Driver Dan's Story Train

Driver Dan's Story Train

Driver Dan's Story Train is a children's CGI animated story series. It is currently being shown by PBS Kids Sprout and ABC2 and CBeebies. It is produced by Twofour54 and 3linemedia[1] Its first series was launched on CBeebies in January 2010.

Its characters are stylized stuffed-toy-like forms of various animals. Each, or each pair or set (except for Driver Dan and Twinkle) has his own non-powered vehicle which can be hitched to the Story Train. The audience (sometimes seen as several children, but usually represented by the camera's viewpoint and a child's voice) are sometimes asked for their opinion or choice on matters arising.

In each episode, some real children sit on a scatter of cushions. This scene disappears as a book opens, showing a pop-up model of a railway train with an engine and two carriages: steam locomotive, stores, a flatbed carrying story books. This is the Story Train. It quickly changes into a solid train, which drives about, picking up other characters from the list below and having various adventures; it can steer and does not run on tracks.

The Story Train usually passes a character (or a pair or set of characters) without interacting, and later meets and interacts with other characters.

The first time that the Story Train meets a character that it will interact with, the camera shows only part of the character, and the audience is asked to guess which character it is.

Those characters then get into their vehicles, which the train then hitches on (always three of those vehicles) and tows them to Story Corner.

At Story Corner, Twinkle flies ahead and lands on a huge book and pulls at a bookmark in it. The book opens, showing blank pages; a scatter of cushions falls out of the book onto the floor. The Story Train stops and its passengers get out and sit on the cushions or stand about. Driver Dan reads a story from a book, usually a book from the book flatbed, and says "Now show me the story." The real children then reappear and act out bits of the story, then disappear. The train then sets off again, shrinks to its original 3 vehicles, and quickly becomes a flat model and folds away and disappears. The real children reappear and walk offstage. Each episode lasts about ten minutes.

The majority of the characters talk in English, but some (marked in [square brackets]) only make a characteristic noise, which other characters can interpret as speech.

Contents

Characters

Character Description Voice actors
Driver Dan A lion that drives the train: has a tool (multipurpose and somewhat like Doctor Who's sonic screwdriver) that lets him repair any malfunctioning vehicles. Patrick Monahan in the U.S. and Peter Serafinowicz in the UK
Twinkle A brown flying bird that usually rides on the engine's funnel, or flies ahead as a spotter. It is usually [twittering], and occasionally is found crowing.
Counting Sheep 5 cubical bricks with pictures of sheep on, and on the upper surface a pattern of 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 dots in order of descending brick size. They can move and jump about, and stack themselves. [Bleating]
Hip (male) & Hop (female) Two rabbits; Hip is mostly brown with some white and wears a blue backpack, Hop has the same pattern but with the colors exchanged and mirror-imaged and wears a red backpack. Alex Kelly and Maria Darling
Milly and Lily Two slender paper cutout birds who are somewhat like flamingos. Maria Darling
Loopy A stegosaurus who wears glasses and is fond of jumping; his trampoline has wheels and folds to become his carriage. Alex Kelly
Precious A one-humped camel with a decorated harness. Maria Darling
Sweetie A giant panda who is fond of nature and is quiet. Maria Darling
Tallulah An elephant who is always on a wheeled carriage, which is hitched directly to the Story Train. Maria Darling
The Vrooms (Red Vroom & Green Vroom) Two egg-shaped vehicles, each with a bumper all round and one big wheel and two small wheels. They each have a detachable helicopter rotor to fly with. One episode (33. Puddle Muddle) shows each of them with a detachable bulldozer blade. One episode shows one of them with a detachable backhoe to dig a hole for a pond. They have a two-level carriage for themselves and their accessories. At least sometimes, their carriage has a crane to fit and remove their detachable accessories. [Gasoline engine noises and motor horn noises] David Yapp & Art Taylor.

Episodes

  • Season 1 has 52 episodes and a special.
  • Season 2 has 50 episodes and a half-hour special.
  • A third season has started in Britain on BBC Two at 9.15 am Mondays to Fridays; it has another character (Bippity, a stylized blue humanoid robot); he has his own carriage which can be hitched to the Story Train. There is extra scenery, representing a patch of dense jungle. In the start sequence, a group of several of the story characters is seen, not merely one. Episode 1 of this series was about the Story Train coming across Bippity and meeting him.

References

  1. ^ Animation is handled by the Bristol based studio A Productions. Driver Dan's Story Train returns to CBeebies for a second series

External links


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