In research for this article I managed to find a whole episode of button moon on Youtube and, I have to say it’s a lot different watching it back now. The catchy yet brief theme tune goes, ‘We’re off to button moon, we follow Mr Spoon, button moon.’ THAT’S IT! This is then repeated twice. Somehow, I remembered it to be a lot more… well, a lot better than that. But oh no, it’s just 11 words long, and a bit rubbish really !
The cartoon, can you even call it a cartoon? No, let’s just say children’s programme, is based around Mr Moon and his family’s adventures to the moon in his spaceship a.k.a a painted empty baked beans tin. The moon is actually a button, and ‘Button Moon’ resides in blanket sky, which, yep you guessed it, is actually a blanket.
Mr Spoon, has a lovely little daughter Tina tea spoon (see what they did there?). There is also Mrs Spoon, she doesn’t get a first name and Egbert, no one really knows what Egbert has to do with Mr Spoon. He’s just a member of the posse. The voice-over man is also a character himself, with his overly posh monotone explanation about every single thing that happens during the course of the show. There were also a few background characters who popped up now and again, including Rag Doll, Captain Large, Freddy Teddy, Sofa and Wibbly Wobbly Man. Ouch my head hurts.
I’m not being picky here and I don’t mean to be all modern, because I love the old school, but Button Moon looks like it cost about a tenner to make. I know the whole theme and meaning of the show is that everything is made of household objects and other bits and bobs, but with fences made of lollipop sticks and poor Mrs Spoon’s body being made out of half a bottle of sprite or something, maybe thing were taken a little far.
You would think some guy just got really drunk one afternoon on his own and said to himself, ‘Hey! I’ve thought of a really great children’s programme where everything is made out of kitchen utensils, and a spoon goes on trips in a spaceship to the moon, which is actually a button!’ And then he would proceed to fall asleep and forget everything that ever happened. But of course that isn’t what happened. The creator is a very sane man called Ian Allen. Ian originally created Button Moon to be shown on stage, but later adapted the idea to be a television show, one which was picked up as a Thames Television series.
Button Moon was hugely successfully and ran for seven years and had 91 episodes(1980-87). This probably happened because the running time was only nine minutes, so when parents realised how weirdly rubbish Button Moon was there was only about four minutes left anyway, so you might as well just keep it on!
The closing credits were almost as equally mind-blowing as the intro, with, ‘We’ve been to Button Moon, we’ve followed Mr. Spoon, Button Moon, Button Moon. We’ve been to Button Moon, Button Moon, Be back soon! Button Moon.‘ Incredible!
So we’ve gathered that Button Moon was one of those programmes that we probably all adored as a kid but looking back it was a bit crap. But nostalgia means the originally love we had for it overrides that each time, and its name has lives, because, well it is just legendary, isn’t it?
By Natasha Smith