to that! - Still, a spot of rain
never did any harm..."
It's Autumn in the park, and Percy the Park
Keeper is sweeping up the fallen
leaves, give or take a few helpful hindrances
from his animal friends. The clouds
overhead are beginning to broil ominously,
but there's no cause for alarm, the
forecasters are only predicting "a light
breeze". Oh, but that "breeze" soon develops
into a full blown storm, with jet black skies
and lightning flashes. The next morning,
calamity is revealed. The animals' Oak tree home
has been toppled by the storm.
What on earth are they to do?
Nick Butterworth's 1992 picture book is brought
to life by Ginger Gibbons and
his Grand Slamm team. It's a faultless adaptation,
really, dripping with charm
and warmth. Jim Broadbent excels as the voice
of Percy. He can be authoritative,
and indeed quite firm,on occasion, but he
is always, always caring and concerned
for the well-being of his animal friends.
It's a lovely turn. Percy scoops the animals
into his big green wheelbarrow and helps them
look for a new home. The woods
are too dark and spooky, and the shrubbery
lacks big trees or roots to burrow
around. Then, as they pass over the little
stream, they topple off the rickety
bridge towards an anxious outcome...
Of course there's a happy ending, with a new
treehouse home. But there's also
an extra resolution between Owl and one of
the Squirrels. And a final coda,
in which Percy plants new acorns, from which
new tree houses might grow.
"After the Storm" was first broadcast
on Boxing Day 1997, on ITV. In all,
Grand Slamm adapted four Percy stories into animated
specials. And they
followed them up with a 13 x 10mins series.
The quality remains consistently
a fabulous sequence during the storm. It's set inside Percy's shed
he partakes of his usual
cocoa and biscuits whilst the heavens rage outside.
Each time the lightning
flashes he spills his drink and drops his biscuits.
He counts the seconds between
the thunderclaps, excitedly ...anxiously...
It's a gem of a sequence!
the Park Keeper: One Snowy Night
the Park Keeper: The Rescue Party
the Park Keeper: The Secret Path
the Park Keeper
The original 1992 hardback book by Nick
from Percy's Park: After the Storm
The 2003 softback edition...
"After the Storm" isn't currently
available on UK DVD, but two
of the other Percy specials are
Secret Path & The Rescue Party
2 / double-bill / HIT Ent. / April 2007
there's the tv series:
the Park Keeper: The Classic Collection
2 / ten episodes / HIT Ent. / January 2004
from the series are also included on several
compilation DVDs from HIT Entertainment...
a Grand Slamm Children's Film Production
for HIT Entertainment PLC
based on the books by Nick Butterworth
produced & directed by Ginger
exec prods: Peter
Orton (for HIT)
Kate Fawkes (for HIT)
prod man: Margo
Hill, John Millington, Gunther Herbst
Gauthier, John Cooper,
series prod: Andras
Erkel, Jeno Vass
anim dir: Igor
charac sup: Istvan
prod mans: Sandor
Paulix, Petra Szabo
sound editor: Terry Brown
asst editors: Jamie Martin,
sound rec: The
Tape Gallery, Simon Capes
music cons: Jim Doyle
Enn Reitel (Squirrel / Badger)
Kate Harbour (Owl)