Troubling stuff. And here we thought life-sized re-creations of Wenlock and Mandeville, the official mascots of the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, respectively, were sufficient enough examples of nightmare fuel, we now have animated versions of the somewhat off-putting characters.
The release of the animated film, Adventures On A Rainbow, written by children’s author Michael Morpurgo, coincides with a considerable merchandising push in advance of the 2012 Olympics, as organizers attempt to jump start its stated goal of raising £1bn in revenue with the grand opening of an Olympics flagship store at Heathrow’s Terminal 5. Committee chairman Lord Coe stated that “[t]he film and new website games will continue to engage young people digitally, whilst the mascots continue to visit schools and communities across the UK in the runup to the Games.”
The film chronicles of Wenlock and Mandeville as they try to “inspire families to take up sport in the runup to the Olympics.” The film features animated versions of several English Olympic athletes, including diver Tom Daley, triple jumper Phillips Idowu and swimmer Ellie Simmonds. But no matter which way they attempt to craft their alleged message, the fact remains that this film is solely a form of merchandising propaganda hidden behind the guise of inspiring people to participate in sports. Olympic organizers want to make a haul from the sale of Wenlock and Mandeville-related merchandise, nothing else. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But just remember that I was the one who warned the citizens of Great Britain first:
WENLOCK AND MANDEVILLE ARE WATCHING YOU
Sure, on the surface, it lacks the dystopian dread conjured up by the images of an Orwellian Big Brother kind of tyrannical despot, but that’s the genius of it. Don’t let them fool you: Ignorance is not Strength. You have been warned.