Enid Blyton’s Famous Five have been reconstructed for the 21st Century.
A new Disney TV animated series features the offspring of the original ginger beer-loving adventurers – and their dog Timmy.
And to disarm criticisms of Blyton’s casual racism, the Famous Five’s children are now multicultural, their enemies include a fake environmentalist, and they are armed with modern gadgets.
The TV series, Famous Five: On the Case, features 12-year-old Anglo-Indian Jo, whose name is ”short for Jyoti, a Hindu world meaning light’. Countryside-dwelling Jo is the team leader and like her mother George in the original Famous Five – who was thought to be modelled on Blyton herself – a tomboy.
Other characters include Allie, a 12-year-old Californian shopaholic who enjoys going out and getting ‘glammed up’ but is packed off to the British countryside to her cousins. Her mother was Anne in the Famous Five, the reluctant adventurer who has now become a successful art dealer.
In the new TV series, the children of the original Famous Five are brought together at their aunt George’s house on the English coast.
The other characters are adventure junkie Max, who is 13-year-old Julian’s son; Dylan, the 11-year-old son of Dick, and dog Timmy.
Producers say the characters embark on a series of adventures similar to those experienced by their parents and that the series is faithful to the original Famous Five books but with ‘a contemporary twist.