Well it's official. The Hound is rather hopeless when
it comes to guessing
award-winners. The Children's BAFTA Awards event was
staged on November 24th
and regular visitors to Toonhound will recall how I
attempted to second-guess the
judges to predict the winners and losers last month. And
what do you know, I
was wrong on all counts!...
In the Animation category The Cramp Twins, Bad Baby
Amy and Angelina
Ballerina were pipped to the post by an edition of S4C/C4's
The English Programme
telling the story of Sir Gawain And The Green Knight. Something
of an underdog
win, this one, for a film that many - including yours
truly - haven't seen. This
will be one to track down, methinks...
The Pre-School Animation section was desperately close
to call, but as it
happens Toonhound faves Collingwood O'Hare triumphed
for a second year in a row,
collecting the award for their Eddy
& The Bear series. What a treat. And what
excitement for COH because their fabulous new series
Yoko! Jakamoko! Toto!
is soon to launch on C-ITV and believe me, if this doesn't
make it three in a row
for them next year I'll eat my computer. Needless to
say I had 'casually'
dismissed Eddy & The Bear as a winner because of
COH's former triumph.
I tell you, it's great when you get predictions so wrong...
Collingwood O'Hare's win is a notable loss for Cosgrove
Hall Films and HOT
Animation. Cosgrove Hall have still to win a BAFTA in
this category - extraordinary,
really. And HOT Animation's Bob The Builder has also
been overlooked again -
again, it's incredible to think that such a hugely successful
show with a worldwide
audience has yet to receive 'official' recognition from the
Academy panel. But
hey, neither of these production companies need worry.
Their shelves are
already groaning under the weight of awards collected
around the globe...
full list of winners in all categories. Splendid to see Pepper's
Ghost triumphing in the Interactive category. Their Tiny
has been beautifully executed. And Mike and Sully and the
staff of Monsters, Inc
deserve a pay rise for their feature win. Monsters,
Inc was a terrific out-and-out
children's film - unlike, say, Shrek, which is also
terrific, but has one foot
in the area marked 'adult crossover'. Does that make
sense? - Probably not.
But then, very little of the Hound's ramblings ever
Had a rummage under your sofa recently? - You
may well be sitting on
comic gold. At last month's Compal Comic Book
Auction a wonderfully
rare copy of the first edition of The Beano was
put up for sale. The much
desired first issue is one of only nine copies
known to have survived,
and its owner had kept it in a plastic folder
under his sofa for forty years.
Compal put up an estimate of £3,000 for
the issue which was in sound
condition but didn't have the original free Whoopee
Mask that came with
the comic. That was considerably more than the
seller was hoping for
- he thought it might be worth around £500.
But in the end, both the seller
and Compal were caught by surprise when the comic
sold for a whopping,
record-breaking £7,500. That surpassed the
previous best from 1999, when a
number one Beano complete with mask fetched £6,800.
And imagine if you
will how that same title cost just tuppence when it
was first published
back in 1938...
Hounds will note that this same first edition features Eggo Ostrich,
Lord Snooty and Morgyn the Mighty - but no Dennis.
Dennis The Menace
was actually a later addition to the Beano role
Beano fans should stop by Beanotown
for all the latest comic news.
Morris is putting together a rather splendid unofficial
history for you...
What's that whispering on the winter wind. Do we hear
rumours of a new
animated Xmas special with John Coates' name on the
credits? - We certainly do!
The film is Jack Frost and its to be based upon the
new book by illustrator
and author David Melling. The actual storyline remains
shrouded in a frosty
veil, but it's apparently a 'feel-good' adventure which
tells of a young boy who
'wanders into a magical forest and leaves the gate open...'
Hmm. Shades of
Nightmare Before Christmas here, perhaps? - It sounds intriguing.
picture used to illustrate the news story over at C21-media
is certainly enticing.
Mellings' previous books have included Countdown To
Bedtime and The Kiss
That Missed. This new work is scheduled to be published this
winter, with the
film being prepped for Christmas 2004...
Jack Frost is to be produced by Alastair Swinnerton's BA20
and animated by Dino Athanassiou's Stardust Pictures
- Dino's credits include
the sumptuous FilmFair series Legends
Of Treasure Island. On top of Dino's
team is a real Trump Card in the form of Toon God John
Coates who is
executive producer on the film. What a coup! - Mr Coates'
include - gosh - Yellow
Submarine, Famous Fred, Granpa,
and of course,
that splendid trio of winter toon classics The
Snowman, The Bear and
To coax him out of 'retirement' like this, really is impressive...
Is The Hound licking his chapped lips with glee? - He
certainly is! - Next
Christmas can't come soon enough...
Speaking of John Coates and those TVC Christmas
others, have recently run a news story concerning that
winter-warmer The Snowman. Adapted from the equally-classic
book by Toonhound-favourite Raymond
Briggs, TVC's 1982 Snowman film
was famous for its beautiful animation, famously
won a BAFTA, was famously
embraced by the British public and became almost
as famous for THAT SONG...
'Walking In The Air' was composed by Howard Blake and
Jones had a rather memorable hit record with his version
of the song.
But Aled's voice never featured on the original
soundtrack recording. That
credit went to a then-young Peter Auty. Now, twenty
years on this
latest 'news' story concerns the fact that the
original Snowman 'voice' is
at last to get recognized for his contribution
to the film. Which all sounds
jolly decent and proper...
But hang on there, Peter Auty was never really
overlooked, was he? The Hound
always knew he was the original voice, and so
did and do almost every other
person I've spoken too so far, and his credit
is there on the soundtrack
certainly. What we have hear, ladies and gentleman, is
the perfect PR piece,
putting a spin on a 'non-story'. Why? - Well, it's Christmas
isn't it, time to
dust down that classic title once again and put it
back in the news. And
what's more, this year is the twentieth anniversary
of the film and there's
a fabulous tie-in DVD/video edition to snap up too.
So let's push that dubious
piece of non-news off down the ski slope and simply
let the film bask in
its own wonderful winter glory...
The Snowman is so haunting, mesmerizing, beguiling.
The sense of loss
at the end of the film still draws tears today.
It's heartbreaking. The new
extras-stuffed DVD has leapfrogged to the top
of The Hound's Christmas
wish-list this year. The disc comes with a tie-in
alternate introductions to the film, and storyboards
- fantastic! - But those
of you who miss out on this Xmas pressie needn't
worry too much. The
Snowman documentary is also set to air on Channel
4 over the
For all things Raymond Briggs, stop by Toonhound's
Snowman fans, meanwhile, should take a moonlit
flight over to the
100% official site: http://www.thesnowman.co.uk/index.htm
Gawd, what a month. November certainly wasn't
a month for embracing
the great Wired
World, I can tell you. The transfer of files and software
from my creaking old Windows98 PC to an all-singing,
machine hasn't been easy - not by a long shot....
Currently yours truly is without a scanner of any
sorts, which means that
generating images for these fair pages has proven
rather tricky of late. That's
not to say that I don't have a scanner. I do. And
a very reliable one, to boot.
The trouble is that Old ScanMagic just will
not accept the upgrade to XP.
It's sitting here installed in some uncertain
way on the new system, unable
to generate images without smearing, shearing
and distorting them into
pretty ripples. I've tried updating the drivers,
of course, but XP isn't particularly
keen to take on 'unsigned' additions. Hence
Old Man Scanner is sitting here
rather forlorn. Still loved, but somewhat loathed
by my computer.
Maybe, just maybe, Santa will bring me a new one
for Christmas. Or at least
new drivers. Oh, and a Snowman Anniversary DVD...
And a BAFTA would
look nice on my shelf... And a First-edition