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Toonhound presents...






      April 2007
 Extra! Extra! - Read all the Toon News!

    Funky Easter
   Funky Valley's Christmas

    Hell's bells
   Mr Hell is finally here...

    Peppa prints
   Five new giclees to drool over...

    Prize toons
   Big wins at Cartoons On The Bay...

    His Cracking Voice
   Gromit is Top Dog at HMV...

    A Secret to share
Daily shows for The Secret Show...

    The Book Gnome knows
   The Hound's secret passion...   more »


     news archive »     interviews »      giveaways »

  Peppa prints  (25.04.07)

   Oink! Oink! -
These pink priceless giclee prints starring Peppa Pig
   and company have just snuffled in to the Animation Art Gallery.
   Aren't they fab?

   Peppa Pig at the Animation Art Gallery!

   There are currently five different prints available, each hand-signed
   by Neville Astley, Mark Baker and Phil Davies and restricted to
   just 25 editions. Yep, that's 25. Which means they'll no doubt
   sell-out in double-quick time, and far too many of us will miss
   out. Just as well The Hound has his reserved already...

   Peppa Pig has never looked better. They're gorgeous prints.
   But it doesn't half get you thinking. What about The Big Knights?
   Sir Boris and Sir Morris would look fantastic in giclee form.
   Yep, that's something we'd welcome with great enthusiasm...

   But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Instead, let's wallow
   in these perfect Peppa prints... Those fantastic Astley Baker
   characters with their stick limbs and flattened faces.. They're
   just so appealing... Peppa's a star porker!

   Have you noticed, 2007 seems to be the year of the giclee?
   We've waited eons for some top British toons to reach the market.
   Now they're turning up like buses!
                                             More: The Animation Art Gallery

  Prize Toons  (24.03.07)

   This year's Cartoon On The Bay animation festival, in Italy, has
   thrown up three big British Pulcinella winners to celebrate. And folks
   who know about these things will tell you that a Cartoons On The Bay
   Pulcinella is a coveted prize indeed. So let's sound the trumpets,
   and start toasting the victors...

   "The Secret Show", "Charlie and Lola", "Peter and The Wolf" - Pulcinella winners for 2007

   First up, Collingwood O'Hare collected the award for Best Action and
   Adventure TV Series, courtesy of The Secret Show. Which is
   rather apt, of course, because every episode of that super series
   is stuffed-to-busting with both action and adventure.
And Tony
   Collingwood must be extra-chuffed because he not only created
   and directed the winning episode - "Flick the Switch" - but he
   also wrote it as well...

   Breakthru films were awarded Best European Programme for their
   extraordinary stop-motion film of "Peter and the Wolf". The film
   was directed by Susie Templeton and animated at Se-ma-for Studios
   in Poland, and it's a true gem. If you haven't seen this beauty
   yet, you really should track it down at once...

   But better yet, Tiger Aspect collected two shiny awards for
   Charlie and Lola. It was named Best Series for Infants, and
   was trumpeted as all-round Best Programme, which is the
   highest praise indeed. The series has such genuine, giggling
   charm, it's very hard not to like it and no surprise to see its
   ongoing success...

   In this modern world of cookie cutter toon series and films, it's
   great to see three defiantly different productions getting scooping
   big international awards. Well done to all three!
                                                 More: Cartoons On The Bay


  His Cracking Voice  (13.04.07)

   Here's a cracking little promo that was actually announced back
   on April 1st, but many folks (Toonhound included), thought this
   was simply a well-timed April Fool, so it was somewhat

   Gromit: top Dog at HMV

   You see, Gromit has just become Top Dog at HMV. He's nudged
   aside that terrier Nipper, to star in a three month promotion which
   puts him in front of that oh-so-famous gramaphone. It's to celebrate
   all that's grand and cracking in the world of childrens' DVD, and
   it must be said, our Gromit looks fab in his new temporary role... 

                                                                    More: HMV Group


   A Secret to share  

   Just time to add a quick note about The Hound's not-so-secret
   favourite show, "The Secret Show".
The BBC are about to run daily
   episodes of this top toon over the Easter week holiday.

    The Secret Show - showing daily on the CBBC Channel

   Set your alarm for 1.45pm each day, on the CBBC Channel.

   No, seriously. Do it. This fab series seems to be getting the
   runaround from the BBC right now. It's as if they don't know
   where to air it. But, crikey-o-riley, their the ones who
   commissioned the darned thing in the first place. Surely
   they had a timeslot planned for the show?

   Well, whatever the truth, Victor and Anita need O.U.R. help!

                                                        More: The Secret Show


  Funky Easter  (08.04.07)

   Here's some Easter news from "Funky Valley" to get fans of
   Dippy, Clara, Porker and the gang all in a tail-chasing twizzle.

   There's a Christmas Special on the way!

    Get Funky this Christmas with - er - "A Funky Christmas"

   "A Funky Christmas" will see the gang travelling beyond their
   beloved valley, beyond even Funky Town, and all the way to Planet
   Christmas in an attempt to prevent a December disaster. You see,
   poor Santa's sleigh has broken down, and that means Funky Valley
   will surely be bereft of Christmas cheer, unless the animals can get
   their act together, and get Santa back on course...

   This funky treat will once again be directed and produced by
   Simon and Sara Bor, of Honeycomb Animation and it's being
   written by Alan Plenderleith and narrated by Mark Williams.
   If you combine "Funky Valley" with its spin-off series, "Funky
   Town" you'll see that those fun-tastic animals currently have
   82 episodes outlandish episodes in circulation. How silly
   is that?

   Watch out for "A Funky Christmas" on FIVE - er - this Christmas...

                                                    More: Honeycomb Animation


   Hell's bells  

    I wanted to plug this last week. Hell, I had everything planned.
    This site has a particular affinity with "Aaagh! - It's the Mr Hell Show!!!",
    and it's arrival on DVD was something to get really excited about.
    Only, the Devil himself had other plans. He pulled the rug right out
    from under me - or rather, my PC. You see, my ISP decided to have
    a hiccup with my account in the middle of the week, thus throwing
    me offline. And the knock-on effect caused my antivirus software
    to choke and gag and
unbalance programs everywhichway.
    And as a result of that, the PC Doctor demanded a complete

    aaagh! - It's the Mr Hell Show! - so good they added two more exclamation marks!

    So here we are, one day late for the Mr Hell Show party.

    Toonhound and Mr Hell go back a long way. Back to the beginning,
    in fact. When our pointy friend was still in production, The Hound
    talked to the producers of the show. My chat with Alan Gilbey formed
    the very first Toonhound Q&A, and he and then partner, Dave Freedman
    were hugely supportive of my efforts here. What's more, they still are.
    Alan's a scriptwriter extraordinaire, and he currently has his fingers
    in two huge Toon Pies, which I'm dying to talk about, but have been
    sworn not to reveal just yet. And Dave has a rather smart producer's
    hat on his head. Having just brought us the second series delights
    of "King Arthur's Disasters", he's now immersed in a live-action
    series that's all set to chop, block and karate kick on to our
    screens later this year...

    But back to Mr Hell. Based on the anarchic, freethinking greetings
    cards and sketches by Hugh MacLeod, "Aaagh! - it's the Mr Hell Show"
    spoofed, ridiculed and abused everyone and everything in a kind of
    animated stream of consciousness. And for the most part, it was
    very, very funny. Even so, our li'l old Red Devil had a rough ride,
    here in the UK. His show was pushed back and back in the BBC
    schedules and eventually cast adrift in a peculiar late-night slot
    on BBC2, which meant the delights of Thomas the Tank, Champion
    the Wonder Snail, Serge the Seal Cub and all their friends were
    overlooked by far too many people. But those who did find the
    show were rather enthusiastic about it. And abroad, in Canada
    and in Australia, Mr Hell was a palpable hit. There was talk of
    a second series, indeed. Until the Canadian co-producers on the
    series rolled over and died. That left all our favourite characters
    lolling around in broadcast hell. And a DVD release seemed an
    awfully long way off...

   Mr Hell - now on DVD!

    But you know, although the series was gone from our screens, it
    most certainly wasn't forgotten. Those same fans have been pestering
    the Toonhound Inbox ever since. They've bought original art from
    the series via our defunct webstore (ToonsToGo), and above all,
    they've begged and begged for the show's long overdue appearance
    on DVD.

    Well now it's here. Or in fact, it was here officially 24hrs ago, whilst
    Yours Truly was still wrestling with his blasted computer. Mr Hell
    can now swan across your screen in a two-disc set from MVM
    And they're so happy, they've added two more exclamation marks
    to the series title. So now everyone can take a look at this abused
    and abusive star, outside of his ridiculous late-night scheduling.
    And who knows, given the rave reviews the series still seems to be
    getting, our riotous red devil may emerge, phoenix-like from the flames
    into a second splendid series.

    Hell, if "Family Guy" can do it, why not ol' red eyes...?

                                                                More: Mr Hell clip!


   The Book Gnome Knows  

    What does the Book Gnome know, exatly?

    Well, he knows all about the Hound's secret passion. Or rather,
    the Hound's other secret passion. You see, as well as being a
    topnotch toon freak, Yours Truly also likes nothing better than a
    darned good read.

    Yep, I'm a book freak. I devour 'em. But more than that, I collect
    them too. There's something just so special about having a signed
    first edition in your hands. It makes the reading even more pleasurable.
    Now, I don't just collect any old books. I like children's fiction.
    No, scrap that. I love children's fiction. It's my favourite genre.
    and I've always kept abreast of the latest news and releases.

    But you know, a funny thing happened a few years back. A chap
    called Harry Potter popped up on the book scene, and his success
    has led to publishers flooding the market, month on month, with
    titles that they like to think are The Next Big Thing. It's all a bit
    dizzying, if you don't know what's what.

    The Book Gnome knows...

    Only, the Hound knows exactly what's what. So I thought now
    might be a good time to start sharing that knowledge with folks
    on the web. And to this end, The Book Gnome was born
    ( Think of it as a companion to
    Toonhound, enthusing and informing in just the same way.
    Only this time, it's all about books, lovely books...

    Now it's very early days. The new site is still coming together,
    finding its layout and place in the scheme of things. Plus it needs
    more content - a heck more content, indeed. But if you drop by
    and take a gander, I hope you'll find it a worthwhile place to
    bookmark and return to, as it develops. And I hope you'll be
    informed. I'd certainly welcome any feedback you can offer, as I pull
    everything together and the new site yawns and stretches,
    and steps out, blinking into the online sunshine...

    Ah, me. Toons and books. My two great loves. I can't wait to
    share 'em with you...

    Till next time!

        Pooch says 'Stay tooned!'

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