Mortimer and Arabel (1993)

Concept and creative process

Opening titles for a children's series about the adventures of Arabel and her pet raven Mortimer, based on the ‘Jackanory’ stories by Joan Aiken and illustrations by Sir Quentin Blake. Joan and her daughter Lizza Aiken wrote the three TV series, which were directed by Roger Singleton-Turner and Vivienne Cozens (series 3) and produced by Angela Beeching.
The title sequence for series one of ‘Mortimer and Arabel’ was designed and storyboarded by Pete Wane. Background models for the sequence were made by Alan Kemp and the puppets by the BBC Visual Effects Department. The storyboard sequence was filmed by Malcolm Dalton on the VisFX shooting stage with a motion control camera and also composited by him in the BBC Quantel Harry Suite. ’Mortimer and Arabel’ ran for three series, with vignettes from the programmes’ content added to a re-edit of the title sequence with each update.

Camera/Lighting Director - John Christie.
Visual Effects lead - Malcolm James.
Puppet makers - Andrew Deubert, Tracy Miltiadou and Andy Frazer.
Puppet concept design – Sir Quentin Blake.
Coordinating Puppeteer - Francis Wright.
Puppeteers - Ronnie Le Drew, Marie Phillips, Gillie Robic, Michael Bayliss, Richard Coombs.
Costume Designer - Pauline Daly.
Music - Paule Reade