The busy folks at Cosgrove Hall have this week
started work on a new
pre-school series called 'The Wumblers'. Created
by Laura Wellington,
the Wumbles aren't Wombles with a vowel problem,
rather, they're a
jolly multicoloured community of characters with
bulbous noses who
live in a place called Wumbletown.
The 52 x 11min series is being distributed by
there's plenty of info, a series bible and a preview
clip to view on their
web site. The series will be animated digitally
by CHF, who will be utilizing
'a completely paperless production line' to
bring us the adventures of
Bertrum, Renaldo his Spanish-speaking snail friend,
pal Gibby, a quintet of imaginary friends, and
a host of Wumbletown folk.
Them there Wumbles feel like an offshoot from
a Dr. Seuss storybook.
The series is very - well - 'American' in tone,
with an accent on the values
and morals of the characters and concept. Indeed,
this is a world-and-a-half
away from the nonsense and whimsy of Cosgrove's own productions.
jolly and bright with a bouncy theme and bound to be
very popular. (Or annoying,
if you're a parent having to watch it for the
umpteenth time!) 'The Wumbles'
already feels like an established series, which is
surely a guarantee
Let's get ready to Wumble!
BAA Finalists (23.02.04)
As reported previously, this year is British
Animation Award year, which
means we can expect a bumper animated celebration
come March when
the fab BAA awards are doshed out. Last
month we were presented with the
initial shortlists for each animated category.
And now, as promised, after
various screenings and debate, the nominations
have been whittled down
to a final few titles who will be battling it
out at the ceremony.
Here are the nominations with specific relevance
Little Wolf's Book of Badness
Angelina Ballerina: The Show Must Go On
Wilde Stories: The Nightingale and the Rose
Amazing Adrenalini Brothers: Tightrope of Triumph
Grizzly Tales for Gruesome Kids: Revenge of the Bogeyman
Brush Head: Crossing the Road
Children’s Preschool Series
Meg & Mog: Owl's Voice
Koala Brothers: A Letter for George
Engie Benjy: Lift off Day
Yoko! Jakamoto! Toto!: The Special Thing
Little Wolf's Book of Badness
Robbie the Reindeer: The Legend of the Lost Tribe
Meg & Mog: Owl’s Voice
Grizzly Tales for Gruesome Kids: Revenge of the Bogeyman
Little Wolf’s Book of Badness
Great to see blinkin' blunkin' 'Little
Wolf' made it in to three final categories,
and 'Meg &
Mog' in two. Oh and look, the 'Adrenalnis'
made it in, and Tony
Collingwood and 'Yoko!
Jakamoko! Toto!' made it through to the final writer's
nomination. Good luck to them and all the other
Animation Awards (BAA)
Another birthday bash! (13.02.04)
Looks like there's a second big birthday to celebrate
this month, because
those wonderful scallywags The Bash Street Kids have
just turned fifty!
Plug, Danny, 'Erbert, Fatty, Smiffy, Wilfrid,
Spotty, Sidney and Toots, and
their Teacher were, of course, created by that
legendary Toon God Leo
Baxendale, and they've been running amuck in the
pages of 'The Beano'
since issue #605.
Well, just about.
Originally the strip was called 'When The Bell Rings',
and it didn't actually
aquire its more famous title until 1956 (#705). The
DC Thomson folks were,
it seems, inspired by the view from their office windows
which overlooked the
playground of Dundee High School, and indeed, still
When the strip began, the 'gang' numbered just
three with the others inveigling
their way into the line-up over the years. The
unofficial tenth member, creepy
Cuthbert Cringweworthy didn't join the strip until
the 1970s. Leo's inspired
characters arrived slap-bang in the middle
of an amazingly creative cartoon
streak. Between 1953 and 1959 he brought us not only the
Bash St. Kids but
also Little Plum, Minnie The Minx and The Three Bears
- it's quite extraordinary.
Equally extraordinary is the fact that, over all
these fifty years, those Kids have
had just two different artists. Artist David Sutherland
picked up the pen after
Baxendale left, and he's now homing in on his 1800th
strip. Along the way
to their Golden Jubilee, the Kids have spawned a
spin-off in the form of
'Pup Parade' and they projected 'Plug' off to his very
own comic for a while,
but the gang remain today slap-bang in the centre-pages
of our favourite toon
weekly - evergreen, ever-present and ever-naughty...
Let's hope they never grow up!
Saggy, baggy and thirty (12.02.04)
Well, lookee here. It seems our raspberry and custard
has come of age today, because Thrusday 12th February
2004 is officially
his thirtieth birthday. It's been thirty years
since Emily's shop was first opened;
thirty years since the Organ Mice first sang and
old Professor Yaffle first
'yaffed' and yawned. My, how time flies...
To celebrate, Oliver
Postgate and Peter Firmin have been doing the rounds,
talking to newspapers and putting in appearances.
And they'll be auctioning
a special life-size Bagpuss model today, with
proceeds going to a Romanian
Hospice appeal. Licensing By Design, who handle
the SmallFilms licence
continue to strike numerous product deals for
the character too, which means
we'll have still more goodies to purchase and
collect this year.
Saggy, baggy Bagpuss is as popular now as he ever was. Which
what The Hound has always said: Oliver and Peter bottled
lightning in that
studio of theirs. And Bagpuss may be a bit frayed,
a little loose at the seams,
but we all still love him just the same...
Happy birthday, you old saggy-puss!
Farewell Thelwell (09.02.04)
Oh gosh, this is sad. Cartoonist, artist and author
Norman Thelwell passed
away on Sunday 8th February. He was 80 years old,
and was an indisputable
Toon God who
gave his name to the celebrated 'Thelwell Pony' cartoons - so
popular for so many folks around the world. His
ponies were amazing, dumpy,
rambunctious creations, always ready to give their
riders as good as they got.
And - oh! - those young Madams on horseback, so
hotheaded and feisty.
Thelwell's creations are right up there in the British
alongside The Giles Family, those St. Trinian's Girls,
seaside sauce, and Beryl Cook's bawdy, bosom pals.
encountered a little girl just like the ones in
Thelwell's toons. And who
knows how many of us have bought Thelwell greetings
or those classic ceramics modelled after his works.
Thelwell's star creation was young Penelope and
her Shetland pony called
Kipper. These two fought their way through
innumerable Pony Club events,
gymkhanas and suchlike. She was a miniature minx,
and he a dodgy
podgy pony with attitude...
Norman's toons appeared regularly in the
likes of 'The Sunday Express'
and 'Punch'. His first book of pony cartoons,
'Angles On Horseback', was
published in 1957. In all he produced 32
titles which have sold more than
2 million copies in the UK. And they're
not all about ponies, either. 'Top
'Dog' (1964) presented a 'Complete Canine Compendium'.
'Belt Up' (1974)
looked at the inner workings of the motor
car, and 'Three Sheets In The Wind'
was a cartoon sailing manual. In 'A Millstone
Round My Neck' (1981) the author
painted a vivid description of his time spent restoring
a Cornish water mill.
But it's the horses and the countryside
for which Thelwell made his everlasting
name. Thelwell's world was the world of the fox
hunt, of green wellies, waterproof
jackets, gamekeepers and vicarages, and his works
serve as timeless snapshots
of a Middle England that's disappearing
even as you read this.
Farewell Thelwell, indeed...
Hot on the heels of Bob The Builder's recent BAFTA
To Remember', HIT have this month released more info
regarding an all-new third feature-length adventure
for tv's Mr Fix-it,
currently in production over at HOT's animation
'Snowed Under: The Bobblesberg Winter Games' will
be launched on
DVD and Home Video in the Autumn. In this latest
adventure, Bob and
the gang will be joined by that old favourite
from his first film, Zoomer
(a skidoo) and newcomer Benny (a mini-Scoop). And
in keeping with
previous escapades we can expect one-or-two star voices
So far the name of Ulrika Johnsson has been revealed by
Of course, the film will serve as a very useful
lead-in to Bob's all-new
premiering in 2005, and many new toy lines have
been lined up to accompany the relaunch. And you
know what? The Hound
says 'good for Bob' because this really is a series
that has weathered
the storm of hype. Bob's two previous films have
been fun and frothy,
striking just the right balance for little kids
and - well - bigger kids like
The Builder HIT
Briggs gives it welly (03.02.04)
As many of you will know, that gentleman genius
author and illustrator
Raymond Briggs is a popular boy round these parts.
So TheHound has
no hesitation in directing you towards Mr Briggs
brand new book.
It's called 'The Puddleman' and it will be the
first new solo effort from
Mr Briggs since bringing us 'Ug' back in 2001.
Of course, two 'Bert' books
and that splendid volume 'Bloomin' Books' have
also been offered forth,
but those were collaborative efforts, weren't
'The Puddleman' tells the story of young Tom and
his Grandfather, whom
Tom calls 'Collar' because he's always dragging
him around on a lead. Tom
wants to show Collar the special puddles he's
seen and named after various
family members, but alas, when they get to the
required spot the puddles
aren't there anymore. That's the cue for the Tom
to solve the problem of the
disappearing puddles and get them suitably replenished
and restored to
normality once more...
This cute new hardback tale is published April 1st,
by Bodley Head. And
you can pre-order your copy online now from the
folks at Amazon.co.uk,
and help a lowly webmaster recoup some of his
operating costs too.
'The Puddleman's arrival may well dovetail nicely
with the launch of
'Fungus The Bogeyman' - that's the BBC's live-action
Martin Clunes and Fay Ripley that's been
a long time a-coming.
Let's hope so...
the front page... (13.02.04)
Did you see it? Yours Truly has
finally springcleaned the front page
of this not-so-little site. Let's face it, the
old home page was looking a bit
tired. So what do you think - Is it an improvement?
It's mighty tricky,
juggling jolly graphics with speedy load times,
but the new home page
actually matches the old one, size for size...
Now that the old tvtoons
index is up to speed (well, almost) The Hound
has been able to cast his beady eye further abroad
at last. As promised
last month, updated puppets
pages will soon start appearing, plus a few
St. additions. I'm working as quickly as I can to get new
stuff online, but as you can imagine, maintaining
a site this size takes
one heck of a lot of time and effort. Plus there's
the little fact of my own
'secret' project which eats up every spare moment I
have, not to mention
our busy little sister store ToonsToGo
where lots of Spring goodies are
about to - um - 'spring' up. Ee, there's never
a dull moment round
Till next time!