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                                               July 2000


    The feathers have certainly flown over here in the uk: Chicken Run has
    just coughed up a £4million opening weekend (July 1st) - That makes it
    the 14th biggest opening here ever, bettering even last year's hits
    The Matrix and Notting Hill!

    Even in America, where it was always going to be an awkward film to
    position, old CR is holding its own against Perfect Storm, The Patriot
    et al, having taken some $41million in two weekends - including an
    opening weekend that topped that of Dreamworks previous animated
    crown-holder Antz!

    The official UK site is now well into gear, with weekly prizes (yes, I've
    entered - What do you take me for?!). There's also a fab new addition to
    the aardman homepages, featuring the making of the film in a series of
    neat scrolling pages.

    Check out:



    Oh yes, whilst we're talking about aardman, you'd better check out
    old Angry Kid whilst you can:

    According to AtomFilms' latest mail-out they can only keep a certain
    number of AK shorts online at a time, so when they're gone, they're

    Does anyone know what Aardman plans to do with these. Are they
    going to edit them into a video, with title links or something, or do
    they plan to make a longer piece?

    AK is not half bad.  He's recently been scaring himself silly in 'Terror'.
    Go see for yourself at:  


    That's right, it seems the poor performance of Don Bluth's space toon
    has sent Fox scurrying into an early Animation Exit. I'll be there when
    it opens in the uk later this summer, but I'm not holding my breathe...

    Judging by the trailer, the mix of CGI with flat cell works just doesn't
    seem to gel. There's also a bland, familiarity of scenes - like the notion
    of the guy with a 'map' on his hand (eh, Waterworld anyone?)

    Bluth is a brilliant, beautiful technician, but his storytelling has nearly
    always let the show down. I reckon Fox probably haven't helped, their
    suits having no doubt all had a finger in the pie here. Whatever, why
    ever, the fact is Fox have pulled the plug on their animated feature division.
    Which ever way you look at it, that's a shame. Dreamworks hit the ground
    running and never looked back. Warners took their time, but they've now
    hit a home run (though a poorly-promoted one) with Iron Giant. Who
    knows what Fox may have achieved with their next production?
    - Oh well...

    Check out those official Titan AE sites:    



    The marvellous, mechanical Oliver Postgate appeared on the BBC's
    Breakfast News, way back on June 9th to promote his new autobiography
    'Seeing Things' (buy it now!). The 5 minute interview brought out some
    fantastic Postgate-isms:

    On the Clangers bad language:
    'That one - if you listen carefully - she's saying 'oh sod it! The bloody
    thing is stuck again!'...'

    On the Clangers versatility:
    'When we were in Germany, I took a copy of The Clangers without me
    rabbiting over the top, played it to them and said 'could you understand
    the Clangers?' and they said 'but they are speaking perfect German!' And
    Ingrid said 'No - They are speaking only Swedish!' So they can go anywhere
    in the world!...'

    On children's tv today:

    'I'm very frightened by childrens tv nowadays.... I don't understand
    what's happening. I think the method is being worshipped instead of
    the content, so that it's all done very slickly and marvellously, but
    there's not very much there. Whereas our animation was done terribly
    badly - I produced some of the worst animation ever seen - but the
    stories were good...'

    But it was state of the art at its time?
    'No!.. No! ...It was the state of the money. I had to get 120 seconds
    of film out of it a day, whereas Wallace & Gromit get 10 seconds out
    a day and they have 100 people on the payroll and I had only me
    and Peter (Firmin)...'

     And has he any new ideas?
     'No! .. No!... I said to my Muse 20 years ago nearly, I s'pose, I said
     'what's our next world?' and she said 'I've made you 12 worlds, down to
     the last nut and bolt and flipper and that is your lot, mate!'

     Mr Postgate, we love you. Can't wait to read that autobiography...

     There's more of  Oliver, The Clangers, Bagpuss, Noggin and Ivor at:


    Got a new Brit cartoon to promote? - Let me know and
    I'll plug it for you. It could be a finished project, an early concept
    a comic strip creation, tv, or movie even - whatever - We all know
    how frustrating it can be trying to get that break or close that deal.
    Toonhound's here to help if it can...

    Just drop me a line:


    The search goes on (still!)...

    Can someone unearth a 'Cockleshell Bay' site?
    But hold your horses, there's a 'Cloppa Castle' link on the way!
         - Till next time!



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