Out of all of Biz-Ney’s classics, The Ryan King has to be my favourite, even though it has the saddest moment: where Ryan’s dad (who is also called Ryan) saves him from the stampede of Boxing Day shoppers, but gets caught up in the crowd and carried off to the kitchenware department where the heightened emotions of the scene cause him to start a punch-up with a guy over a heavily discounted slow cooker.
Ryan thinks he’s been abandoned and runs away. He becomes king of the Ryans at the end, but it’s a rough ride, especially for a kid. So when he grows up far from his home as a mechanic open in Thornbury, shirking his responsibility to become the Ryan King, we’re sort of supposed to see it as a good thing at first. The world needs mechanics, as we are told in the signature song, A New Alternator.
It’s a wonderful phrase. A new alternator…fixing may take days!
Install new wipers! Brakes are probably okay…
check your LPG…
take it from me…
a new alternator!
Sorry, I get really caught up in the songs sometimes. Some of the best in any children’s film, period, and I feel like as a child, I was given a fuller understanding of why you need to take your car in for a service, and get brake and tyre repairs.
Of course, Ryan later returns from his responsibility shirking to become the Ryan king, which just so happens to be to do with mechanics. What are the chances of that happening? I think his uncle took over, but has been doing a terrible job, because his name isn’t Ryan. So Ryan realises that he’s destined to be the king, everybody comes to him to get roadworthy certificates in Preston, the land is alive again, and hundreds of children have catchy tunes stuck in their heads for years to come.