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Toonhound presents...






British TV series

     The Gingerbread Man - from FilmFair/CINAR


  The Gingerbread Man      (1992)
   producers: David Wood / FilmFair Ltd
   animation: stop-motion animation

     episodes: 13 x 10 mins

    "I won't be beaten till I'm eaten,
     and I won't be eaten till I'm beaten!"

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     Sssh! - Is it night time? Are the Big Ones asleep? - Good.
     Then it's time to meet the folks who inhabit this big old kitchen dresser.
     There's the condiment couple, Salt the sailor and Miss Pepper. There's
     Herr von Cuckoo, he's the eccentric wooden bird from the cuckoo clock.
     Then there's the zoot-suited mouse Sleek, and the crinkled Old Bag, who
     dwells in the top shelf teapot. But most importantly of all, there's that 
     happy-go-lucky fellow with a permanent smile, the Ginger-Ginger-
     Gingerbread Man...

     "Man the lifeboats!" it's Old Salt   feisty Miss Pepper

     The Gingerbread Man was originally found unfinished in a baking mould by
     Salt, Miss Pepper and Herr von Cuckoo. The trio added a cherry slice mouth
     and two raisin eyes before rousing him into excitable life with a handful
     of pepper. Ginger's gambolling and merriment, dancing to the muzak on an
     old radio, roused the slumbering Big Ones and threatened to end our hero's
     new-found life there and then. ''Maybe we made his mouth too big!" says
     sailor Salt. But the Big Ones were enamoured of his big cheeky grin and
     decided to keep him "as a sort of decoration".      

     Big peril

     The Big Ones are never seen on screen. But they're often heard approaching
     and quick as a flash, our heroes must make themselves scarce. You see,
     those Big Ones regularly intefere with the contents of the dresser, and
     who knows what cruel fate may fall upon Ginger and company, if they
     don't take to their heels...

      Sleek the meddlesome mouse  Old Bag in her teapot

     Rat bags

     Hard to believe, perhaps, but Old Bag really is a walking, talking tea bag.
     Actually, she's more of a miserable, grumbling tea bag with horn-rimmed
     spectacles. The Gingerbread Man climbs up to her shelf in the second
     episode, whereupon he uncovers her softer side. Poor Old Bag reveals how
     she is all alone on her shelf, because the other teabags in her packet were
     used up ages ago. The Gingerbread Man thus agrees to spend his nights
     sleeping by her teapot in an orange-striped deckchair, to keep her company.
     And that's exactly where we find him for the rest of the series...

     Meanwhile, there's Sleek, the green-suited mouse with a muddled gangster
     attitude. He makes his first appearance in the third episode, which is
     even titled after him. Sleek is constantly hungering for a nibble of Ginger
     and indeed, a nibble of Old Bag's perforations too. He emerges from a hole in
     the dresser, behind a china plate, to stalk the shelves and tease our
     heroes with his twisted, cockeyed dialogue...

     Enter stage left

     This animated series was actually adapted by playwright David Wood from his
     tremendously successful touring stageshow from the 70s. Wood's
     other plays include "The Tinderbox" (1967), "The Owl and the Pussycat Went to
     Sea…" (1968), "Flibberty and the Penguin" (1971) and "The Ideal Gnome
     Expedition" (1980). "The Gingerbread Man" play was published as part of a
     Wood anthology "Wood Plays 1" courtesy of Methuen Books, in 1998.
     Time Out said this of the production:

      "The perfect children's play, with lots of superbly silly jokes and
       foot-tapping songs ... a magnificent epic of comic disarray"

     Such diverse thespians as Imelda Staunton and Melanie "Generation Game"
     Stace have played the role of Miss Pepper on tour with the show over
     the years....

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    Title song

     "Newly-baked this morning, take a look at my tan,
     Hey, hey, I'm the Gingerbread Man!
     Like a magic spell I just appeared with a bang,
     Hey, hey, I'm the Gingerbread Man!
     From the tip of my toes to the top of my head,
     I'm guaranteed genuine gingerbread!
     Soon as I arrived the dresser party began,
     Hey, hey, I'm the Ginger, the Ginger, Ginger, Ginger, Ginger..."

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    Episode titles

    The Arrival               Locked Clock

    Cuckoo's Cuckoo       Weekend Break
    Sleek the Mouse       Old Bag in Danger
    Hide and Squeak       While the Cat's Away
    Poison                     It's Not Fair
    Party                      The Gingerbread Ghost
    A Pinch of Salt

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    The Gingerbread Man on DVD

    All thirteen episodes of this singalong series have
    been released on these two discs:

     UK DVD
The Gingerbread Man - The Arrival
                Region 2 / six episodes / Abbey Home Media / March 2006

     UK DVD The Gingerbread Man - A Pinch Of Salt
                Region 2 / seven episodes / Abbey Home Media / March 2007

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     The Gingerbread Man by David Wood
     a FilmFair production for Central Independent Television
     dir of animation:   Martin Pullen
     asst producer:      Kath Swain
     exec producer:     David Yates
     music:                 Peter Pontzen, David Wood
     animation:           Mark Waring, Andy Joule
     camera:               Simon Paul
     art director:         Alan Murphy
     models:               Heather Boucher, Colin Armitage
     costumes:           Laura Harris, Margaret Haden

             Maxine Guest, Simon Quinn
                                                     Kevin Griffiths, Gary Kachelhoffer

     editor:                 Andi Sloss
     asst editors:         Simon Cox, Christopher Norman
     dubbing mixer:     Peter Hodges
     prod supervisor:
  Robert Dunbar       
     voices:                Andrew Sachs
                               Jacqueline Clarke

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     On the web

     David Wood
     David Wood's official site is stuffed with information about his many
     stage plays and literary works - "Gingerbread Man" included,
     of course...

     Abbey Home Media
     Abbey distribute the UK DVDs. They have their very own
     web store too...

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© FilmFair Ltd / CINAR / F2008