Television: pick of the week
These three programmes for 14 to 19-year olds deal with different kinds of film animation: a full-length Walt Disney feature, an animated version of an English classic for schools television and a food commercial. If the trio have one thing in common, it is the importance in animation of deciding on the overall "look". The Walt Disney film was the big-budget production Lilo and Stitch. We follow the naughty alien Stitch from first concept to gala premiere. Part Two takes the more modest film Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, an animation where the "look" was guided by medieval stained glass. As well as learning most of the story of the poem, we watch script conferences and go inside the sound studios, in scenes that might well inspire some viewers to consider this kind of film-making as a career. The final part deals with the making of two animated commercials, where the aim is not art, but moving boxes from supermarket shelves. Together, the three parts should make more informed viewers and suggest lots of work for English and media studies.
Geography Junction: The Rhone C4 Mondays, to March 24, 9.30-9.45am
These five films for seven to eleven-year-olds follow a major European river from its source in the Alps to its delta in the Camargue, showing how it has shaped the landscape and the life of those on its banks. Our guide is a cyclist pedalling along beside the river, but the camera manages to escape from the dry road and give us loads of glorious aerial photography.
There is a teacher's guide and the five parts are available on video (pound;14.99 from 4Learning).
Tel: 08701 246 444).
Coming to England BBC 2 Mondays from March 3, 11.30-11.50am
Eight years after the publication of Coming to England, Floella Benjamin's re-telling of her childhood journey from Trinidad to the UK, the BBC is transmitting a three-part adaptation for schools' television. The 20-minute episodes, featuring child actors from Barbados (Barbados now looks like Trinidad then apparently) and London, are set in the 1950s and 1960s. They follow the hopes and hardships of Floella and her siblings in the early years in the Caribbean, separation from her parents, the two-week ocean crossing and their new life in Britain.
For full TV listings go to: www.channel4.co.uklearningmainprogrammesspring2003.cfm