"Jump in we'll take you for a spin/And show you round the Wheelie World". For pretty much anyone between the ages of 25 and 40, merely the opening line of the theme to this crazed slice of cartoon bedlam will be enough to jog memories and pluck heartstrings. For everyone else, a brief synopsis is probably in order. Well, self-evidently there's Chorlton, the least intimidating dragon in television history, whose unexplained arrival among the Wheelies is a constant source of vexation to Fenella, a spectacularly ineffective witch with a base camp at Spout Hall (yes, it's a big kettle) and a cadre of mushroom-like toadies and "spikers" with whom she consorts to bring havoc to Wheelie World. Oh, and she also has a son, who only ever appears as a vast, disembodied foot.
In short, Chorlton is a crown jewel for all fans of 70s children's TV at its most unapologetically demented. Happiness is Dragon Shaped, the first five-episode collection, opens with "Happiness is Hatched" (wherein, of course, Chorlton arrives fully formed in Wheelie World via an enormous egg), before proceeding into the titular segment, "Chorlton Says it with Flowers", "The Lost Wheelie" and "Chorlton and the Crimewave". Needless to say, the ever-apopleptic Fenella remains hysterical throughout. --Danny Leigh
Complete collection of the classic 1970s children's animation, featuring Chorlton the Dragon and his friends the Wheelies. Includes all 40 episodes and the Christmas Special, 'Chorlton and the Ice World'.