Postman Pat is a children's television series. It is possible to see it in England as well as in many other countries such as Scotland, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and so on. It is aimed at children from 3 to 5 years old.
The series was directed by the British animator Ivor Wood. John Cunliffe wrote the original scripts and chose a postman because with this job you can visit the countryside and you can meet a lot of people.
So Pat Clifton is a postman who has to deliver the letters in the busy village of Greendale, but there is always somebody who has a problem and who needs him to solve it. In this village you can find a post office, a shop, a meeting house for residents, a railway station, a farm and a café. Our postman lives in a cottage with his wife Sara and his son Julian. Pat also has a pet: a black and white cat named Jess. If you see Pat, you see his cat - he is always with him.
According to the story of each episode, Pat uses different vehicles such as a helicopter, a Mini Van, a motorbike, a truck and a snow mobile that have been added to his customary red car.
The first episode of the original series was broadcast on BBC1 in 1981. It achieved great success, which led the crew to write a second series. Pat Clifton is the hero of this cartoon. The story takes place in a village in the valley of Greendale. There are other people in the village like a postmistress, a farmer and an inventor.
In the first episode of the first series, Postman Pat helps the farmer's child, Kathy, to find her doll. It is her birthday and she isn’t happy. But Pat is going to try to make Kathy smile again. First, he goes to the church and looks for the doll with Reverend Tim. They don’t find anything except a glove. Then he decides to return the glove to its owner. The latter looks for the doll in his house too, but finds only a tool that belongs to Ted the carpenter. There, they find a watch. After that, Pat goes to the grocer's, where he gives the watch to its owner. And suddenly, in the grocer’s van, he finds Kathy's doll. He is happy and goes straight to the farm and gives the doll back. Kathy is very happy and gives her best smile to Pat. And now his day is over. He comes back to his forge cottage where his wife Sara and his son Julian are waiting for him.
The music theme of the series was composed by Bryan Daly and originally sung by Ken Barrie, an actor, musician and singer who performed the voices of postman Pat and of a lot of other male characters of the series. He is joined by a lot of talented well-known artists such as Carole Boyd, an actress who performed most of the female voices.
But why do children love Pat's stories so much? It is because the characters are friendly, kind and hilarious. The stories are varied and illustrate the real problems that might arise between the villagers of a town. The colours are attractive, too. The music is captivating and easy to remember for pre-school children. The model animation is an example of the simple look of the early 80's with brighter sets, quite realistic puppets and lip-synched character voices.
In May 2014, a 3D film was produced in the United Kingdom. In it, a robot takes over the postal service because Pat is busy taking part in a talent show audition.
In 2006, Postman Pat received the award of the best Pre-school Animation Series. We can say that Postman Pat is a popular cultural phenomenon.
In 2008, a new series was launched, called Postman Pat Special Delivery Service, and in which Postman Pat receives special missions such as rescuing a runaway cow or delivering giant ice cubes.
In England, if you ask people if they watched Postman Pat when they were children, many of them will answer that this series has marked their childhoods and that some of them still watch it with their children or grandchildren. People all over the world can find books, learning books and colouring books about their hero Pat and if they want to sing with him, no problem: they can buy the CD!