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Toonhound presents...






Peppa Pig art for sale at The Animation Art Gallery!

      January 2009
 Extra! Extra! - Read all the Toon News!

Toto's return-o
Yoko! Jakamoko! Toto!
   on CBeebies...

A classic found

   Studio aka's Lost and Found...

   A royal recommission
More Little Princess on Five...

 Pootling about
Q Pootle 5 is coming?...

 BAFTAs & Oscars
Brits gets nominated...

Farewell Tony Hart

Tony Hart has died...

    Small thoughts
   We don't make 'em like we used to... more »

   news archive »     interviews »      giveaways »

    A royal recommission   

    Here's some right royal news. There's more Little Princess on the
    way. That's because UK broadcaster Five have just commissioned
    a third series of this Milkshake! favourite from TV-Loonland
    and The Illuminated Film Company...

    "Little Princess" from TV-Loonland & The Illuminated Film Company

    Little Princess really is a kazoo-tapping star, isn't she? The new
    35 x 11mins series promises us two new regular characters in the form
    of a youngster called Algernon and a Shetland pony called Horace,
    plus that great blistering blusterer of an - er - actorer Brian Blessed
    will be reprising the role he played in the Winter Special, as Great
    Uncle Walter takes up residence in the new episodes too...

    Kazoos at the ready, then... Altogether...

    "She's a Little Princess..."

                                                           More: Little Princess


   Pootling about  

    No, no, this isn't a news story about Pootle and the Flumps. The
    Pootle we're talking about here is the friendly green alien Q Pootle 5,
    who stars in a series of very popular picture books drawn by Nick
    Butterworth (Percy the Park Keeper). Q Pootle 5 and his pal Oopsy
    are so popular, in fact, that they're about to jump off the page and
    into their very own animated pilot episode, which will hopefully serve
    as the precursor to a proper series commission...

    "Q Pootle 5" by Nick Butterworth

    The toon is being animated by UK animation company Blue Zoo,
    working alongside Nick Butterworth's own production outfit, Snapper
    Productions. Martin Freeman (The Office) and Joanna Page (Gavin
    & Stacy) will be providing the voices!...

                                                                         More: Blue Zoo


    BAFTAs & Oscars  

    As another month rolls on, so too do the award nominations.
    First up are this year's BAFTA nominations. These are the - erm - "adult"
    awards, not to be confusd with the annual Children's celebrations, handed
    out last November. British toon fans will have their eye on a tasty trio,
    nominated in this year's Short Animation category. Here they are:

    Greg McLeod, Myles McLeod (The Brothers McLeod)

    Sue Goffe, Marc Craste (studio aka)

    Steve Pegram, Nick Park, Bob Baker (Aardman Animation)

    That's three great films from three top studios, each with their merits.
    The momentum is perhaps with our pals Wallace and Gromit, but
    the Fellowship may well feel that the two have already been
    handsomely rewarded in the past...? Well, we'll see on awards
    night, February 8th...

    Meanwhile, the Academy Award nominees are also out of the hat,
    and congratulations are forthcoming to Nexus Productions (Smith
    & Foulkes), whose film about two twisted undertakers, This Way Up,
    has been put forward for this year's Best Animated Short. The film
    has great gallows style to it, deliciously dark. This year's gongs
    are handed out on February 22nd. Let's keep our sanguine limbs
    crossed for the duo!...

 BAFTA   The Academy


    Farewell Tony Hart    

    Some sad news, early in this New Year, as we mourn the passing of
    BBC presenter/artist Tony Hart. For Brits of a certain age, Tony was
    Mr TV Artist. He presented a series of art programmes on the BBC
    which encouraged youngsters to pick up a pen or a paintbrush and
    get creating. The Hound was just one such viewer who was inspired
    by what he saw on the likes of "Vision On" and "Take Hart". He had
    a wonderfully inclusive way about him - fatherly, and so engaging...

    Tomny Hart's pal Morph

    Amongst those also mourning today must be Peter Lord and David
    Sproxton of Aardman Animation, because Tony's TV endeavours were
    so regularly interwoven by their animated interstistials; free-roaming
    animation in a variety of media which were used to segue Tony's
    creative outpourings. In time, of course, this led to the birth of
    Morph the little plasticene man, and his rival Chaz and an extended
    family of friends who lived on and around Tony's desk, getting up to
    all sorts of animated mischief. And from these somewhat humble
    beginnings an animation powerhouse was formed, with Aardman
    taking the experience they garnered and running with it to
    worldwide award-winning success...

                                                                   More: Tony Hart


    Toto's return-o    

    Now here's some jolly New Year news. The BBC have just picked up
    Collingwood O'Hare's double BAFTA-winning series Yoko! Jakamoko! Toto!
    for broadcast on CBeebies.

    "Yoko! Jakamoko! Toto!" - Collingwood O'Hare's top toon coming to CBeebies

    You remember the show, don't you? - Yoko the bird, Jakamoko the armadillo
    and Toto the oh-so cheeky monkey are three flighty animal sprites who get
    up to all sorts of mischief across the plains and forests of their Latin
    American homeland. Their adventures are told through music and rhythm,
    and the series is completely infectious. So if you missed it the first time
    round, well, here's a welcome re-run for you to sample, and to samba
    along to!     

    The press blurb tells us that the 52 x 5min episodes will broadcast weekdays
    within CBeebies' Big Fun Time block, from 26th January. What's more, 26
    previously unseen interstitials will also premiere on the CBeebies website,
    as part of the series' promotion.

    And if it's a success, maybe we can at last get to see a complete and
    proper DVD for this fabulous, funky series...?

                                                                  More: Collingwood O'Hare


    A classic found    

    So all the talk in recent days has rightly focused on our friends in
    West Wallaby Street, and of their ratings success on BBC1 over
    Xmas. But you know, there was another cartoon gem to be found
    over on Channel 4, on Christmas Eve, if you looked hard enough.

    Studio aka's "Lost and Found" is/was, quite simply, divine. It's
    directed by Philip Hunt, and adapted from the award-winning picture
    book by Oliver Jeffers. It tells of a young boy in a sleepy fishing village,
    who wakes up one day to find a wandering penguin on his doorstep.
    The boy resolves to take his lost guest home to the South Pole in a
    row boat, but - well - let's not spoil the delicious development that
    arises when they get there. Suffice it to say, you'll be warmed to the
    cockles by the outcome...

     "Lost and Found" on DVD

    You know, this one really did sneak up on The Hound. It was immediately
    beautiful, of course, as one would expect when one recalls the company's
    gorgeous work elsewhere, for Lloyds TSB , etc. But for a wee while, this
    viewer feared it might be trying almost too hard to be liked. Perhaps it was
    the oh-so cosy narration from Jim Broadbent which tipped the scale. It
    felt unnecessary. The Hound wanted the story to breathe unaided, as it
    were. But as the adventure progressed, and the boy and the penguin set sail
    together, the film's charms took a firm hold until, in its final denouement, as
    Max Richter's lullalby score swelled, it was able to draw a big lump to the
    throat and - yes! - even a trembling tear...

    Gosh, what a charmer this is. Another half-hour classic in fact, to sit
    alongside the likes of "The Snowman", "Granpa" and "War Game" in
    the festive schedules. There's a trailer and pictures to view on the
    studio aka web site. Better yet, the film is coming to DVD in March.
    And needless  to say, The Hound already has his copy reserved...

studio aka

   Small thoughts  

    Alongside the various obituaries, news of Oliver Postgate's recent
    passing  has brought a whole of  Childrens TV Commentators
    out of the closet. And it's been fascinating to hear and to read. What's
    been most interesting is hearing the oft-repeated notion that we somehow
    don't make animated series like we used to, we don't do whimsy
    or wonder, we don't create little worlds and charactes who jump into
    existence for no other reason that to simply live and breathe and
    to open our eyes to a different kind of universe. Oh, no. We don't do
    that anymore. But The Hound thinks the folks who say these things
    just haven't been looking hard enough...

    Till next time!

        Pooch says 'Stay tooned!'

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