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Toonhound presents...






British TV series

       Foo Foo

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Foo Foo  
  (1959 - 1960)
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  producers: Halas & Batchelor
  animation: cel animation     
32 x 6mins


A pioneering British tv series from Halas & Batchelor,
this was titled after its
    innocent clown-like star. Foo Foo's heart was stolen by the attentions of
    young Mimi, but his rival in love, Gogo, was always coming between them.
    Optimistic Foo Foo was never beaten easily, though, and he would work around
    the problem somehow, defeat the bullying Gogo, and  win his way back in to
    young Mimi's affections...

    Foo Foo was very obviously derived from Charlie Chaplin's "Little Tramp". As
    with many of the characters created by Halas & Batchelor at this time, the
    character design was wonderfully simple. Foo Foo had a square body and a
    circle for a head, with a bulbous nose and black line arms and legs. He resembled
    a type of upturned exclamation mark, actually. The other characters were
    depicted in a similarly beautiful, broad, geometric fashion.

    "Foo Foo" proved a hit with ITV viewers and, evidently, tv executives because
    the series was snapped up for syndication in the USA. It thus earned itself the
    distinction of being the very first British animated series to be broadcast over
    there. A comic strip version of the series also appeared in "TV Comic".

    The animated characters for "Foo Foo" were drawn directly onto cels, rather than
    being traced from paper drawings. This speeded up the production schedule, and
    significantly reduced costs. This innovative technique was referred to as the HABA
    Cellgraph system.

    At this time, Halas & Batchelor had put together an extraordinary studio of talent,
    who had crafted their skills on the likes of Animal Farm. The animation on "Foo Foo",
    and indeed, right through their series and shorts of this period, have a purity of line
    and a vitality that's rarely seen in today's productions.

    Four years later, Halas & Batchelor struck even bigger and still brighter tv gold with
    that science-fiction pixie DoDo.

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    1960 - Edinburgh Festival Award for "Foo Foo: The Stowaway"

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     Foo Foo episodes

The Gardener
    The Birthday Treat
    A Denture Adventure
    A Misguided Tour
    The Caddies
    Burglar Catcher
    The Art Lovers
    The Three Mountaineers
    Foo Foo’s New Hat
    The Big Race
    The Treasure Hunt
    The Magician
    The Spy Train
     Insured for Life
     Automation Blues
The Beggar’s Uproar

Sleeping Beauty
The Reward
The Dinner Date
Beauty Treatment
The Ski Resort
Lucky Street
The Stowaway
A Hunting We Will Go
The Pearl Divers
Foo Foo’s Sleepless Night
The Salesman
Art For Art’s Sake
The Dog Pound
The Hypnotist
Low Finance
The Scapegoat

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     Halas & Batchelor Cartoon Films

     direction:       Harold Whitaker, John Smith,
                          Tony Guy, Terry Harrison
     producer:       John Halas
     script:            Mike Cole, Alan Smith, Roger Manvell
     music:           Matyas Seiber, Don Banks
     design:          Alan Smith
     editor:           Jack King
     animation:     Harold Whitaker, Terry Harrison,
                          Tony Guy, Anne Buffham

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      On the web

      Halas & Batchelor
      The official studio site...
      Animation Research Centre
      The Surrey-based centre have an extensive Halas & Batchelor
      collection, with lots of info online...

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© Halas & Batchelor  / F2011