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    TheHound - an irregular round up of toon news and chatter from the uk                    December - 2002

    Here's a short sharp breath of Xmas news...

  After a BAFTA - The Sequel
  And the Toon Winners were...  

  A lot of lolly....

  Beano auction breaks records...

  Frosty Film...
  Jack Frost blows in...

  Sites For Sore Eyes...

  Can't scan, won't scan....

The Snowman - A Xmas classic...

  Snow doubt...
  Will the real Snowman singer
  please stand up...



       Angelina, Bob, Andy, Eddy and Bear - all up for a BAFTA...  After a BAFTA - The Sequel...

   Well it's official. The Hound is rather hopeless when it comes to guessing
   award-winners. The Children's BAFTA Awards event was staged on November 24th
   and regular visitors to Toonhound will recall how I attempted to second-guess the
   judges to predict the winners and losers last month. And what do you know, I
   was wrong on all counts!...

   In the Animation category The Cramp Twins, Bad Baby Amy and Angelina
   Ballerina were pipped to the post by an edition of S4C/C4's The English Programme
   telling the story of Sir Gawain And The Green Knight. Something of an underdog
   win, this one, for a film that many - including yours truly - haven't seen. This
   will be one to track down, methinks...

   The Pre-School Animation section was desperately close to call, but as it
   happens Toonhound faves Collingwood O'Hare triumphed for a second year in a row,
   collecting the award for their Eddy & The Bear series. What a treat. And what
   excitement for COH because their fabulous new series Yoko! Jakamoko! Toto!
   is soon to launch on C-ITV and believe me, if this doesn't make it three in a row
   for them next year  I'll eat my computer. Needless to say I had 'casually'
   dismissed Eddy & The Bear as a winner because of COH's former triumph.
   I tell you, it's great when you get predictions so wrong...

   Collingwood O'Hare's win is a notable loss for Cosgrove Hall Films and HOT
   Animation. Cosgrove Hall have still to win a BAFTA in this category - extraordinary,
   really. And HOT Animation's Bob The Builder has also been overlooked again -
   again, it's incredible to think that such a hugely successful show with a worldwide
   audience has yet to receive 'official' recognition from the Academy panel. But
   hey, neither of these production companies need worry. Their shelves are
   already groaning under the weight of awards collected around the globe...

   Here's BAFTA's full list of winners in all categories. Splendid to see Pepper's
   Ghost triumphing in the Interactive category. Their Tiny Planets concept
   has been beautifully executed. And Mike and Sully and the staff of Monsters, Inc
   deserve a pay rise for their feature win. Monsters, Inc was a terrific out-and-out
   children's film - unlike, say, Shrek, which is also terrific, but has one foot
   in the area marked 'adult crossover'. Does that make sense? - Probably not.
   But then, very little of the Hound's ramblings ever do!...


    Dennis - what a menace!  A Lot of lolly - 'lot' - geddit?

    Had a rummage under your sofa recently? - You may well be sitting on
    comic gold. At last month's Compal Comic Book Auction a wonderfully
    rare copy of the first edition of The Beano was put up for sale. The much
    desired first issue is one of only nine copies known to have survived,
    and its owner had kept it in a plastic folder under his sofa for forty years.
    Compal put up an estimate of £3,000 for the issue which was in sound
    condition but didn't have the original free Whoopee Mask that came with
    the comic. That was considerably more than the seller was hoping for
    - he thought it might be worth around £500. But in the end, both the seller
    and Compal were caught by surprise when the comic sold for a whopping,
    record-breaking £7,500. That surpassed the previous best from 1999, when a
    number one Beano complete with mask fetched £6,800. And imagine if you
    will how that same title cost just tuppence when it was first published
    back in 1938...

    Trivia Hounds will note that this same first edition features Eggo Ostrich,
    Lord Snooty and Morgyn the Mighty - but no Dennis. Dennis The Menace
    was actually a later addition to the Beano role call...

    Beano fans should stop by Beanotown for all the latest comic news.
    And Paul Morris is putting together a rather splendid
unofficial history for you...


   Brrr! - A Frosty film...

   What's that whispering on the winter wind. Do we hear rumours of a new
   animated Xmas special with John Coates' name on the credits? - We certainly do!

   The film is Jack Frost and its to be based upon the new book by illustrator
   and author David Melling. The actual storyline remains shrouded in a frosty
   veil, but it's apparently a 'feel-good' adventure which tells of a young boy who
   'wanders into a magical forest and leaves the gate open...' Hmm. Shades of
   Nightmare Before Christmas here, perhaps? - It sounds intriguing. And the
   picture used to illustrate the news story over at C21-media is certainly enticing.
   Mellings' previous books have included Countdown To Bedtime and The Kiss
   That Missed. This new work is scheduled to be published this winter, with the
   film being prepped for Christmas 2004...

   Jack Frost is to be produced by Alastair Swinnerton's BA20 Entertainment,
   and animated by Dino Athanassiou's Stardust Pictures - Dino's credits include
   the sumptuous FilmFair series Legends Of Treasure Island. On top of Dino's
   team is a real Trump Card in the form of Toon God John Coates who is
   executive producer on the film. What a coup! - Mr Coates' extensive credits
   include - gosh - Yellow Submarine, Famous Fred, Granpa, and of course,
   that splendid trio of winter toon classics The Snowman, The Bear and
   Father Christmas. To coax him out of 'retirement' like this, really is impressive...

   Is The Hound licking his chapped lips with glee? - He certainly is! - Next
   Christmas can't come soon enough...

       Snow doubt...

    Speaking of John Coates and those TVC Christmas classic adaptations,
    The BBC
and others, have recently run a news story concerning that
    winter-warmer The Snowman. Adapted from the equally-classic picture
    book by Toonhound-favourite Raymond Briggs, TVC's 1982 Snowman film
    was famous for its beautiful animation, famously won a BAFTA, was famously
    embraced by the British public and became almost as famous for THAT SONG...

    'Walking In The Air' was composed by Howard Blake and choirboy Aled
    Jones had a rather memorable hit record with his version of the song.
    But Aled's voice never featured on the original soundtrack recording. That
    credit went to a then-young Peter Auty. Now, twenty years on this
    latest 'news' story concerns the fact that the original Snowman 'voice' is
    at last to get recognized for his contribution to the film. Which all sounds
    jolly decent and proper...

    But hang on there, Peter Auty was never really overlooked, was he? The Hound
    always knew he was the original voice, and so did and do almost every other
    person I've spoken too so far, and his credit is there on the soundtrack
    certainly. What we have hear, ladies and gentleman, is the perfect PR piece,
    putting a spin on a 'non-story'. Why? - Well, it's Christmas isn't it, time to
    dust down that classic title once again and put it back in the news. And
    what's more, this year is the twentieth anniversary of the film and there's
    a fabulous tie-in DVD/video edition to snap up too. So let's push that dubious
    piece of non-news off down the ski slope and simply let the film bask in
    its own wonderful winter glory...

      The Snowman - out now on special DVD/video...

    The Snowman is so haunting, mesmerizing, beguiling. The sense of loss
    at the end of the film still draws tears today. It's heartbreaking. The new
    extras-stuffed DVD has leapfrogged to the top of The Hound's Christmas
    wish-list this year. The disc comes with a tie-in documentary, three
    alternate introductions to the film, and storyboards - fantastic! - But those
    of you who miss out on this Xmas pressie needn't worry too much. The
    Snowman documentary is also set to air on Channel 4 over the

    For all things Raymond Briggs, stop by Toonhound's unofficial guide.
    Snowman fans, meanwhile, should take a moonlit flight over to the
    100% official site:


     Wired for sound? - Not The Hound! Sites for sore eyes...

    Gawd, what a month. November certainly wasn't a month for embracing
    the great Wired World, I can tell you. The transfer of files and software
    from my creaking old Windows98 PC to an all-singing, all-dancing XP
    machine hasn't been easy - not by a long shot.... 

    Currently yours truly is without a scanner of any sorts, which means that
    generating images for these fair pages has proven rather tricky of late. That's
    not to say that I don't have a scanner. I do. And a very reliable one, to boot.
    The trouble is that Old ScanMagic just will not accept the upgrade to XP.
     It's sitting here installed in some uncertain way on the new system, unable
    to generate images without smearing, shearing and distorting them into
    pretty ripples. I've tried updating the drivers, of course, but XP isn't particularly
    keen to take on 'unsigned' additions. Hence Old Man Scanner is sitting here
    rather forlorn. Still loved, but somewhat loathed by my computer.

    Maybe, just maybe, Santa will bring me a new one for Christmas. Or at least
    new drivers. Oh, and a Snowman Anniversary DVD... And a BAFTA would
    look nice on my shelf... And a First-edition Beano... *sigh*...

       Happy holidays!

Pooch again!    



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