This is the animated opening sequence, with the Lift Off series theme song followed by the episode theme song That’s Not Fair sung by the puppet Backsaks, complaining about how their lives are so unfair. Summary by Annemaree O'Brien.
The Lift Off opening sequence is very appealing. It uses colourful animation, symbolic elements from fairy tales and picture books, and glimpses of the stories and key characters in the episode to come. It’s cut to the catchy Lift Off series theme song followed by a different theme song for each episode.
The That’s Not Fair song is performed by the Backsaks (puppets), perfectly cast for the lead role in an episode on fairness. This song is also the Backsak’s theme song, encapsulating their view of life. A fascinating concept, the Backsaks were created as a metaphor for the powerlessness of very young children. The Backsaks have a unique backwards view of the world, only seeing where they have been and not where they are going. They also have their own back-to-front way of speaking. Unfortunately, despite these ambitious and highly creative intentions, the Backsaks remained fairly incomprehensible for most viewers, old and young alike, though this is a minor quibble considering the overall success of the production.
This is Part A of the episode, That’s Not Fair, following the Lift Off format that mixes live action, animation, puppetry, music, documentary and fantasy. The main storyline is about the Lift Off kids, interspersed with the other elements.
Nipper (Paul Cheyne) wants to play soccer with the other kids but he is teased and called a weed. Though miserable, Nipper persists and, when finally asked to join the team, he kicks a goal.
In this episode of Lift Off, the theme of fairness is explored in some interesting ways. Each segment works in its own right but also as a part of the whole.
Lift Off's aim was to be open and imaginative in exploring the themes of each episode, to challenge, intrigue and encourage children to think for themselves and to make connections. Two of these clips – the Lift Off opening sequence including the Backsaks performing the episode theme song, Its not fair, and the animated feature story, Hunting the not fair are directly related to the theme of fairness. However, other segments are not always as predictably thematic. For instance, while the Wakadoo café puppets story, Born Loser, is ostensibly about winning and losing, and not 'fairness’, the focus is more on the sub theme of the 'power of the mind’. This sub theme is also strongly picked up in clip 3, 'Hunting the not fair’.
That’s Not Fair – Part A first aired on the ABC at 2.00 pm on Friday 29 May 1992. Its first screening in the 4.30 pm timeslot on the ABC was Tuesday 7 July 1992.
Notes by Annemaree O'Brien