Here's some bright Winter news for you. Our favourite
Welsh loco, Ivor the
Engine is making a miniature comeback, via a brand new
storybook. "Bluebell's Christmas Mission"
is a small Christmas tale,
starring Ivor and Jones the Steam, and Bluebell
the donkey, who
helps our psht-a-coffing duo to deliver a special
It's been written by Dan Postgate - he being the son
of the late
Oliver Postgate - and illustrated once more by his
collaborator, Peter Firmin. It's the first new
full-length Ivor story to be
published in over thirty years, and the first
project to surface since Oliver's passing, which makes
it quite a
Big Deal, wouldn't you say?
Of course, it's an even Bigger Deal for Dan Postgate,
stepping in to
his father's shoes for the first time. That must
be a daunting thing.
But if Adam
Hargreaves can do it...
Now, there's extra importance attatched to this
book, because it's
been put together as a charity project, with money
raised from sales
benefiting the Society for the Protection of Animals
The book came to fruition after Peter Firmin and his
the visited the charity's projects in Morocco earlier
this year. So it's
a Big Deal and a Good Thing (The Hound
does like his capitals).
“Bluebell’s Christmas Mission” is available as a download
from the SPANA
website from today at a cost of £3.00. Hard copies can be
ordered online for £3.50, or by sending a cheque to
14 John Street, London, WC1N 2EB. And just to repeat,
made will help SPANA’s veterinary and education work
night was Children's BAFTA
night,when the British Academy
hand out gongs to the best live-action and animated
productions and presenters working in the Children's
this year there were thre big UK toon wins to
LOST AND FOUND
Sue Goffe, Philip Hunt
(Studio AKA/Contender Entertainment/E1
Entertainment Group/Channel 4)
BEN AND HOLLY'S LITTLE KINGDOM
Phil Davies, Neville Astley, Mark
(Astley Baker Davies/Rubber
Duck Entertainmen/E1 Kids/ Nick Jr)
Independent Production Company:
ASTLEY BAKER DAVIES
Phil Davies, Neville Astley, Mark
This year's Feature Film award went
to CORALINE, and there was a Special Award for our favourite Womble,
actor Bernard Cribbins...
Short and sweet, then, but what a giddy
night for Philip Hunt, Sue
Goffe and the Studio
AKA team. Their adaptation of Oliver Jeffer's
"Lost and Found" picturebook is
one of the sneakiest, tear-stealing
films you'll ever watch. A perfect CG half-hour
concluding with a twist
that had The Hound blubbing uncontrollably
when he first watched it last Christmas.
Since then, the film has had a handsome DVD release
where it's presented with a very informative "making of".
There's so much to savour here, in the detail
of the boy's seaside
town, and that wonderful waddling penguin
visitor who may, or may
be lost. And Jim Broadbent surely deserves
his own gong for Best
Narration Ever. Can't wait to see where
Studio AKA go next...
... And speaking of "next", how
do you top an international success
Pig? With another series that just as good, if not better,
that's how. Astley
Baker Davies have proven that lightning really can
strike twice with Ben
and Holly's Little Kingdom. It's a show
that brings a smile to your face when ever
its airing. It's the subtle
design that grabs you. It's blocky and picturebooky,
in a child-like
way. And the character look like little
garden bugs, with their upscaled
heads on those peddling bodies - very understated,
just lovely, and another deserved award-winner
from a top
As always, well done to all the night's
winners and losers, equally.
Just being nominated is something special, isn't
Ah, good old Mr
Benn. Regular visitors to this site will know that
The Hound is a fully paid up member of
the Mr Benn Fan Club.
Or rather, he would be, if there was one. Gotta
love Mr Benn, and
the escapism that Costume Shop brings to his otherwise
David McKee's classic creation is as relevant today
as it was back
in 1967, when the first tale, "Mr Benn - Red Knight"
And it's why we have this
lovely news story to celebrate today.
It seems the good folks of Festing Road in Putney,
clubbed together to have a pavement slab engraved in
of their famous former resident. As most folks
know, Festing Road
previously played host to David McKee, back in
the 60's, and it was
the real-life inspiration behind Festive Road,
which is Mr Benn's
famous address. Mr Benn resided at number 52,
just two doors down
from his creator's then home at number 54. So
now there's this lovely
pavement stone for visitors to view. And what's
about this story is the fact that it's the local residents
undertaken this inauguration, of their own volition.
The stone is officially unveiled/laid this coming
28th, with David McKee himself coming over from
for the ceremony. In the BBC's news story he reveals
that he's working
on both a new Mr Benn picture book and a proper
Mr Benn novel, for
older children. Which is more news to make The
Because, as he proved not too long ago with Mr
that ol' McKee magic is still there...
Apparently, high-definition versions of the original
stories are also in the
pipeline, and those long-gestating movie plans
have also come back
into the frame - though we're not told if they're
still live-action, or not.
But debate about the whys and wherefores of any film
for another discussion, at a later date. All that
matters right now is
Festing Road and Mr Benn, and this weekend's wonderful
la-di-da. Here's some posh news for fans of Peppa
She's going to be making a special appearance
at Selfridges in
London's Oxford Street, this coming Saturday 21st
part of a promotion for a rather special and exclusive
print that's going on sale at the store.
The print in question is another beauty from The Animation
Art Gallery's Art
You Grew Up With programme, and it features Peppa's family feeding
the ducks at the local park. Here you go:
Luverly, innit? It's limited to just 100 signed
editions, and they're only
going to be available from Books at Selfridges.
The launch event takes place between 2.00pm and
Selfridge's Books department, on the Lower Ground
Neville Astley and series producer Phil Davies
will be in attendance
But never fear. If, like The Hound, you live outside
of the Old Smoke,
you can still reserve one of these fine giclees
- or any of the others
in the art You Grew Up With range - by getting in touch
with The Animation Art Gallery!
Here's something well worth bleating about. Shaun
the Sheep is
returning to our screens later this month!
Shaun's first series was an Emmy-winning
triumph for Aardman Animation
Forty fab stop-motion stories stuffed with
farmyard frolics that really ought
to have been indexed at Toonhound by now. We'll have
to do something
about that, sharp-ish. Anyway, if you liked them, there's
lots more on
offer from Monday November 23rd at 4.25pm, when
Shaun the Sheep
Series II premiers on cBBC. Forty more episodes are
production (twenty completed, twenty more in the pipeline),
time around Shaun, Bitzer and company take up
and piracy, they have a go a quad-biking, and
stage their very own
Winter Olympics. So it's pretty much business
as usual, down on
that Aardman farm...
If you're a regular visitor here (and I think
there might still be at least one),
you'll probably have noticed a slowing down of additions
and updates on
the site, over the Summer and into Autumn, for
which I must apologise.
But you see, I've been indulging in a little "me"
time of late, and it's
distracted me somewhat from the day-to-day business
So what have I been up to? Well, it's my very
own, very small, comic project.
Smaller than Small Press, I'd say. If you've found
me on Facebook, or
stopped by my
blog, you'll have already caught up with its development.
It's called BLIP, and I've set myself a
goal of getting the first 48-page tale
drawn, inked, and coloured, ready for self-publication
by the end of the year.
I'm using it to scratch an ever-growing itch to
be creative, and to prove to
myself that I have the ability to see a comic project
through to completion.
You see, I've been far too distracted in the past,
and there are umpteen
half-finished endeavours scattered around my old
attic. There's also been
the little matter of Toonhound and its neverending
need to be fed new toons
and news. This place has been online ten whole
years now. That's a long
time, in web terms, and it feels a whole lot longer
to me. I seem to have
been chained to my PC for an eternity, and whilst
I've been tapping away
on my keyboard, my old drawing pad has been left
to gather dust.
Oh, but look, there's no need to panic. You might
think I'm about to abandon
Toonhound to the four winds. No, no, no. And once
more, no. I've no such
intentions. I'm just saying that I am a tad distracted
right now and there may
be a period between here and the end of the year
in which the updates and
the news stories don't get online quite as quickly,
or with quite as much
regularity. But these are "mights" and
nothing more. I've broken the back
of my comic tale as you read this, so I should
be able to divide my time
a bit more evenly between pad and keyboard.
Which all means that,
with luck, you won't even see the join and this editorial
I've keeping a running commentary on my progress
with BLIP, over on my
blog, if anyone's interested. And if you're not, well, yah-boo to
'cos I'm continuing with it regardless!