Bits of physics discovered through the backyard games of
two small children, called Fizz & Bang
with their Gran!
26 x <3 mins
Simple 3D CG or stop motion
Fizz & Bang are two young children who learn how the world works by playing.
They live in a blank play space with infinite possibilities, a borderless area with the odd flower to denote ‘outside’ or a toy train to denote ‘inside’. Or a table to denote ‘dinnertime’. Or a rock to denote ‘a mountain’ or ‘pyramid’. Or a lost alien to denote how aliens get lost too...
Or a see-saw to denote… I don’t know, let’s try it out and see!
Fizz&Bang’s world is safe, endlessly creative and completely theirs. It’s where they come across something when the episode starts. Like a torch or a paddling pool or a mirror. “Huwwo….” they exclaim. “Wazzat?”
With mishaps, misunderstandings and much delight, Fizz and Bang work out what the object does, and maybe why it does it, and that it does something different if you do it differently.
They leave the viewer thinking, ‘Ooh, two ripples do something different when they meet. We could try that in the bath tonight!’
Or - ‘Look a torch makes light, but with our hands we can make bunny rabbits too. Let’s try it!’ Or - ‘We can close our eyes and use our ears to find things - things left, and things right, and things over there.’
Why do some people go up in a seesaw, and some people go down?
Why does my ice cream melt faster in the sun?
Why are things backwards in a mirror?
What happens when you throw a ball into a still pond?
What is ice?
Sugar disappears in water. Does sand?
I can feel the heat from the radiator from over here. Why?
Do things fall up as well as down?
Fizz Bang is all about simple discovery stories packed with visual humour, slapstick action and charming one word/one noise communications.
The show takes the visual simplicity of Pocoyo, the unpredictable comedy of Morph and the endless charm of both and mixes them up with extra giggling, sound effects, music and mayhem.
It’s all about the fun, but cleverly by the end of each silly episode our inquisitive heroes and wide-eyed viewers will have learned a serious something about physics, or biology, or chemistry.
If you just enjoy it then there’s no need to put a boring name to it.
This is not science learning, it’s science DISCOVERY. For ALL children!
Remember! Most great scientific discoveries came about by having a go, committing to an investigation, doing stuff and working out what just happened!
Our two main characters are somewhat androgynous. Fizz is a girl and Bang is a boy but they have very undefined gender colours and clothes. They are street, not sweet. Modern. They are endlessly fascinated, enthusiastic and up for fun.
In science terms, Fizz loves to start an experiment too early. Surely the best way to find out what’s going to happen is to… do something?
Fizz loves wearing glasses - funky ones, simple ones, maybe dark ones? If she taps the side, she turns them into the Heads up Display! (Well, in her head, anyway...)
Like Fizz, Bang has a young mind driven by investigation. He also loves to jump into things with both feet, but he’s slightly (slightly!) more likely to check that his laces are done up first. Even though he wears welly boots.
Bang is also just as good as his friend at working things out, but they both agree that when they club together they make an unbeatable team.
If Fizz and Bang get stuck, need a little nudge…. or want a stooge for their game, in comes Gran - intrepid octogenarian guardian.
Gran is half dignified old lady on a (hi-spec) mobility scooter and half whirling ideas-factory and daredevil. She keeps an eye on the kids and is living proof that there’s no substitute for experience, you’re never too old to have fun and that old folks are big kids too.
Fizz, Bang and Gran are supported by an occasional cast of loveable creatures who pop in or drop in to join in the fun and unwittingly help or hinder investigations.
These include Lazy Rabbit, Curious Alien, Huggable Puppy and a family of Big-eyed Birds whose different weights come in handy...
Fizz & Bang communicate more by sounds than recognisable words, using the occasional ‘huwwo’ and ‘wazzat’, a ‘gogo’ or a ‘nope’ and a gasp or a giggle. Theirs is the international language of bright eyes, big smiles, deep contemplative frowns, growls, hmms and joyful bouncing reactions. We may have a narrator, but the narrator NEVER says long words, and acts as our guide to the activity on screen.
Here is a sample script to give you an indication of the content and length of an episode.
The Science Bit
Fizz Bang isn’t about spoon feeding science into child. We want to engage their brain with the idea of exploring, not fill their heads with facts.
At the heart of everything is their determination to find out what something is, what happens when you do this, what happens when you do that and what happens when you do them both again, but in a different way.
It is never too early to introduce children to some ‘cause and effect’ (not to mention ‘trial and error’) as they discover the world around them.
A 2 or 4 year-old can be entertained by something scientifically interesting they see on the tellybox without actually engaging on an officially scientific level. Just because adults call momentum ‘momentum’ doesn’t mean kids have to call it momentum when they see it in action. They can call it what they like!
Fizz and Bang don’t know it, but they are proving our own hypothesis - that the best way to learn is to forget you’re learning.
In a few years, when our viewers become students, they might just think back and connect the dots between Fizz & Bang and the strangely familiar concepts in front of them, whether diffraction, refraction, gravity or electricity.
Supporting Devices and Safety
With a sharp tug on the tassels on their coats, Fizz & Bang can convert hoods, hats and glasses into helmets, HUD (Heads Up Display!) safety specs, or a parachute..
In our world, supported by the characters’ imaginations (naturally) they can poke their hands out of shot and pull out a full length ladder, or two duck-shaped-raincoats will drop into them from above, or they’ll find a hand dryer to dry off or a bottle of water for an wet experiment on wind.
The Laws of Fizz Bang
Imagination is an essential part of every episode, but everything obeys the scientific laws of the universe, whether physics, biology or chemistry.
So a ladder might drop in from above (could happen!) and it might even stand on end (balance!), but it won’t float away on its own (unless it’s in zero gravity, of course). Wow, science isn’t very restrictive at all, is it?
So it might seem magical at times, but that’s only because in this world of abstract nothingness things drop from the sky, are discovered or can be retrieved with surprising speed when needed.
The key point of Fizz Bang is that viewers can take the fun at face value and still learn from what’s happening.
So when Fizz and Bang:
make rabbit shadow characters on a wall, they are exploring light
make ripples in a pond, they are exploring diffraction
get stuck up one end of a seesaw, they are exploring balance and weight
shine a torch through Gran’s ornament, they are exploring dispersion
find a trampoline, they are exploring gravity
drop water on a hot day they are exploring evaporation
Visual Style and the Environment
The show will be 3D CG with clean, simple and colourful visuals, inspired by the world of Pocoyo, and the simplistic and anarchic fun of Morph. It also suits stop motion, and both are options available to the production..
“Ensuring children have positive and fun associations with science will enable us, as a society, to produce engineers, researchers and pioneers of the future. The Institute of Physics believes early year engagement with science is essential to help stimulate discussion about science in the home.”
The Institute of Physics in the UK
Julian Bashford & Jon Groves (Show creators & writers)
Patrick Makin (Writer) (Patrick wrote Morph on Sky, and Andy’s Dinosaur Adventures on CBeebies)
Pedro Bascon Jimenez (Character Designer) (Pedro is a character and prop designer for Pocoyo and other Spanish productions)
Proposing Jon Doyle (Director) (Jon was Creative Director on the original series of Pocoyo)
Fizz Bang will have a dedicated science communicator working as part of the writing team.