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Western Animation / Morph

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Morph is a series of British Claymation shorts produced by Aardman Animations about the everyday happenings of a plasticine man who lives on the desk of an artist. Throughout many shorts, Morph would often change shape to form other objects, hence his name, and he would speak pure gobbledygook. Morph also has a friend called Chas, who is more badly behaved than him, and a "dog" named Nailbrush. The Amazing Adventures of Morph added more characters, including GrandMorph, Gillespie, Folly, Delilah, and Gobbledegook; aside from appearing in stock footage in The Morph Files, none of these characters have appeared in the more-recent shorts, at least until GrandMorph and Delilah were reintroduced in 2020.

Ever since his first appearance on the art programme Take Hart in 1977, Morph has remained to be popular in the United Kingdom, spawning many shows about the character. These include The Amazing Adventures of Morph, The Morph Files and, in recent years, just Morph; in 2020, a new series called The Epic Adventures of Morph debuted.

Each short would provide examples of:

  • Artistic License – Physics: Played for Laughs, naturally. Phasing through solid objects is common, including teleportation through electronics, Morph can defy gravity whenever it'd be the funniest thing to happen, and once Chas put the entire world into a slant by tilting the camera mounting plate on a tripod.
  • Big Eater: Chas is usually shown to be rather greedy in many shorts, typically the ones involving food.
  • Birthday Episode: It's usually Morph's, and usually he spends it alone griping about how everyone forgot, until there's a party or a grand gesture thrown by his friends.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: The characters introduced in The Amazing Adventures of Morph have only reappeared in reused footage in The Morph Files, but have otherwise dropped off the face of the planet. The exact reason is unknown, though it could be due to Morph working better with just Chas instead of having to balance out an entire ensemble cast.
    • The Bus Came Back: GrandMorph, Delilah, and The Very Small Creatures returned in the 2020 series The Epic Adventures of Morph (Gillespie, Folly, and Gobbledegook are still MIA). Delilah, in particular, took a MASSIVE level in kindness and was reimagined as Younger and Hipper, mainly because her old Straw Feminist characterization wouldn't fly these days.
  • Cool Old Guy: GrandMorph. Name another senior citizen who can skateboard like he's in his 20s, or is good with technology.
  • Gentle Giant: Gillespie is the largest clay character, and Does Not Know His Own Strength. Despite this, he's an absolute sweetheart. It's rather that he's most often seen meditating.
  • Identical Stranger: One morning, Morph wakes up and sees not only an identical house directly next to his on the desk but his new neighbour looks exactly like him. Chas also arrives at Morph's and the neighbour's house simultaneously. Morph is extremely baffled by this. Of course, it's almost immediately shown afterwards that he's actually watching footage of himself on a gigantic screen. Even though the Morph in the video is reading the same newspaper!
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  • Lemony Narrator: The narrator (Neil Morrissey) in The Morph Files often says exactly what we're all thinking.
  • Made of Iron: Well, clay. But Morph can walk off extensive damage due to being pure plasticine. He once got hit by a runaway plane and was stable enough to be more upset that the plane malfunctioned than being crushed underneath it.
  • Meaningful Name: Morph can, well, morph into different shapes.
  • Simlish: The way the characters speak, except for Tony Hart and Neil Morrisey in The Morph Files of course. The Paint Cans and Desk Lamp in the original shorts were also capable of fluent English, with one of them outright chiding Morph for his non-existent linguistic skills. However, there were a few instances in the series where both Morph and Chas spoke English phrases alongside their gibberish, which were sped up to give an even more unintelligible effect.
    • In the wraparound segments for The Morph Files, Morph and Chas can be heard consistently speaking fluent English, which is rendered somewhat unintelligible by the fact the voice actor was using a very heavily-accented voice but slowed down, they can be understood; at the normal speed, one can still understand them by listening very closely. A good example is a segment where Morph draws a boat with a line striper:
      Chas: What's that?
      Morph: (somewhat offended) It's a boat!
  • Stock Footage: The Morph Files is essentially a package series, with episodes made by combining new wraparound segments with older episodes of The Adventures of Morph, the latter edited to remove all traces of Tony Hart.
  • Stop Motion
  • Straw Feminist: Delilah's original characterization was this. In the first episode of The Amazing Adventures of Morph, she outright calls Morph a "chauvenistic pig". For obvious reasons, when she was reintroduced in 2020, in addition to being redesigned to remove her permanent scowl and look younger, she lost her feminism and became a much nicer character.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Delilah and Folly, respectively, in the earlier installments.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Morph and Chas, really. Earlier installments focused on the vitriol, more current installments tend to emphasize the best buds.
  • Vocal Evolution: In the first episode of The Amazing Adventures of Morph, Gillespie's voice was a slightly lower-pitched version of Morph's. In subsequent episodes, it was obscenely deep.