Just Like That Other Show, Only Funkier…

by Lori Dwyer on May 19, 2012 · 12 comments

Once upon a time, in a television studio in a far, far away place known as North Sydney, a producer named Monica decided she had had just about eeeee–nuff of annoying children’s TV.

Hear hear– nine out of ten jellybeans agree, as we’ve discussed before.

Monica, in her infinite wisdom, decided to make a new kids TV show– right here in Australia, with Aussie actors, producers and crew– that would be good fun for kids, good fun to make, and, at the very least, tolerable for parents. And thus, Magical Tales was born.

If you seen the show before (Channel Nine, 3:30pm weekdays), you’ll have an idea of what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, William and Sparkles are all over YouTube– start with this clip. (”I’m on FaceBook!” Gold.)

The concept behind Magical Tales is alarmingly simple– a cute, fun, educational kids show that doesn’t rely on stereotypical characters. Monica– who actually is the producer of Magical Tales, and had a chat with me on the phone last week– hired Sparkles (spaling!!) and William with a specific energy in mind– vibrant and versatile. William is a wizard, and a typical boy. As in, a boy– the same demographic he’s appealing to. He can be tough and strong and brave, but he can also be a bit of a tool and stuff things up and cry.

As mum to a four year old without a strong male role model in his life, who is becoming increasingly obsessed with fictional characters that are full grown men with no vulnerabilities; I appreciate that.

But, given the fantastically contrary nature of little kids, it wasn’t long before the show realized it actually needed some stereotypical characters to cater for that identity building developmental stage. Cue Mr Amazing (Chop’s favorite, naturally) and the Queen of the Fairies (Whom the Lady Bump idolizes. What am I doing wrong here…?)

Sparkles the fairy, who really runs the show, was given the directive of ‘Pink for preschoolers’. And she pulls it off– I’m not entirely sure what that fairy is on, but I want some. Nay, I need some.

Sparkles’ In Real Life dad is an innately talented guy- he did the music for Priscilla, Queen of the Dessert. These days, in an act of collaborative family adorableness, he works with his daughter Sparkles on Magical Tales, and they create all the music for the show together.

Is that lovely, or what? It actually gets better– William the Wizard’s In Real Life sister features in an episode screening soon. There are various husband and wife teams, and a few siblings in different roles on the set as well. Costumes are hand sewn by Monica’s mum.

When she says it’s a “show made for families, by families”, she’s certainly not kidding around.

It’s difficult to emulate the formula of the alltime little kids TV winner, PlaySchool- that show is an institution and a right all to itself; and a lot of that is due to the inclusive, family feel of it– as a parent watching it, you get the feeling you’re part of one big, innocent in–joke… it’s the same kind of feeling you get when you work in gentle conspiracy with a shopping center clown. There is an adult world here, still, behind the scenes, with bills and relationships and dramas and all that crap; but let’s suspend that reality for a moment and just play.

If that’s what the producers of Magical Tales are aiming for, they’re doing it right. With the same simple innocence of PlaySchool and that in–joke feel propelling it, it’s kind of like old–fashioned, wholesome entertainment… but funkier.

Cheers to that. On the RRSAHM–Ranking–Stuff–Scale, I give this a four out of five jellybeans.
 I ate one because… well… it’s awesome, but it’s no SpongeBob. Nothing is on par with SpongeBob. But it is way, way, way cooler than DirtGirl, which shares the timeslot in the afternoon. (By the way, you know the only thing more terrifying than watching DirtGirl…? Being followed by her on Twitter.) And, in honour of some weekend fun, I’ve got a flash giveaway for my Aussie readers…

To win one of three Magical Tales activity packs, including activity and coloring books, and fan cards autographed by William and Sparkles; leave a comment on this post telling me who is your all time favorite fairy, and why…

The answer that amuses or confuses me the most wins. My decision is final and no discussion will be entered into.

This one’s open to Australian residents only, sorry OS peeps. Next time- in fact, coming next week I have a giveaway for US residents only- and you will LOVE it. Trust me.

Entries open Saturday 19th May and close midnight Sunday 20th May.

The winner will be announced via RRSAHM’s FaceBook page and Twitter feed, and probably in the newsletter as well. Winners will be emailed and have 48 hours to respond to that email with their postal address, or the prize will be redrawn.

Comments must have a valid email address to be included in this competition.

And that’s that. Happy weekend, jellybeans. Spaling!!!

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Helena Leung May 20, 2012 at 11:47 pm

Fairy Bread – Colouful, buttery, pieces of bread. It's the first thing kids eat at a party and you can always spot the fairy bread hog, the one kid with sprinkles on their mouth, hands and…well, everywhere.



kerry santillo May 20, 2012 at 11:01 pm

YES!! I love the tooth fairy because he or she leaves cash!!!! and when my little girl was 6 she tried to pull out more teeth to buy something she wanted lololo


Kelly Arndt May 20, 2012 at 10:24 pm

The Tooth Fairy is my all-time favourite Fairy. In a time when childhood seems to end all too quickly, The Tooth Fairy helps children to believe for just that little bit longer… As with Santa Claus, who leaves the wonderful gift of a bulging stocking at Christmas, The Tooth Fairy leaves shiny gold coins(inflation!)and tangible proof that, just like Santa, Fairies really DO exist…!


Anonymous May 20, 2012 at 10:22 pm

Anonymous from 1.40pm needs more time to work out how to comment un-anonymously. collisbeach@hotmail.com


K.E.L. May 20, 2012 at 8:47 pm

If the cleaning fairies existed, they would be my absolute favourites!


Adela May 20, 2012 at 7:17 pm

Mavis Cruet from 80s cartoon "Willo the Wisp". Such a sweet, clumsy, funny fairy.


Karlene May 20, 2012 at 6:06 pm

This guy from the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras – he's dressed in the most gorgeous white wedding dress holding a placard that reads "It takes balls to be a fairy".
I've got a four year old who'd love a Magical tales pack so I had to be clever with my response.


Rebecca Baker May 20, 2012 at 1:51 pm

The Tooth Fairy, checking under your pillow the next morning to see how much money was left was so exciting…. until one night the tooth fairy forgot to come ….



Anonymous May 20, 2012 at 1:40 pm

The fairy Godmother. Cause when the ppl you chose to do this job aren't bothered and were really a terrible fucking mistake..I can tell my kids" your fairy godmother cares and she's always there ready to listen and guide you" Unlike those morons who I thought could help mentor you IRL.

I am not anonymous, I just need to sort out this commenting stuff. (longtime reader, 1st comment)


Chris May 20, 2012 at 1:36 pm

Our favourite fairy is the fairy godmother. What hopes and dreams all children can have with her. In our family our childrens godmothers are often called their fairy gomdmothers. They are there for love. laughter, advice, a shoulder to cry on and love. They are our real life fairies!


Caroline Kelly May 20, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Tinker Bell for her relationship with Peter Pan and The Lost Boys.

However, given Tinker Bell's treatment of Wendy, I wonder if she ever heard of etiquette?


Sandy May 20, 2012 at 10:43 am

The Tooth Fairy of course! That Fairy is a child's ATM! How many kids in the world are at this very moment tying string to their wobbly tooth in an effort to earn some quick cash?? TTF also has staying power and will still be around long after Tinkerbelle is just a memory. Evidence: my nephew when taken aside at the age of 8 and told the truth about Santa and The Easter Bunny, was not phased because, as he told his Mum, "At least there's still The Tooth Fairy."


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