Posted by: instanthausfrau | May 26, 2007

Bringing out your inner Child.

Elliot Cowan on the Cartoon Network.

This brilliant piece is the work of Australian artist Elliot Cowan, completed upon his 1st exposure to the Cartoon Network. I think it speaks volumes about our expectations for children’s entertainment. Which is what makes the work of English artist and writer Lauren Child, and the TV Series created from her Charlie and Lola books, all the more remarkable.

I am Not Sleepy…We first discovered Lauren Child’s work at the Seattle Public Libraries. The art, rough crayon and collage work, caught my eye and Moon and I sat together to read through, “I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato“. We both loved it, me for the gentle way that older sibling Charlie coaxes his sister into trying new foods, Moon for the sheer silliness and joy.

After this we began to seek out her work, reading more of Charlie’s adventures in helping Lola, as well as learning about the dreaded Storybook Wolves and the charming Clarice Bean. And then we discovered the show.

26 episodes, airing on the Disney Channel’s Playhouse Disney here in the States, which manage to keep the spirit of Child’s original artwork. The stories deal with the simple challenges of life, from going to bed to playing with toys. The animation itself, the movement of the characters, is very constrained between set poses, in-keeping with the look of the original Child drawings. This could be very frustrating to an animator, but works well for these simple stories. The soundtrack is also a lovely compliment, and I include the work of the voice actors in that, with none of the barrage of sound visually demonstrated by Mr. Cowan’s painting.

Volume 4And should you check out the show, and love it like we do, you’ll be pleased to know that Volume 4 is due out in the States on Tuesday. And, a special bonus for those needing some dance time in-between viewings, a 60 second clip of the theme song is available for free, legal download here.

[Thanks to Cartoon Brew for the introduction to Elliot Cowan’s work.]



  1. I could not agree with you more.
    Charlie and Lola is one of the most charming shows produced for young people.
    It makes a great double with Peppa Pig.

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