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  Short British Films &  TV Specials
Wilfred Toadflax sets sail in "Brambly Hedge: Sea Story" from HIT Entertainment

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Brambly Hedge:
  Sea Story

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producers:  HOT Animation for HIT Entertainment
                      in association with the BBC
   animation:  stop-motion animation
      run time:  25mins

    "I can be an Intrepid Sailor,
     just like Wilfred - I know I can!"

    This is the seventh of HIT Entertainment's "Brambly Hedge" films, adapted from
    books by Jill Barklem, and it's one that takes us away from confines of that
    tangling hedgerow, on a waterborne adventure to the seaside. You see, the
    hedge mice have run out of salt, and the salters aren't due until next Summer,
    so Dusty Dogwood and Poppy Eyebright are going to sail their little boat -
    the Periwinkle - all the way down the river to visit the Saltapples, at
    Seagull Rock, near Sandy Bay, beside the sea.

    Of course, this wouldn't be a proper "Brambly Hedge" story without little
    Wilfred Toadflax and Primrose Woodmouse at the heart of events, and sure
    enough, these two nibblers take centre stage, right from the start. Wilfred's
    going with Dusty and Poppy and he's learning how to tie knots, all excited.
    Why, he's going to be an Intrepid Sailor, just like the ones described in the
    book by his hero, Sir Hogweed Horehound. Only, Primrose wants to come too.
    And she wants to be an Intrepid Sailor, as well, which
gets Wilfred twitching
    with frustration. She can't possibly become an Intrepid Sailor. It's... well...
    it's just not right...

    Their little feud causes a temporary hitch in the journey, as they run aground
    on a mudbank. But they're soon on their way again, and once at Seagull Rock
    their little adventure gets much bigger, as they meet Purslane and Frith
    Saltapple and their littl'uns Pebble, Shell and the oh-so-cute toddler, Shrimp,
    and they have a strange luncheon, and they see the sea for the very first
    time. But they also encounter a ferocious storm, which lashes the Saltapples'
    beach house and leaves young Shrimp in grave danger, until Intrepid
    Primrose saves the day!

    Shrimp needs rescuing in "Brambly Hedge: Sea Story" from HIT Entertainment

    Just like its predecessors, "Sea Story" is overflowing with miniature, mousy
    delights brought to us by the teams at HOT Animation and Mackinnon &
    Saunders.The models, the furnishings, the lighting - it's all exquisite - and
    each little mouse imbued with such personality as they walk and talk and
    nibble and interact with one another. In this instance, little Shrimp steals
    the show, in her pink ribbon bonnet. The way she behaves around
    Primrose is just a joy to behold, whether offering shells, or waving strings
    of starfish. When events overwhelm her, during the storm, and Primrose
    attempts to distract her as the contents of the Saltapple's kitchen
    skirl around them - well - it's a technical tour-de-force. Oh, but there's
    so much more to behold and wonder at, away from that set-piece finale.
    There's Primrose's indignance towards Wilfred before we set sail,
    a magnificent tableau of the mice lounging on the beach after lunch, and
    then, the congregation in the stormbunker lit by a single golden lamplight.
    And let's not forget the set dressing. The Saltapples' dinner table sports
    conch shells for table legs, and there's even a rocking seahorse in the
    children's' bedroom. Truly, there are too many moments and details
    to list here, and each viewer will surely find their own to savour.

    Of course, the comparatively simple comings and goings of a gaggle of
    Edwardian mice are never going to be everyone's cup of tea. But of their
    type, and of that genre of classic animated adaptation - well - the Brambly
    Hedge films are simply flawless.


    Intrepid Sailors  Dusty and Purslane in "Brambly Hedge: Sea Story" from HIT Entertainment

    Intrepid Sailors

    According to Sir Hogweed Horehound, Brambly Hedge's greatest explorer,
    Intrepid Sailors have to master three specific skills:

An Intrepid Sailor must be brave.
   2. An Intrepid Sailor must be able to go with the flow.
   3. An Intrepid Sailor must be able to sail.


    Broadcast info

    "Sea Story" premiered on BBC1, on 29th December 1999...


    See also

    Series overview

    Brambly Hedge: Winter Story

    Brambly Hedge: Spring Story

    Brambly Hedge: The Secret Staircase
    Brambly Hedge: The High Hills
    Brambly Hedge: Poppy's Babies

     Further reading

    Brambly Hedge books at


     Brambly Hedge on DVD

     "Sea Story" is included in this four film compilation:

Brambly Hedge: The Classic Collection
                Region 2 / "The Secret Staircase", "The High Hills", "Sea Story"
                and "Poppy's Babies"
/ HIT Entertainment / January 2004

    Then there are these two releases:

     UK DVD Brambly Hedge: Spring Story
Region 2 / HIT Entertainment
/ April 2007

Christmas Children's Favourites
                This compilation DVD includes "Winter Story"
                Region 2 / HIT Entertainment / December 2005


    a HOT Animation production for HIT Entertainment PLC
     in association with the BBC

    based on the books by Jill Barklem

exec producers:

supervising director:




sets, decoupage
& miniatures:

art direction:
editorial consultant:
prod assistants:
prod co-ordinator
for HOT:

production manager
for HIT:
model lighting
assistant camera:

dubbing mixer:
generated images:

post production:

Theresa Plummer-Andrews (for the BBC)
Kate Fawkes, Peter Orton (for HIT)
Brian Little

Jackie Cockle
Jocelyn Stevenson
Ernie Wood

Paul Couvela
George Laban, Jud Walton,
Jacky Howson

Mackinnon and Saunders
Georgina Hayns, Bethan Jones,
Allison Lloyd, Darren Marshall,
Michelle Scattergood, Bridget Smith,

Stuart Sutcliffe, Mark Thompson,
Caroline Wallace, Emma Boyson
Geraldine Corrigan, Karen Betty
Jon Fletcher, Lucy Beckett

Richard Sykes,
Jeff Spain, Rick Kent,
Samantha Hanks, Simon Walmsley,
Lucy Burscough
Barbara Biddulph
Jane Fior
Macushla Carney, Donna Holdsworth

Bella Reekie

Karen Davidsen

Joe Dembinski, Peter Murphy
Shirlaine Forrest
Zyggy Markiewicz

Lee Taylor

Colin Ralph
Shane Warden, Alan Bishop

    Robert Lindsay (narrator)
    Neil Morrisey (Wilfred Toadflax / Dusty)
    Charlotte Coleman (Primrose Woodmouse / Poppy)
    Jim Broadbent (Basil /
Purslane Saltapple)
    June Whitfield (Mrs Apple / Thrift Saltapple)

    Michael Williams (Mr Appple)
    Rosemary Leach (Lady Daisy Woodmouse / Old Mrs Eyebright)
    Anton Rodgers (Lord Woodmouse / Crabby Blackjacket)
    Alun Lewis (Mr Toadflax)
    Noreen Kershaw (Mrs Toadflax)
    Kate Harbour (additional voices)
    David Holt (additional voices)


     On the web

     The World of Brambly Hedge 
     The official site including some handy details on the
     development of the films...

       HOT Animation
     The studio behind the hedgerow...

 Mackinnon & Saunders
     They made the mousey models and props...

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© HIT Entertainment Ltd & Jill Barklem / F2013