A British children's TV show on CITV that ran from 1990 to 2007 (another series has started, but is almost completely unrelated aside from reusing the name.) Presented by Neil Buchanan, its mission was to interest kids in art, and it achieved wild success both in the UK and overseas.
The format of the half-hour show consisted of three segments in the studio, which took the form of a giant-size art set, in each of which Neil would do a short project (or "Art Attack") interspersed with shorter segments, one of which was always Neil making a "Big Art Attack" consisting of arranging a huge number of everyday items on a background (usually the floor) to form a giant picture when viewed from above.
Besides presenting the art as something easy to get into and the iconic, brightly-coloured set, it was popular because of Neil Buchanan's easygoing presenting style coupled to self-referential humour. As a measure of this popularity, for several years ITV paid for Neil and the team to go to various exotic locations for the Christmas Episode and make a Big Art Attack using, for example, the lights of New York skyscrapers.
A recurring character was "The Head," an animated stone bust in a museum, who would pop up in his own short scene after each Art Attack to recap Neil's instructions and then present his own effort, which inevitably had gone amusingly wrong somehow. In terms of visuals, this show is definitely in Homage of The '60s childrens' TV art show. Vision On, which minimised the spoken word and emphasised the visual.
Between 1998 and 2005 Disney aired several different foreign language spin-offs of this show, also titled Art Attack, for various different countries. Each version had a different host (for example, Jordi Cruz hosted the Spanish version, and Rui Torres was the Latin American presenter). The projects shown were largely the same as in the original show; The Head was also retained, as were Neil Buchanan's Big Art Attacks.
In 2010, the series was revived by Disney, who now produced it in Argentina. Emiliano Pandelo hosted the Latin American version, and local artist Alexiev Gandman was chosen to do the Big Art Attacks.
This TV show provides examples of:
- Catchphrase: "And then you'll have something that looks like this;" "I'm just doing this quickly to show you, you can take a lot more time when you're doing it at home;" "PVA glue, which is the ordinary school glue that comes in the squidgy bottles;" "Use tissue paper, or..." (furtive look, whispers) "...Loo roll;" "Slop it on;" "Try it yourself, a (name of art attack)" at the end of each segment, for the last one in the show it would be followed with "...And I'll see you next time, ta-ra."
- Most of these were referenced in the CrazyHowBadAttack anniversary crossover event, when Carol Vorderman took over for one episode.
- Crossover: In 1995, as part of CITV's anniversary celebrations, the crossover "CrazyHowBadAttack" was made, in which the presenters of CITV's four main factual programmes took over each others' jobs: How 2 (science and history,) Bad Influence (video game reviews,) Animal Crazy (nature,) and Art Attack. Carol Vorderman ended up taking over Art Attack while Neil was one of the presenters of Animal Crazy, and got bitten.
- Dueling Shows: Attempted by The BBC with "SMart," but it never achieved Art Attack's level of popularity.
- Excited Kids' Show Host: Neil was definitely a Type 3.
- Foreign Remake: Of sorts: several foreign language versions of Art Attack were made, each with a different presenter - but they were all filmed in the UK, in an almost identical studio to that of the original series. The way it was filmed also meant that none of the local presenters actually did the art - Neil's hands would be shown producing the artwork in close-up shots, but the presenters would pretend that they had been doing it.
- Once an Episode: The Big Art Attack.
- Pun: "The Head" specialised in them.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: Neil was supposedly inspired to make the 'giant pencil case dropped on the floor with bits all over the place' set after doing just that to his own pencil case, and then got the producer around to lie on the floor to see it from the right perspective.
- Skyscraper Messages: An episode had Neil do this with the skyscrapers in New York City for the "Big Art Attack."
- Title Drop: Frequently; the intro alone always did it three times an episode.
- World of Chaos: The live set, to some extent. Neil described the show as "Giving your eyeballs a shock!"