it, Pilchard - I've got to win that competition
and save Sunflower Valley!"
This 24minute special is the precursor to
Project:Build It, in which
Builder and his pals compete to win the contract
to develop a new town
in Sunflower Valley...
Here's the story:
Bob and the gang are building an extension
for Mr Adams the architect and
in the course of their work, they're reusing
the bricks from the walls they've
knocked down - something that becomes relevant
later. Bob's interrupted by
their eager employer who's keen to tell him
all about the competition to build
a new town in nearby Sunflower Valley, and to show
him a model of his
proposed design that packs in skyrise
buildings, hotels, restaurants
and nightclubs aplenty.
Ah, Sunflower Valley. Bob remembers it well.
He used to go there as a young
boy. It would be a shame to see it overrun
with bricks and concrete. Bob's
machine pals encourage him to enter the competition,
but there's very little
time for him to get his act together. And
he's a builder, not a designer.
That night, however, Bob has an epiphany.
He dreams of Sunflower Valley
being transformed into a neon-lit nightmare,
with great thrusting monoliths,
litter and cacophonic noise. There's no two
ways about it. Bob has to enter
the competition so he can save that wonderful
valley. He leaves the machines
to work on Mr Adams' extension and sets about
designing his new town.
But it's no easy thing. His designs just don't
look right, with all those
proposed bricks and mortar buildings scattered
around such a beautiful
That's our cue for Bob's second epiphany. He notices
how his birdy pal
and his animal friends build homes that blend into
the natural landscape.
And that's precisely what he's going to do too.
What's more he and Roly
quickly conjure up a slogan to accompany this
Big Plan. The new town
will Reduce Reuse Recycle all the materials
used in its construction.
and all the buildings will blend in naturally
with their surroundings...
From here on, we get to see Bob raising against
time to get his design
ready. Of course, the route is not without
its hiccups. Firstly, Spud and
Scrufty undermine the machines, on site. And
then a power cut leaves
him in the dark... until he brings up his
new slogan again, fishes out the
candles and gets to work once more by their
Needless to say, Bob wins the day. His new
town plan inspires the judges
and the public alike. And there's certainly
no hard feelings from Mr Adams,
who only wishes he had thought of such
a clever design. Our story concludes
with Bob and his machine pals travelling out
to that magical valley to begin
construction. As for what they do and how
they do it - well - all of those
developments are revealed in Project:Build
Now, this here film could so easily have been
made as an ordinary
run-of-the-mill extended episode. But instead,
the team at HOT Animation
have again pulled out all the stops to make
this thing busy and inventive and
frankly, a joy to behold. There are so many
little pleasures to be found
here. Early in the tale, Bob digs out an old
reel of film featuring his younger
self at play in Sunflower Valley. Young Bob
sports a tie-dye T-shirt and
studded collar, and his campfire antics are
filmed with a free-roaming
camera, complete with shifting focus and lots
of film grain. It's fab!
But his nightmare epiphany is better still.
At first, we're gambolling with
him and his animal pals through massed ranks
of sunflowers. But then the
flower heads bow and wither, great tooth-like
buildings erupt skyward and
the sunflowers return to frame this dark vision,
as swirling neon windmills.
Though obviously nowhere near as bleak, it
shares similarities with Fiver's
extraordinary vision in Watership
Down. Truly, it's both a surprise and a
delight to see something so sophisticated in Bob's
bright little world.
And it's just one more example of how the
HOT team have continued to
push at the creative envelope throughout all
of Bob's film specials...
Bob's world is so minutely realised. Your
eye keeps picking out the
detail - like the framed certificates in Mr
Adams' office, all sporting a
stamp and seal, like they do in the real world
- like the ill-fitting suit Bob
wears for his speech. No one references it,
but you can pick up at once,
Bob's a builder, he doesn't wear a suit all
Look, you can scoff if you want, but time
and again, Bob and his various
spin-offs and specials have laid down the
benchmark for this kind of
thing. These miniature productions deserve
so much more attention
and appreciation from the animation community
at large, they
Big Plan" introduces us to Scrambler the quad bike. He's part
prize for designing
the proposed new town...
of the new town designs seems to to have been constructed by a
child. The buildings
are all higgledy-piggledy, with wax crayon markings.
And the design incorporates
a castle and a big TinTin-esque rocket ship!...
yes, and Florence Mountfitchett
is one of the competition judges...
here's a little detail that might embarrass Bob. His bedside clock
reveals that he goes
to bed at...
Big Plan" premiered on BBC2, on Monday 2nd May 2005 at 08.30am.
"Project: Build It" took up a regular
week day slot the next day...
the Builder: Project Build-It
the Builder: Built to be Wild
the Builder: A Christmas to Remember
the Builder: Knights of Can-a-lot
the Builder: Race to the Finish
the Builder: Scrambler to the Rescue
the Builder: Snowed Under
the Builder: When Bob Became a Builder
the Builder: Bob's Big Plan
2 / film + three tv episodes / HIT / May 2005
a HOT Animation production
for HIT Entertainment Ltd
exec producer: Jocelyn
original music: Keith
title & credit
music & lyrics: Paul
Georgiev, Justin Exley,
puppets & machines: Mackinnon
and Saunders Ltd
puppet co-ord for HOT: Leigh
puppet maintenance: Kristian
The As and When Men
Corrigan, Karen Betty
art direction: Barbara
asst to the
art director: Chris
props & set dressing: Jon
Kershaw, Robin Jackson,
Pouncey, Stewart Hutcheon,
Taylor, Darren Gillingham,
Taylor, Hilary Utting,
Goodhead, Stephen Hasting
artists: Les Eaves,
lighting camera: Iain
Karim, Charles Copping
studio manager: Paul
dubbing editors: Adam
Taylor, Yvonne Davies
dubbing mixer: Paul
On Line: 422
production for HIT:
co-ordinator for HOT: Kate
prod asst/continuity: Terry
prod sup for HIT: Laura
script editor: Sam