Very much like Tractor Tom, the main characters in Massey Ferguson are the various anthropomorphic farm vehicles - including the title character himself, named after the type of tractor he is based from. Keeping Massey company are his friends Gracie the quad-bike, Beaut the Ute, Max the Big Green Tractor, Mrs Milk the milk tanker, Rusty the old car and Slow-Mo, the mobility scooter.
|Massey and 'Genny' the Generator|
Based on Ferguson Farm, all the machines provide work for Farmer Murray, his wife Heather and dear old Gran whilst encountering various problems within and beyond the farm. That's where Massey uses the "tractor factor" to help put things right. It not only encourages friendship and teamwork but it also teaches its preschool audience how to appreciate and look after the countryside.
But here's what else makes this series stand out...
Don't let their accents fool you - the show takes place not in Australia, but in New Zealand! And because of the setting, it gives children across the world an insight of a different way of life rarely seen in cities or British farms even.
The show demonstrates the rural areas of New Zealanders, seeing the characters going through droughts, floods and how to "lay a Hangi" using honey stones, not to mention coming across the local wildlife like Possoms and Pukekos. One episode even features a Rally Car from the New Zealand Rally Championships!
|Massey meets 'Snowy' and Sir Edmund|
The visuals of this show was another aspect that grabbed my attention - a seamless blend of CGI and 2D Animation, with a unique design by animator Eion NcNaught and animation provided by Flux Animation Studios (funded by New Zealand On Air). Although the the vehicle characters were intentionally given colours to help make them stand out more, the 2D Animation for both human and animal characters offers such great, expressive acting. To see them in action, it's clear that no corners have been cut at all to provide such high-quality stuff.
The show was created, written and produced by Jim Mora and Brent Chambers. Thanks to its inspirational setting and a strong cast of characters, each of the five-minute stories are clever, fun and just right for the youngsters to enjoy "the greatest little tractor in the land" from beginning to end.
There's no denying it, New Zealand has used the best they had to offer here, with little to no outsourcing required!
|"That's the Tractor Factor!"|
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