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- Category: Voice
NarratorTractor Ted is a friendly green talking tractor who narrates DVDs full of real-life tractors, excavators and farm animals. He appears on-screen at the beginning, end and between scenes in each DVD. He is the children's guide, explaining what they are seeing and why, making learning about farming all fun and exciting. Tractor Ted is a wise and kind sort of mechanical television presenter --- always informative, funny and cheerful.
Director and Producer
Alexandra Heard and David Horler
Tractorland Ltd. (2005)
Owl Productions (2001)
Production CrewDom Davenport (animator),John Samuels, SW Vision (camera), Victoria Hislop (script), Jacaranda Productions (editor), Savanna (music)
Educational Video Series for children ages 18 months and up
In Region 2 DVD for U.K and Region 1 DVD for North America
Pilot (2000) to 2013 (17 titles)
35 - 40 min + 5 min of extras
SynopsisA series of educational videos in which a cartoon character, Tractor Ted show children all about farming and the countryside, using real-life farming footages with lots of fun, songs and games.Tractor Ted has grown to become a beloved children's farming superhero.
How Tractor Ted was CreatedTractor Ted was created in the UK by a Wiltshire mother and a Somerset farmer: Alexandra Heard and David Horler.When my three youngsters were toddlers, car journeys would be delayed, as we would have to stop en-route is we saw machines working in fields. The children could sit and watch them for hours. So the idea of Tractor Ted began to form in my mind. I started looking for some real-life farming programmes and films for them to watch but there didn't seem to be anything.After discussing her 'problem' with farming neighbour David Horler, who had the perfect filming location at his Somerset farm: Running my own farm is the perfect foundation for creating all the Tractor Ted stories. They are all based on reality. Real stories about real events, and real life farming. They decided to "give it a go" and make a real-life farming programme which both entertained young children and educated them on the role farmers play in putting food on their plates and in 2000, they made a pilot video called Tractorland.We got James D'Arcy from BBC's Nicholas Nickleby to do the voice over. It's his tremendous enthusiasm which really makes it. We did a pilot video last year and the feedback was tremendous. David's friend, Gus Coquoun had an editing suite and was drafted in, the cameraman John Samuels joined the team along with James D'Arcy. The pilot covered basic harvesting, baling and flour milling for baking bread. They ran an advertisement on the back of Farmers Weekly. The response was so positive, with over 500 orders in one week, that work began in earnest to build the Tractor Ted brand with a series of films with Tractor Ted Goes Milking and Tractor Ted Grows Potatoes following.
Tractor Ted TodayIn the UK, The Tractor Ted brand has grown into a series of 17 DVDs and a wide range of books, toys and gifts. It is in educational programs for schools as part of the national curriculum for Early Years Foundation Stage. Tractor Ted is increasingly in great demand and travels to country shows and events.
Over the years, James has played high-profile roles, nonetheless, James is still part of the team and has recorded voice-overs from a studio in LA when his schedule has kept him away from Somerset.
Initially, filming took place at David Horler's Highchurch Farm in Hemington, but the business has exploded and their HQ is now in Bremhill. Such success has not gone unnoticed by the big broadcasters. At least two have recently approached David and Alexandra with a view to signing up Ted for a regular slot on television.
In 2013, Tractor Ted's Little Farm was opened in the estate of the 9th Marquis and Marchioness of Lansdowne, the beautiful Bowood House in Wiltshire. It had 200,000 visitors within its first year. A second Tractor Ted Adventure Park is at Burnside Farm in Stanley, Perth
Why did Alexandra Heard create the Tractor Ted's Little Farm Visitor Centre?
Ted is a kind, considerate and witty tractor and it would be a shame not to let him fulfil his potential.
QuotesOur son is obsessed with Tractor Ted and it's taught him all about life on a farm. He can name all the different machines and he's only two! -- TV presenter, Ben Fogle Having watched Tractor Ted with my nephew, I am hugely impressed with the technical detail of the films. It proves that children can take in complicated facts if they are presented well and if their interest is sparked and then held -- TV presenter, Clare Balding Favourite thing: The DVD – we watch it continually! +Worst thing: The DVD! My son loves it, it uses real filming of farm equipment and I have watched it so many times I think I could drive a tractor! My boy now quotes Tractor Ted as if he is the ultimate source of all true information
Credit: all Tractor Ted trailer clips belong to Tractorland Ltd