Another very un-Bytonian episode title from Noddy, Toyland Detective. I have previously reviewed episode #1 The Case of the Broken Crystal Memory Game and episode #29, The Case of the Toyland Mischief Maker. Mischief makers are not unexpected in the original Toyland at least, even if crystal memory games and amazing eyebrows are not. I am almost expecting fashion dolls with ‘on fleek’ eyebrows (yes that’s a thing apparently… I don’t belong to the same world as people who have five or more products just for eyebrow grooming, though, so I’m not entirely sure what it’s all about.) Anyway, it’s more likely to be about false eyebrows being stuck around Toyland or something, but I’d better watch and find out.
What’s the amazing eyebrow story?
In short, this is a straightforward tale of stolen goods. Fuse (the robot) is to be awarded a prize for most helpful toy. Pat-Pat (the panda) gives him some eyebrows she’s made so he can look smart, and suggests everyone dresses up for the ceremony.
But the eyebrows get stolen, as does the prize ceremony banner and then the award itself. Each time a bell like Noddy’s is heard and the mayor more or less accuses him of the thefts. So Noddy has to investigate to clear his name.
OK, so these eyebrows.
I feel disingenuous calling them eyebrows as that suggests two pieces of facial adornment. It’s not, it’s a monobrow. Definitely not on fleek, no matter how on trend thick and heavy eyebrows are at the moment!
Also, what a weird present. Maybe robots are hard to buy for, but eyebrows? The little label on them (with a panda logo) is a nice touch, though, and I thought it was great attention to detail. The label actually becomes important later on, as we will look at in a bit.
Noddy starts by visiting the scene of the crimes, that’s when the third one occurs, making it look even worse for himself.
Luckily he trips over a jingle bell, the bell that must have come from the thief. It has a little panda label on it, just like the eyebrows. That leads him to Pat-Pat, and from Pat-Pat to the Naughticorns we met in The Case of the Toyland Mischief Maker.
The Naughticorns have the eyebrows, the banner and the award and Noddy tells them they must return them.
The dodgy morals of the Naughticorns
The Naughticorns are naughty by name and naughty by nature. Blyton wrote about naughty children and creatures, but normally they either get their comeuppance or turn over a new leaf. The Naughticorns do neither and yet are still treated the same pleasant way as all other toys.
Related post⇒ Naughty Amelia Jane
When Noddy catches them they explain that Hoof wanted to be a winner and therefore they took the three things so he could be one. He does acknowledge that it’s not as much fun when you’re just pretending, but doesn’t recognise how much he’s upset the toys he stole from.
He is quite happy for Noddy to continue taking the blame, he won’t get into much trouble if they return the items. He only grudgingly agrees to tell the truth when Noddy argues about it.
Then to top it all off Hoof gets a special award at the ceremony for truth telling!!
Maybe I’m over invested in this but the Naughticorns have no redeeming features and Hoof doesn’t deserve an award.
Other random thoughts
I wondered why everyone thought Noddy was guilty. I know the bell would make them think of him but they surely know Noddy is a good and honest toy. He gets accused of a few things in the books he is far more trouble-making in the books compared to the TV series. To be fair the Clockwork Mouse, the Mayor, did the investigating/accusing in absence of any police toys, clearly she’s better suite to mayor duties rather than policing.
Related post⇒Noddy Gets Into Trouble
Despite the moral/logical failures of the series, there are some good things as well. The animation is generally very good, a lot of the toys look very real and solid, almost like models at times. There are also nice little touches like the jigsaw background for the song.
The problem with Netflix
Initially I was pleased this had come to Netflix as it would have made it easier for me to watch it.
The first problem is that Netflix groups two episodes together so I had to fast forward or skip through until I found the start of the second episode. There’s no theme song that way so it feels less of a complete episode for reviewing purposes.
The second thing is that they are showing the American version, despite it being UK Netflix. The British version has a British voice cast including Andy Serkis’ son as Noddy. The American version has, unsurprisingly an American voice cast (though Big-Ears is British in both and Fuse seems to have the same voice, but more robotic for the British one). Maybe I’m just used to Louis Ashbourne Serkis’ voice but I found the alternative one a bit annoying.
Some of the wording is different between the two versions as well. They are fancy eyebrows in America and dress up eyebrows in Britain. Then there’s award ceremony vs prize giving, extra smart and ultra smart, and fabulous instead of incredible. Those are just the few I noticed in a couple of minutes of comparing the two, there are probably more. I could understand if it was sidewalk and pavement or mail and post, but those seem pointless alternatives.