Here's some great New Year news, straight from
The second series of Summerton
Mill is finally in the bag, and by all
accounts, Pete Bryden and his team have brewed
and bottled another
thirteen magical little adventures for us
Here's Mr Bryden himself, enthusing about
his recent endeavours:
set out to make another 13 episodes that would
fit in with the first 13, keeping the charm, without
dropping the standards – and it worked. There are
some true gems in the series, and we’re really
with every episode.
James Cleland who started Series 1 as our assistant
animator, and was later promoted to animator, came
back to us as Director of Animation. Dan Stirrup
our second animator, and Bournemouth graduates
Abi Mendoza and Hannah Watkins were assistant
We did most of the model-making (props etc) in-house
and, as per the first series, kept the scriptwriting,
and picture editing and music in-house too..."
Toonhound regulars will know, The Hound is a die hard
Summerton Millfreak, and that first series has
been on constant rotation
on his DVD player since it first appeared, back
in 2005. So what better
way to start the New Year than with news
of 13 more singalong stories
Pete goes on to tell us that "Summerton
Mill" is currently being broadcast
throughout the Middle East on Al Jazeera Children’s
which is a bizarre notion indeed, but just
goes to show how universal
Dan, Fluffa and the gang are in their appeal.
And if you think that's rather bizarre, apparently,
is one of two pre-loaded toons currently available on
the high-flying kids toy, the iTeddy. That's
the tv/media teddy that hit the
big time after appearing on "Dragon's Den",
the entrepreneurial series
that airs on BBC2. Summerton Mill on a teddy bear's
teddy? - I bet
no one saw that coming!
There's no news yet on a UK broadcast date,
but Pete ensures us
that he'll keep us informed. He'd better,
or The Hound will be down there
hammering on his Mill door for an answer!
Oh, goodness. Here we are, just shy of the
New Year festivities and
already 2008 looks set to be a doozy... All
Well, here we are, folks. The Big Day is almost
upon us, and
The Hound will be offline for most of the
forthcoming festivities - probably
through to the New Year. So I'll leave you
with an image lifted from
my favourite Christmas card of the season.
It's been mailed to me by
Jim Quick, the creator of current CBBC favourite
The Likeballs, and
it stars that most disagreeable chap, Count Horriball...
Jim's series is "kicking" at the
moment. HIT Entertainment have been
appointed as UK and Rest Of World agents for
TV and DVD sales,
and LMI are on board as licensing agents.
But most importantly for
us, the first Likeaballs DVD is due to be
released in March 2008.
So here's to you and yours, and let's hope
2008 is even better than
likeable... hugely memorable... unforgettable,
Yes, so this one's a little late, but some folks
might not know that
our favourite little piddy - Peppa Pig - has
her very own Christmas
Special available on DVD. Peppa's
actually hit UK stores
back in November, but the poor gal got overlooked
here as The Hound
took his eye off the ball for a while.
The seasonal tale features Peppa and her brother
fun in the snow, decorating their tree and
- yes - getting to meet
Father Christmas, in the flesh. It's been
packaged up with 10
regular stories too, so there's plenty here
to keep us entertained.
and it should make the perfect last-minute
your little 'uns...
Now here's a cuddly Christmas present for fans
of Fluffy Gardens.
There's a half-hour Christmas Special on the
This extended festive special takes place
three days before
Christmas and stars Paolo the Cat. Paolo's
on his way to the
Post Office to post his Christmas cards. But
when he gets there
the place is closed. And so are all the other
shops and businesses
in Fluffy Gardens. With disaster looming,
our clever friend Paolo
must use his head and come up with an ingenious
plan to save
the big day for all his fluffy friends...
"Fluffy Gardens" is just the most
precise and perfect tv show.
So a 30minute special is a real Christmas
treat. Only... it's being
broadcast on RTE2 in Ireland, and not here on the
mainland. So get on the phone to your Irish pals
at once, and get
them to set their videos for RTE2, at 8:30am
on Christmas Day.
And then you can get our your pen and paper and
to Santa Claus at once:
"Dear Santa, please could you get a UK broadcaster
put on the Fluffy Gardens Christmas Special,
here in the
UK. At once. Immediately. Or as soon as possible..."
Actually, if we're getting technical, we're
singing with comedian and
entertainer turned presenter Vic Reeves. You
see, he's the one singing
that ridiculously catchy theme song to Aardman's
"Shaun the Sheep"
tv series. And it's so catchy, it's just been
released as a Christmas
single for our aural entertainment, with a fine
chance of snatching
the coveted number one slot over the festive
Yes, it's too darned catchy for its own good.
Yes, you're probably
sick to death of it already. But you know,
it sure would beat (or, bleat?)
another dull and predicatble X-Factor-Idol-Star
By the way, fans of the series may also want
to get their paws on
the latest DVD release, which features both
of Shaun's DVD releases in
one handy box set
- it's on my crimbo list, for sure...
This time last year, The Hound was celebrating
the imminent arrival of
a very jolly milestone. He was closing in
rapidly on the big 200. That is
to say, the 200th animated series to have
entered the TvToons index.
He had his streamers and party poppers at
the ready... The cake was
in the oven...
then, fate intervened. 2007 has been a ridiculously busy year.
I've been pulled everywhichway, offline and
on, and the amount of new
additions to the various indexes have slowed
to a mere trickle of late...
But finally, twelve months later than planned.
We've done it. We've hit
that double century, courtesy of Roger Hargreaves
and those fantastic Little Miss,
who joined the site this week. And it's rather apt because,
Mr Hargreaves was a masive influence on this
dawg's formative years.
His Mr Men books were my first love when I
was five, and their
elegant simplicity encouraged me to pick up
a pen for myself and
get drawing... Why, those are just felt pen
drawings.. I could do
what he did... Easy-peasy...
But of course, that's the beauty of the Mr
Men. They are, in fact,
defiantly sophisticated. Oh for sure, my young
hand could draw a
big wobbly shape, colour it purple and call
it "Mr Greedy". But
Mr Hargreaves' original had such splendid
control to it. A perfect
smile... dinky little fingers on the tummy...
I spent a whole Summer
drawing Mr Men over and over, but they were
never as good as
those originals.... and maybe I'm not alone, given
the furore that's
been building over "The Mr Men Show"!
let's not get mired in that debate. Instead, let's celebrate
that 200th addition to the index. Of course,
there are still plenty of
missing shows - Roger Hargreaves' "Timbuctoo"
amongst them -
but you can bet the index will keep growing,
slowly but surely.
As long as they keep makin' them, Toonhound
will keep on