Film ID: NEFA 20756 Video of BEST FRIENDS: I FROG 1983 Visitor TabsDescription A charming animation on the keeping of frogs and other amphibians as pets. The film looks at the types of environments frogs like to live in. The film also looks at toads and newts and how best to look after them. This children's cartoon was created by celebrated South Shields animator Sheila Graber for a children’s television series that was broadcast around the world in the 1980s. [Titles appear over animations of a frog and a child in a red and white striped t-shirt] Title: Best Friends The film opens with a view of frogspawn in a pond. From one of the eggs, a tadpole emerges and swims across the screen. As it swims, it begins to develop and grow, firstly with two back legs, and then two at the front. It turns towards the surface where its tail disappears. It breaks the surface as an adult frog. The frog leaps from the water and lands on the title with a smile. Title: I Frog It jumps again and lands beside a goose. As the goose attempts to peck at it, the frog jumps away across a field diving back into the pond. A frog sits on a round lily leaf in a pond; rushes and other vegetation in the foreground with a city skyline in the back. The pond fades to be replaced by a brown mud hole surrounded by excavators and other construction equipment. The frog looks distressed and the child in a red and white striped t-shirt looks concerned. He picks the frog up and carries it away. The frog looks up at the child with a smile. The girl places the frog in a saucer of water inside a glass tank. The now moistened frog smiles contentedly. A large green leaf hangs down from the other side of the tank with mealworms crawling along it. The frog appears and uses its long tongue to eat the worms from the leaf. The girl stands over the tank that is sitting on a table. A cover has been placed over it with a number of circular air holes. A long glass jar appears in the foreground that contains a green plant and a tree frog. The scene fades to a conservatory where the girl is potting a plant. Frogs are seated on other potted plants around the conservatory, catching and eating slugs and insects. From inside the tank, the frog looks out at the girl sitting in a chair reading. She is reading about how to build a garden pond. In the garden, the girl digs out a pond, assisted by a puppy dog nearby. Together they lay out a reinforced PVC lining into the base of the pond before filling it with water from a hose. Mud and stones are added along with plants and insects. A garden gnome fishes from the edge. Watched by the girl, the frog jumps into the pond, but lands on the back of a lumpy toad sitting beside a plant pot. The frog and toad transform into two newts at the bottom of the pond. They swim together to the surface and sit on a round lily leaf basking in the sun. The boy takes a Polaroid photograph and looks at the image that shows the frog, toad and two newts. The image fades to show the ancestors of these amphibians on land and in water looking at the camera. The image fades back to show the frog, toad and newts. In the water, the amphibians are seen as young tadpoles, and as adults on land sitting on stones beside water. The image of a frog sitting on a stone changes to an x-ray of the amphibian showing how it breaths through both its lungs and skin. Smiling at the camera, the frog explains that as a cold blooded animal it doesn’t like extremes of hot and cold. To illustrate this point, the location changes from a rock by a pool to a desert with the sun blazing down and an autumnal scene with leaves on the ground. Sitting in the hand of the girl, the frog smiles. The girl, now wearing a jumper and scarf, looks down at the frog in an autumnal garden of brown leaves and bare tree. The frog jumps into the pond that is then shown as a cross-section with the frog in hibernation. The film ends with the frog looking up at the camera from its hibernation hole. Credit: Song ‘Best Friends’ Words Alec Costandinos Credit: Song ‘Best Friends’ Music Carlos Leresche Credit: Animated & Directed by Sheila Graber Credit: Executive Producer Nicole Jouve Credit: produced by Marble Arch Films and Interama Credit: Logos © Interama / marble arch films 1983 Context Jumping for joy with a family of amphibians A new build for a homeless frog who reveals the story of his double life to a rescuer. A young homeless frog leaps into the arms of his rescuer and a new life. Sheila Graber, an artist with a deep empathy for animals, followed her successful, traditional animations of Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories with the delightful children’s television series Best Friends, which pitches pet care to kids with characteristic warmth and flair. Once a gifted amateur with improvised rostrum equipment, South Shields-born animator Sheila Graber went on to win several major awards from the Royal Television Society as a professional, including a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004. Graber’s pilot for the Best Friends series was snapped up at Cannes in the 80s, with the final ten short programmes, commissioned by Nicole Jouve of Interama for young viewers, ultimately broadcast in 15 countries to great acclaim.