Oink! Oink! - These
pink priceless giclee prints starring Peppa Pig
and company have just snuffled in to the
Animation Art Gallery.
Aren't they fab?
There are currently five different prints available,
by Neville Astley, Mark Baker and Phil Davies and
just 25 editions. Yep, that's 25. Which means they'll
sell-out in double-quick time, and far too many of us
out. Just as well The Hound has
his reserved already...
Peppa Pig has never looked better. They're gorgeous
But it doesn't half get you thinking. What about
The Big Knights?
Sir Boris and Sir Morris would look fantastic in
Yep, that's something we'd welcome with great enthusiasm...
But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Instead, let's
in these perfect Peppa prints... Those fantastic
characters with their stick limbs and flattened
just so appealing... Peppa's a star porker!
Have you noticed, 2007 seems to be the year of the giclee?
We've waited eons for some top British toons to reach
Now they're turning up like buses!
This year's Cartoon On The Bay animation festival,
in Italy, has
thrown up three big British Pulcinella winners to
celebrate. And folks
who know about these things will tell you that a Cartoons
On The Bay
Pulcinella is a coveted prize indeed. So let's sound
and start toasting the victors...
First up, Collingwood O'Hare collected the award for
Best Action and
Adventure TV Series, courtesy of The
Secret Show. Which is
rather apt, of course, because every episode of
that super series
is stuffed-to-busting with both action and adventure.
Collingwood must be extra-chuffed because he not
and directed the winning episode - "Flick the Switch"
- but he
also wrote it as well...
Breakthru films were awarded Best European Programme
extraordinary stop-motion film of "Peter and
the Wolf". The film
was directed by Susie Templeton and animated at
in Poland, and it's a true gem. If you haven't seen
yet, you really should track
it down at once...
But better yet, Tiger Aspect collected two shiny
awards for Charlie and
Lola. It was named Best Series for Infants, and
was trumpeted as all-round Best Programme, which
highest praise indeed. The series has such genuine,
charm, it's very hard not to like it and no surprise
to see its
In this modern world of cookie cutter toon series
and films, it's
great to see three defiantly different productions getting
big international awards. Well done to all three!
Here's a cracking little promo that was actually announced
on April 1st, but many folks (Toonhound included),
was simply a well-timed April Fool, so it was somewhat
You see, Gromit has just become Top
Dog at HMV. He's nudged
aside that terrier Nipper, to star in a three
month promotion which
puts him in front of that oh-so-famous gramaphone.
It's to celebrate
all that's grand and cracking in the world of
childrens' DVD, and
it must be said, our Gromit looks fab in his new
Just time to add a quick note about The Hound's
favourite show, "The Secret Show".
The BBC are about to run daily
episodes of this top toon over the Easter week holiday.
Set your alarm for 1.45pm each day, on the CBBC
No, seriously. Do it. This fab
series seems to be getting the
runaround from the BBC right now. It's as if they don't
where to air it. But, crikey-o-riley, their the
commissioned the darned thing in the first place.
they had a timeslot planned for the show?
Well, whatever the truth, Victor and Anita need
Here's some Easter news from "Funky Valley"
to get fans of
Dippy, Clara, Porker and the gang all in a tail-chasing
There's a Christmas Special on the way!
"A Funky Christmas" will see the gang
travelling beyond their
beloved valley, beyond even Funky Town, and all
the way to Planet
Christmas in an attempt to prevent a December
disaster. You see,
poor Santa's sleigh has broken down, and that means
will surely be bereft of Christmas cheer, unless
the animals can get
their act together, and get Santa back on course...
This funky treat will once again be directed and
Simon and Sara Bor, of Honeycomb Animation and it's being
written by Alan Plenderleith and narrated by Mark Williams.
If you combine "Funky Valley" with its
spin-off series, "Funky
Town" you'll see that those fun-tastic animals currently
82 episodes outlandish episodes in circulation.
Watch out for "A Funky Christmas" on FIVE -
er - this Christmas...
I wanted to plug this last week. Hell, I had
This site has a particular affinity with "Aaagh!
- It's the Mr Hell Show!!!",
and it's arrival on
was something to get really excited about.
Only, the Devil himself had other plans. He
pulled the rug right out
from under me - or rather, my PC. You see,
my ISP decided to have
a hiccup with my account in the middle of
the week, thus throwing
me offline. And the knock-on effect caused my antivirus
to choke and gag and
unbalance programs everywhichway.
And as a result of that, the PC Doctor
demanded a complete
So here we are, one day late for the Mr Hell
Toonhound and Mr Hell go back a long way.
Back to the beginning,
in fact. When our pointy friend was still
in production, The Hound
talked to the producers of the show. My chat
with Alan Gilbey formed
first Toonhound Q&A, and he and then partner, Dave Freedman
were hugely supportive of my efforts here.
What's more, they still are.
Alan's a scriptwriter extraordinaire,
and he currently has his fingers
in two huge Toon Pies, which I'm dying to
talk about, but have been
sworn not to reveal just yet. And Dave has
a rather smart producer's hat
on his head. Having just brought us the second series delights
of "King Arthur's Disasters", he's
now immersed in a live-action
series that's all set to chop, block and karate
kick on to our
screens later this year...
But back to Mr Hell. Based on the anarchic,
cards and sketches by Hugh
MacLeod, "Aaagh! - it's the Mr Hell Show"
spoofed, ridiculed and abused everyone and
everything in a kind of
animated stream of consciousness. And for the most
part, it was
very, very funny. Even so, our li'l old Red
Devil had a rough ride,
here in the UK. His show was pushed back and
back in the BBC
schedules and eventually cast adrift in a
peculiar late-night slot
on BBC2, which meant the delights of Thomas
the Tank, Champion
the Wonder Snail, Serge the Seal Cub and all
their friends were
overlooked by far too many people. But those
who did find the
show were rather enthusiastic about it. And
abroad, in Canada
and in Australia, Mr Hell was a palpable hit.
There was talk of
a second series, indeed. Until the Canadian
co-producers on the
series rolled over and died. That left all
our favourite characters
lolling around in broadcast hell. And a DVD
release seemed an
awfully long way off...
But you know, although the series was gone
from our screens, it
most certainly wasn't forgotten. Those same
fans have been pestering
the Toonhound Inbox ever since. They've bought
original art from
the series via our defunct webstore (ToonsToGo),
and above all,
they've begged and begged for the show's long
Well now it's here. Or in fact, it was here
officially 24hrs ago, whilst
Yours Truly was still wrestling with his blasted
computer. Mr Hell
can now swan across your screen in
a two-disc set from MVM
And they're so happy, they've added two more
to the series title. So now everyone can take
a look at this abused
and abusive star, outside of his ridiculous
And who knows, given the rave reviews the series
still seems to be
getting, our riotous red devil may emerge,
phoenix-like from the flames
into a second splendid series.
Hell, if "Family Guy" can do it, why not
ol' red eyes...?
Well, he knows all about the Hound's secret
passion. Or rather,
the Hound's other secret passion. You
see, as well as being a
topnotch toon freak, Yours Truly also likes
nothing better than a
darned good read.
Yep, I'm a book freak. I devour 'em. But more than
that, I collect
them too. There's something just so special
about having a signed
first edition in your hands. It makes the
reading even more pleasurable.
Now, I don't just collect any old books. I
like children's fiction.
No, scrap that. I love children's fiction.
It's my favourite genre.
and I've always kept abreast of the latest
news and releases.
But you know, a funny thing happened a few
years back. A chap
called Harry Potter popped up on the book
scene, and his success
has led to publishers flooding the market,
month on month, with
titles that they like to think are The Next
Big Thing. It's all a bit
dizzying, if you don't know what's what.
Only, the Hound knows exactly what's what.
So I thought now
might be a good time to start sharing that
knowledge with folks
on the web. And to this end, The
Book Gnome was born
(www.thebookgnome.co.uk). Think of it
as a companion to
Toonhound, enthusing and informing in just
the same way.
Only this time, it's all about books, lovely books...
Now it's very early days. The new site is
still coming together,
finding its layout and place in the scheme
of things. Plus it needs
more content - a heck more content, indeed.
But if you drop by
a gander, I hope you'll find it a worthwhile place to
bookmark and return to, as it develops. And
I hope you'll be
informed. I'd certainly welcome any feedback
you can offer, as I pull
everything together and the new site yawns
and steps out, blinking into the online sunshine...
Ah, me. Toons and books. My two great loves.
I can't wait to
share 'em with you...