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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This collection of animal stories by the late Johnny Morris of "Animal Magic" fame, will strike a nostalgic chord with anyone who watched BBC children's television in the 1960s and 1970s. Told by Morris, each of the fourteen stories takes the form of a visit by a zoo keeper to one of the animals to say goodnight, and to chat about the often funny events of the day. Each creature has a different personality and a different voice and is wonderfully brought to life by Morris's wonderful delivery. There are no high-tech effects here, just simple stories enthusiastically recounted to excellent effect.
For people of my generation, this collection is pure nostalgia, but I wanted to find out what my children (aged 8,7 and 4) thought, so we put the disc on for a car journey and they loved it, listening intently and chuckling at the gentle humour. It just shows that 21st century children don't necessarily have to have high-tech presentations to maintain their interest - these classic tales were thoroughly appreciated. I think these stories would be suitable for children from about age 2 upwards, and it would be great to listen to one story each night at bedtime - you'd have a fortnight's worth then. This disc would make a great alternative present for a young child - definitely recommended!
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Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
For any child growing up in the 1960's and 70's
Johnny Morris was unavoidable (not that you'd
have wanted to avoid him anyway!) His instantly
recognisable and reassuringly avuncular voice
became familiar via radio and television to
countless thousands of households across the
country who welcomed him into their homes with
a big smile and open arms.

I was a big fan of Hammy The Hamster and Roderick
The Rat on the Watch With Mother programme 'Tales
Of The Riverbank' when I was but a small cub!

His zoo keeper persona for the long running programme
'Animal Magic' is brought back to life on this delightful
series of BBC radio recordings first broadcast in 1972.

'Bedtime Stories For Children' is just what they are and
there a fourteen of them to enchant your little ones.
Mr Morris's uncanny and very funny ability to give
personalities to so many animals through the clever
manipulation and modulation of his voice is nothing
short of magical. You do not have to see them to believe
that they are speaking. He brings them to vivid life in
our mind's eye. What a marvellous gift in every sense!

My own particular favorites include 'Lulu, the Baby Seal',
a tale of a seal who loses her way and ends up in a zoo
(the voice captures her sense of confusion and lonliness
without barely a fully-formed word being spoken); 'The
Kookaburras', too, who laugh uproariously for no other
reason than that the sound of their own laughter gives
them cause to laugh even more and the totally wonderful
'Hooter the Elephant', whose stifled voice never quite gets
beyond the end of his trunk and in whose tale a thoroughly
obnoxious little boy alomost gets his just deserts were it
not for Hooter's more than generous intervention.

I had not heard Mr Morris's voice for many years and
rediscovering it again on this splendid release was
both a nostalgic and thoroughly moving experience.

For the very young and not-so-young alike 'Bedtime Stories' is
a veritable treasure trove of delights and gentle imaginings.

Essential
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VINE VOICEon 21 March 2010
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Older readers will require no introduction to Johnny Morris. For the rest, dressed as a zoo keeper at Bristol Zoo, he appeared on BBC Children's television in the 1960's and 70's with his programme Animal Magic. He used to put words around shots of animals in the zoo which was all delightful.

This disc contains a number of his own stories, originally recorded for the GPO dial-a-bedtime story service, and first released in 1972. As a collection there is a touch of repetition, probably as they were only meant to be heard one at a time, but all have charm and are easy listening.

The packaging has been thoughtfully done. As well as the original LP cover as the CD cover, the CD itself is black - the topside label even has pretend grooves!

Whilst the packaging and the nostalgia will appeal to older parents and grandparents, the stories will charm the little ones no end.
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on 3 February 2011
Great cd. I bought this for my daughters aged 7 and 10 to listen to as they go off to sleep.I wasn't sure what they would think to Johnny Morris, but i remembered him from my childhood so thought i'd give it a go.Need not have worried, i think the cd is almost worn out through constant use!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 24 March 2010
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
In the 1960s, I remember thinking Hammy the Hamster, Roderick the Rat and all the other animals in Tales of the Riverbank really could speak. I thought the same about Animal Magic, too, and was I upset when I realised it wasn't true. Johnny Morris, someone whose mimicry made everything believable, delivered all those voices, and more, to great effect. And such was his storytelling that he was employed by the Post Office to read stories over the telephone to anyone who called the 'Dial-a-Bedtime Story' service - I think the number was 150. In 1972, fourteen of those stories were released on an LP, which now gets a CD reissue.

This 45-minute release could actually be classed as something of a `concept'. Morris acts as the zookeeper going round all the different animals in turn saying goodnight to them, and with all those stories beginning, "When I went to say goodnight to...", you can imagine him walking round the cages and putting them all to bed, so to speak, before closing the zoo for the night. The narrative in the stories relates to what sort of day the specific animals had and each has a name that connects to the animal in question; Tubthump the Gorilla, Snapper the Crocodile, Hooter the Elephant, and Chatterbox the Budgerigar are just a few. However, with the 21st Century's seemingly reliance on instant gratification, this might have been better had it been issued with a picture book that the listener can follow.

Animal Magic, etc. was a visual program and whilst the format of listening to bedtime stories down the phone may have worked 40 years ago, the BBC might have missed a trick here by not packaging this CD with some sort of pictorial material. This is a product to be listened to over time, as the market at which this is aimed may not have the attention span for much more than one story at a time. But at the price it's currently being sold, no one can complain.
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on 29 December 2016
Well, its old very vintage and slow, not nearly so animated as I recalled on TV. My children lost interest after first track.With!? Post onto my brother for nostalgia but won!xnt recommend as purchase for most children today. It is highly UNOFFENSIVE! Monotone and drivelly like Mr.Bean talking to himself. Perhaps ok for solo bedtime listening/background/White noise.
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VINE VOICEon 17 April 2010
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I think this CD will appeal to the generation who knew and loved Johnny Morris.
For a modern generation who look for a bit more 'bang and whiz' from their story lines, I'm not sure it will appeal.
I purchased it for the car, so that my 4 year old daughter is entertained on longer journeys. She listened, but I'm not sure she got it. To get the most from the story lines, the animals mentioned need to be known. Some she did some she didn't. She hasn't asked for the Cd again, which she has with others.

As an adult, I was captivated for a while, but the idea behind the story is very repetitive, as is the dialogue.
I think it might have been better if the Beeb had released a dvd of the same. Ok, so I couldn't use it in the car, but I think it would have had more appeal.
The design of the CD as a vinyl record is very innovative.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 10 June 2010
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I'm too young to have known Johnny Morris as a child; and my daughter is, perhaps, a little too young at two and a half, to appreciate these now.

So I don't share the nostalgia of older reviewers who find this title takes them back to their childhood. I enjoyed the tales and, of course, the life that Morris breathes into them. But my daughter shows no interest in them (yet?). I had the same problem trying to get her to like some of the 70s/80s tv shows that I liked as a kid; so perhaps it's a generational thing. Modern childrens media is so 'busy' that the quieter and more sedate approach of years gone by must seem a bit sleepy.

Of course, as of all the BBC recordings I've encountered, it's well produced and nicely presented. But as other reviewers have indicated, it could have done with a bit more to look at such as a pull out illustrated booklet or similar (as other titles I've got for my daughter have included).

Not bad; but viewed without the rose tinted glasses of the Johnny Morris generation, not all that fantastic either.
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on 8 May 2010
I bought this as a present for my six year old son. He loves it & plays it a lot along with Just so stories another Johnny Morris cd.
He loves all the different voices of the animals & thinks Lulu the seal sounds like our dog asking to go for a walk.
Johnny Morris really does make the animals seem alive.
It's funny & stimulating for a childs imagination.
I can't fault it it's kept my son happy for hours.
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VINE VOICEon 31 March 2010
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
It took me back years listening to the stories. They still have a magic about them that seems lacking these days. Lovely stories, non threatening, just pleasant little tales to help the little ones go to sleep.Johnny Morris had this down to a fine art. Wonderful material, the sort of stuff the kids want to hear again and again, and no bad thing.
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