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4.8 out of 5 stars
162
4.8 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 1 April 2007
I bought this because of the fond memories I had of this in the past, it used to occupy that slot at the end of children's TV and the news and my childhood memories didn't let me down.

Ivor the engine reflects another age, a golden age, when choirs sang, visited the seaside for a day out and ate fish and chips. In some ways it is timeless, my three year old daughter loves it and has spent many a happy hour watching, it's quite long and already a favourite for long car journeys.

The animation is pretty basic, but the stories are strong and for the price you will struggle to find a better way to relive a different age or introduce yourself and your children to the magic of dragons and steam engines. It also gives your children something to watch, which is something other than a thinly veiled attempt to sell merchandising.
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VINE VOICEon 26 June 2009
Childhood has a funny habit of playing tricks on the adult mind. Mars Bars and Wagon Wheels were always bigger, it never rained in the summer holidays and the TV was so much better. As one gets older of course, the realisation dawns that summers were not constantly bathed in sun (except maybe 1976) and that the sweets weren't as big as you recalled (and even smaller now).

Some things don't change, however, and this is one of them. The DVD contains the 24 colour episodes that Oliver Postgate's Smallfilms made in the 1970's and were shown on the BBC, usually around 5.30 just before the news in the spot The Magic Roundabout had on occasion. There aren't any extras, or the original black and white episodes. To be honest there is no need for them.

The animation is simple (some might even say rather primitive and simplistic) and others yet may blanch at the rather stereotypical view of the Welsh, but they shouldn't because each character is imbued with warmth and real fondness (even the slightly pompous Dai Station is shown to have softer side from time to time) and each story is a beautifully drawn and affectionate little vignette looking back to a time that has long past and perhaps never really existed at all. The stories are accompanied mostly by the sound of Postgate's own melifluous narration, though other voices do creep in on occasion. The episodes range in length from the more usual 5 minutes to around 20 for some of the longer ones.

Step back a little though, and beneath the cuddly exterior is a faint hint of gentle subversion. The subtext is always about the value of community and friends, and supporting the underdog against authority. Some examples of these ideas include the episode where the railway is to be sold, or when Idris the dragon arrives in Llaniog. Best of all is the brief pen portrait of Jones allowing a fox to escape some noticeably chinless hunters. Postgate introduces this idea of standing up for the underdog and of maintaining a type of kind decency all through his work and Ivor the Engine does it very well.

The other little trick childhood plays is that you always think there are more than the 24 episodes collected here. Postgate made a habit of this too. But no matter, the episodes are delightful little pieces of art and it's nice to have them collected in one place. The fact that they are priced so low makes this an utter steal of a purchase.
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on 9 May 2008
My son (aged five) loves this - as do his parents and grandparents! Lots of great storylines with humour that will please children and sophisticated adults. Totally unsuitable for those of limited attention span who prefer short, shallow stories with flashy GGI animation.
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on 12 September 2008
My 4-year-old now has an imaginary Ivor that goes everywhere with her (even to school). She's started calling me 'Jones' and Idris is always getting into trouble around the house!

This has caught my daughter's imagination like none of the modern children's programmes and it's lovely to share a part of my own childhood with my daughter.
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on 24 April 2009
The reason i brought ivor the engine was my dad liked it. Sadly dad passed away before i got it. He liked the music. We watched it on tv when i was a kid it will bring back happy memeries of my time with him & i've like real stream trains.
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on 6 August 2009
I bought this for my 3 year old, and he completely loves it. Though it is a lot more 'basic' than a lot of animation on kid's tv, the programs are lovely and engaging, and it's a good example of how it is the story and the atmosphere that carry children's interest, not flashy animation. I can't recommend it highly enough.
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on 23 May 2009
You don't have to be welsh to apprieciate this wonderful DVD of Ivor the Engine by the imitable Oliver Postgate set in the mountains of Wales. Children's DVD's do not come any better. It will bring your lost childhood flooding back to you with its innocent stories of dragons and trips to the sea. It knocks contemporary children's DVD's into a hat, with its gentleness and good english. It also feeds the child's imagination..... Mind you, never mind children, the adults will love it!!
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on 13 August 2008
I always loved Ivor the engine as a child and brought this for my 4yr old son who is mad about trains, and even through he has been brought up on the fantastic animation we have today he has thoroughly enjoyed this DVD, At over 2hrs long it has kept him quiet and he has loved it, he hasnt watched a Thomas The Tank Engine Dvd for weeks now. The Best £5 I ever spent.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 27 February 2014
I bought this as a Christmas gift for my partner. We are both familiar with the little railways of Wales, particularly the Ffestiniog and I'd tried to persuade him to buy it in the past without success. So gifting it was the only answer! These little stories are highly watchable - well, I found them so and I am decades removed from that golden bourne that is childhood. The characterizations are believable and the drawings/animations really quite beautiful despite being very much of their time. One other aspect that elevates Ivor is the stories' lack of sentimentality. They provoke emotion - yes - but are very far from being syrupy and are most inventive particularly the one involving Idris, the little Welsh dragon. I imagine they are just the right size for small children and the stories themselves are simple and self-contained. Lovely.
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on 4 May 2014
Ivor was one of the programmes that used to be on before the news, and it was always a favourite.
Watching these brings back all those memories, and the quality is excellent.
The animation is simple, but it's all hand drawn - not a computer in sight, and it's better for it.
Good stories, great narration, and at under £6 I couldn't leave it.
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