...Yes, 'Humbug!' indeed. You see, July will
mark the completion
of a brand new $15m animated feature adaptation
Dickens' Yuletide classic, 'A Christmas Carol'. You
I mentioned it last year, when production started...
'Christmas Carol: The Movie' comes to you courtesy
Jimmy Murakami ('When
The Wind Blows') and producer Iain
Harvey. Voice artistes include Kate Winslet (Belle),
Gambon (Christmas Present), Jane Horrocks (Christmas
Rhys Ifans (Cratchit) and - would you believe it?
- Nicolas 'Put
down the bunny' Cage as Marley's Ghost!
Top billing, however, goes to colourful thespian Simon
provides the voice for Scrooge and, in a twist on
ye olde familiar
tale, features in a live-action wraparound story as the
author himself -
Charles D. - recounting the story to an audience at
Theatre. Apparently he also 'invents' two new mice
'weave in and out of the action, ensuring appeal to
all age groups'
( Hmm. Shades of 'Muppet Christmas Carol' there, methinks...)
Anyway, dodgy mice aside, it's that rarer-than-rare
things, a British
animated feature, and one to add to my expanding Movie
in time. The press notes promise us an interesting
blend of digital
paintshop effects and traditional 2D animation. Oh, and
keep an ear
open for the musical score. It's by Julian Knott, who provided
'cracking' soundtrack to 'Wallace And Gromit'...
UIP release 'Christmas Carol: The Movie' on the 30th
There's plenty more at the official site:
And you should try Winchester Films too:
As if by magic, the proposed feature film version
of Mr Benn
appears to have floundered - or should I say, has
for 4 protracted years. Anyway, the news is that the
been put on ice for the forseeable future...
The Mr Benn movie was supoosed to have starred John
as our bowler-hatted chum, with Ben Kingsley as The
and Jane Horrocks in there somewhere. According to
producer Jevon O'Neill has failed to get the $6m he
needs to get the
film beyond the development stage - unless, of course,
this little press
release wins some 'surprise' backing...
Anyways, I'm not altogether surprised at the news.
As soon as you
start adding 'back-story' and 'love interest' and
'story beats' to such
a whimsical premise you destroy the very essence which
original a success in the first place. And if you
don't change the
formula, then frankly, you don't have a film. Oh,
and then there's
the american market to consider. They've never even
Talk about a rock and a hard place. Still, it'll get a
become a worldwide smash and I'll just have to eat
words, won't I...?
Well, alright, Dundee isn't 'desperate'.
But it is the hometown
for DC Thomson, world famous publishers of 'The Beano'
and 'Dandy' and now the Dundee Partnership has coughed
up £45,000 to fund these here 8ft high bronze
statues of two
its biggest stars - Desperate Dan and Minnie The Minx.
They'll be erected in Dundee City Centre later this year,
Minnie aiming her catapult at the long-striding Pie
And speaking of DC Thomson:
Following in the hot footsteps of Dennis & Gnasher,
Beezer comic faves The Numskulls are to star in their
own T V
The $4.5m series alters the established format just
an inch or
two for modern viewing, and now stars a 10-year-old
called Ed and the Numskulls who live in Ed's head. Says
press blurb: 'Often at odds, Ed tries to do one thing
Numskulls another, rendering him quite. . . awkward.'
Numskulls is being animated by Hibbert Ralph and distributor
HIT Entertainment is currently selling the first season package
of 26 x 15minute shows which should be ready for broadcast
sometime in 2002...
That there is a close-up of the first publicity
pic I've found
promoting 'Bounty Hamster' - the newest creation from
Freedman and Alan Gilbey, otherwise known as Peafur
whose most recent offering 'It's
The Mr Hell Show' is due to
descend upon the BBC any moment soon..
'Bounty Hamster' is actually a co-production between
Silver-Fox Films, and Winchester TV are out there as
you read this,
preselling 'Bounty's first series of 26 x 11 minute shows.
Alan promise us 'True Grit in space' and I reckon our
hero there looks suitably grizzled, don't you? - Here's
the full pic
from whence it came, with the furry one presiding over
to be a brigade of Ribena Berries...
'Bounty Hamster' is primarily a kids show, for an afternoon
if it turns out anything like Peafur's other work there
should be plenty
to keep us older kids equally entertained. But we'll
have to be
patient, 'cos this one is another show which isn't due
on our screens
until next year...
Peafur's Alan Gilbey talked about 'Bounty Hamster' in
with him, back in January. It's still viewable
Oh, and there's always Peafur's fab new website:
Some good news this month. I
Remember That, the British tv
theme tune and video file library has been 'saved from
so to speak. They had threatened closure due to
costs, but that's all been sorted now. Hurrah,
and all that...
, the grandaddy of nostalgia sites, is still undergoing
a major revamp. Some aspects of the 'new look'
are sneaking in,
like those there DVD/video reviews, with a promise
more to follow - Looking forward to it...
has just shaken out the bedcovers
and given themselves a fresh Spring look. The
'classic tv' section
now features a handy a-thru-z index of titles
navigation - most useful...
Finally for now, a plug for yours truly. That
there Movie Toon
of mine is proving so popular I'm planning a sequel. That's
right, Toonhound's Mini Movie Toon Guide will be launching
providing online info on a wealth of British animated
and shorts. Plus, there'll be more of those 'expanded'
coming your way, in the style of my Truckers
pages - exciting, eh?
Well, even better than that, there'll be all sorts
of celebrations from
yours truly when I index the 100th strip at Fleetway
St. later this
month - 100 strips! - That means I'm, oh, maybe
a fifth of the way
through the indexing now. Shheeesh....
- Till next time!
THE HOUND: BOB &
HOUND: MR HELL SHOW SPECIAL