star who appeared in the episode "Catch A Falling Star".
- Stinkly ,A tramp who has never washed in his life .
- Little-Ears, Big-Ears' brother who looks just like Big-Ears, but his ears are much smaller.
- Sly and Gobbo, are goblins who are very mischievous. They always steal things like ice cream , coins or Noddy's car. They always end up in jail after they done their evil schemes.
- Clockwork Clown, a toy clown who makes funny tricks. He stands only using his hands not his feet because he has 'fused' feet like those of a sea lion.
- Martha Monkey, a mischievous tomboy who replaced naughty schoolboy Gilbert Golly.
- Miss Prim, the school teacher who replaced the slipper-wielding Miss Rap.
Early Noddy books have become collectibles, along with other Blytons. The total number is hard to count: the Noddy Library (Sampson Low) of two dozen titles, which became the New Noddy Library when revised, was just part of a big production in the 1950s, with Big Noddy Books of larger format, and strip books. There were numerous spin-offs, also. Widely-differing estimates can be found.
Sales of Noddy books are large, with an estimated 600000 annual sales in France alone, and growing popularity in India, a large market for Blyton books. The Noddy character is owned by Chorion.
This is the original Sampson Low
series. Volumes 1-7 were illustrated by Van der Beek
, who created the main characters. Blyton scholars are still working on the attributions to other artists.
- Noddy Goes to Toyland (1949)
- Hurrah for Little Noddy (1950)
- Noddy and His Car (1951)
- Here Comes Noddy Again!(1951)
- Well Done Noddy! (1952)
- Noddy Goes to School (1952)
- Noddy at the Seaside (1953)
- Noddy Gets into Trouble (1954)
- Noddy and the Magic Rubber (1954)
- You Funny Little Noddy (1955)
- Noddy Meets Father Christmas (1955)
- Noddy and Tessie Bear (1956)
- Be Brave, Little Noddy! (1956)
- Noddy and the Bumpy-Dog (1957)
- Do Look Out, Noddy (1957)
- You're a Good Friend, Noddy (1958)
- Noddy Has an Adventure (1958)
- Noddy Goes to Sea (1959)
- Noddy and the Bunkey (1959)
- Cheer Up, Little Noddy! (1960)
- Noddy Goes to the Fair (1960)
- Mr. Plod and Little Noddy (1961)
- Noddy and the Tootles (1962)
- Noddy and the Aeroplane (1963)
Television productions and incarnations
The original Noddy stories featured Golliwoggs
woollen dolls. These dolls were popular in the UK at the time the stories were written, but have fallen out of favour and are now often considered racist
. The main villains became two goblins named Sly and Gobbo in 1989.
In the two TV series and a new series of books, Noddy has been updated, with the original Golliwog characters replaced by other sorts of toys. For example, Mr. Golly who ran the Toyland garage was replaced by Mr. Sparks who in the new 2004 version of the series appears to be Scottish, and the addition by the BBC during the 1992–1994 series of Dinah Doll, described as "a black, assertive minority female."
It returned between September 2003 and January 2004 for a new series, which was eventually named Make Way for Noddy. This was created by Chorion, on Five and the episodes were filmed from 2001–2004 externally.
In the autumn of 2004, a set of 100 new 2-minute TV interstitials were created by Chorion. These interstitials, entitled Say it With Noddy, feature Noddy learning words in a variety of foreign languages. They also introduced Noddy's new friend Whizz from Robot Village, who presses a button on his chest to play recordings of native speakers saying the new foreign words Noddy was to learn.
Make Way for Noddy is an animated series for children produced by Chorion of the United Kingdom in conjunction with SD Entertainment in the United States. Based on Enid Blyton's Noddy character, it originally aired in 12-minute segments as part of the Milkshake! program on Britain's Five.
In Alan Moore's series The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Toyland is a real nation located in the Arctic Circle. The King and Queen of Toyland are Frankenstein's Monster and Olympia from The Tales of Hoffmann.
Various other uses of the name "Noddy"
- In The Navy Lark, Lt. Phillips is sometimes called Noddy, since he can usually be found reading a Noddy book instead of studying the art of navigation. Lt. Phillips once said he was frightened of Big-Ears.
- Noddy has been a frequent suggestion for various scenes in the British Whose Line Is It Anyway?. More often than not, Big-Ears is mentioned at least once in said scenes. In one episode, American comic Greg Proops was expected to guess that Tony Slattery was impersonating Noddy, and failed because he had absolutely no idea what was being referenced.
- "Noddy" is sometimes used as an adjective to describe something as small or childish (compare with "Mickey Mouse"), for example:
- A "Noddy bus" being a single-decker omnibus
- A "Noddy guide to electronics" being a simplified primer.
- In the early 1960s British police rode "Noddy bikes", slow, quiet Velocette LE motorcycles.
- In computer programming, "Noddy case" is sometimes used to mean "trivial case", for example, "This simultaneous linear equation function crashes out on the Noddy case when n = 1, but otherwise it works."
- A "Noddy suit" is British armed forces slang for a NBC suit.
- In France, Noddy is called "Oui-oui" (Yes-yes) due to his approving nod.
- In the original televised Versions, Noddy used pounds,shillings and pence. In the Chorion version he is seen using dollars. In the PBS Sprout series, the currency is simply referred to as "coins".
- In the film "The Sweeney", Police panda cars (those clearly marked as Police vehicles) are known as "Noddy Cars" and the term was subsequently used in slang.
- In Dickens' Our Mutual Friend (1864-5), Nicodemus Boffin is colloquially known as "Noddy".
- 'Noddy' was the name the British Secret Intelligence Service used to refer to a Polish agency that they infiltrated during the Cold War.
- Portuguese metal band Moonspell did a cover of the Portuguese version of the show's theme song for a comedy show (Gato Fedorento) that became very popular on the Internet, with its videos reaching hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube. This version is a gothic version of the theme song, keeping the same lyrics (one of the actors of this show called the song "Noddy Lord of the Darkness", and said he was ashamed of Portuguese lack of death metal for children).
- Noddy inspired the Apocalyptic folk music album, Swastikas For Noddy, released by the English dark folk group, Current 93, in 1987. The title and every Noddy reference on the LP was changed to Goddy for the CD reissue.
- Noddy is the name of a simplified programming language included with the MTX500 series of microcomputers. The command used to run a program is "PLOD".
- A noddy is a small, usually two-wheeled, one-horse hackney vehicle formerly used in Ireland and Scotland.
- In Matthew Reilly's 2005 novel Seven Ancient Wonders two characters have the callsigns Noddy and Big Ears
- A small round sleeping-hat wearing creature called Noddy is a common enemy in the Kirby video game series.