Along with the lovable Pingu, Morph was a 1990s claymation character who really took over England for a while. Hurray!
Morph & Take Hart
Morph is a stop motion claymation character who first appeared on the BBC in February of 1977. Aardman Animations took control of the stop motion duties.
Yes, that one responsible for the likes of Wallace & Gromit: The Wrong Trousers (1993).
Morph was on the Take Hart art show–and later Hartbeat. This was presented by the legendary Tony Hart (1925-2009).
During the shows, Hart would teach kids how to do art stuff. Whilst interacting with the Morph character in the stop motion skits.
Following Hart’s death, in March of 2009 a flash mob descended outside London’s Tate Modern to pay tribute to Hart.
This is just how influential that little clay blob had on people’s lives (along with the general excellence of Hart’s art shows—he was the UK’s Bob Ross).
Anyway, a bit about Morph. The character was created by Peter Lord and David Sproxton.
He’s a little shape-shifting character who speaks total gobbledygook. However, he can converse with Hart using meaningful hand gestures (polite ones).
His behaviour is wacky, with his optimistic and enthusiastic nature helping him laugh his way through mishaps.
He also has a mate called Chas (the pallid one), who’s a bit more of a maverick. In fact, he’s so badly behaved he used to irritate us as kids.
The pair communicate using strange exclamations, with the old show often featuring Hart talking to the pair.
Or politely scolding them if Chas was particularly badly behaved. The little git.
In the late 1970s, the Morph sections lasted around a minute. But Lord and Sproxton were able to advance this to around five minute skits as the popularity of the character grew.
And to this day he rumbles on doing his thing. We really liked the show as kids, of course, with Hart a particular influence for several generations of young brains.
And Morph was a big part of many a childhood. And so he should remain!
The show has never ended and Morph remains something of a cult favourite. A British icon of kids TV shows, essentially.
In 2019 he even turned up in an advert for Tesco (a supermarket chain we have here).
One of the more recent series was in 2018. You can find many of these clips on the official YouTube channel.
Some of the ideas are clever and great fun for kids. Such as this one riffing off Valve’s Portal 2 game.
So yes, thanks to the joys of YouTube there are many hours of free Morph viewing available to you. Subscribe now, dammit!
Because it’s all rather twee and good fun, but the claymation is impressive in its simplicity. And the characters are pretty lovable.