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Toonhound presents...






      February 2007
 Extra! Extra! - Read all the Toon News!

    Prize rats
   Flushed Away collects 5 Annies...

    I.T.S. back
   The Secret Show returns...

    Mega stuff!
   2000AD turns thirty...

    Raising the Tempo
   More FilmFair DVDs to buy...

    Festive fun
   An evening with Mr Benn...

    This is a box...

   Trumptonshire meets Life on Mars...

    Crappy New Year
   The Hound's woeful Christmas...   more »

     news archive »     interviews »      giveaways »

   Mega stuff!  

    This week that galactic great "2000AD" is celebrating its 30th anniversary.
    Issue number one poppped up with its free Space Spinner towards the end
    of February 1977. Notice the vagueness there. That's because there's been
    a little debate about the actual anniversary date (cue Lew Stinger).
    Whilst officially it's billed as being 26th February 1977, the first issue
    actually went on sale a week before, on February 19th!

    2000AD - issue number one!

    But let's not wrangle over dates. The fact is "2000AD" has been perched
    at the top of Britain's comic tree for three whole decades and there's
    been a glut of articles hitting the web in celebration of this top publication.
    "2000AD" flew into shops on the back of the "Star Wars" craze, and
    although it was originally aimed at a younger audience, an adult
    readership quickly picked up on its political sideswipes and clever
    sci-fi twists. Over the years, its stand out stars have included the
    likes of "Rogue Trooper", "Halo Jones", "The ABC Warriors",
    and "Nemesis the Warlock", and a certain Mr Dredd...

    Ah yes. Judge Dredd. The biggest, baddest Judge in Mega-City One.
    Dredd's been a comic book star, crossover star, computer games star
    and failed movie star. He's a Brit-comic icon all on his own. Although
    it must be said, he didn't appear until issue two, and that old stalwart
    "Dan Dare" grabbed the first issue centre-spead all for himself. That
    means Dredd's anniversary is still seven days away... Except those
    dates are wrong... So it's his birthday today...?

    Well, we won't tell him, if you won't.

2000ad online


   Raising the Tempo  (27.02.07)

    Start saving your pocket money , folks, because March is going to be
    a very busy month for DVD releases.

   Tempo TV Classics from Abbey Home Media!

    First out of the block are our friends at Abbey Home Media. They have
    9 new FilmFair DVDs on their slate, to be released under their Tempo
    TV Classics banner. The titles follow on from last year's launch range,
    so we're getting another giddy mixture of stop-motion and 2D classics
    from what was formerly one of the UK's very brightest production outfits.

    Here's the schedule:

    5th March - The Wombles: Tobermory on Television
                       The Dreamstone: The Invisible Blob

    12th March - The Perishers: The Skateboard Champion

                         Moschops: Ally Takes to the Air

    19th March - Huxley Pig: Something Cooking

                        Nellie The Elephant: Nellie and the Haunted House

    26th March - The Gingerbread Man: A Pinch of Salt

                        Hattytown Tales: Going Fishing

                        The Adventures of Portland Bill: Atmospheric Interference
    These new titles join Paddington Hits the Jackpot, which hit stores
    back in January. It's a release that slipped under the Toonhound radar,
    but really mustn't be overlooked. FilmFair's adaptation is surely the
    definitive take on the character. There's such a unique design to
    the show, and magnificent narration from sir Michael Hordern..

    You know, last year's releases were met with a mixed reaction from the
    folks who visit this site. Many muttered about the lack of genuine extras on
    the discs, and the fact that Abbey seemed to be tailoring the releases
    to a younger audience. And they're quite right. These series have an
    informed older audience out there, too. It would have been great to
    have a word or two from some of the FilmFair folks who made these
    classic shows, or a look at their place in the animated world, and their
    impact on our teatime scheduling. But let's not look a gift horse in
    the mouth. We're finally getting to see a whole raft of series which have
    been languishing on the shelf for far too long. And what's more, we can
    get them at a very affordable price, which means we're not having to pick
    and choose our way through the collection. Moschops, Huxley Pig,
    Portland Bill - these really are top toons on anyone's list, regardless
    of their format or presentation. The Dreamstone still has an avid
    fan base. And let's not forget those wonderful wandering Wombles.
    Yes, The Hound will have one of each, if you please...

    Well, that's Toonhound's tuppence, at least. And believe me, you'll
    be needing every tuppence you can get your paws on when you find
    out what else is due very soon!

Abbey Home Media


   Festive fun  

    If you're in Central London on 27th February, you might want to
    don a fancy dress costume and make for the Animation Art Gallery
    in Great Castle Street, W1. That's because Mr Benn himself,
    David McKee and longtime toon partner Clive Juster will be putting
    in an appearance at the gallery, from 6.00pm, to chat about their
    bowler hatted friend, and to sign
some of the wonderful limited
    edition giclee prints the gallery has for sale.

    Mr Benn prints from the Animation Art Gallery

    Seriously, folks, these are terrific prints. The Hound recently
    acquired the "Festive Road" piece, and it's a beauty. It's one of
    four signed pieces The Animation Art Gallery have been selling.
    They measure 22" x 19" and each has been limited to just
    50 editions. What's more, next Tuesday's event will herald the
    unveiling of an exciting fifth print, as yet unseen by anyone
    outside the gallery. And needless to say, The Hound is
    already poised to make another order!

    There's something just so appealing in Mr Benn and his farflung
    adventures. The DVD has been a huge hit with the folks who visit
    Toonhound. Similarly, that fantastic range of Robert Harrop
    figures and special editions (you can buy those from Boojog).
    The Gallery tell me the "Festive Road" piece has already
    sold out, so don't hang around. These really are "magic"
    collectables for fans, and Tuesday's bash should see
    many more pieces sold...

The Animation Art Gallery


   This is a box...  (12.02.07)

    If you've been watching BBC1 recently, you'll hopefully have seen
    the rather splendid promos produced for the new series of "Life on Mars".
    That's the live-action series about the cop in a coma, set in a make-believe
    70s England, with Chopper bikes, Spacehoppers, T-Rex and Garibaldis.
    Even the title takes its cue from David Bowie's classic track...

     Life on Mars - Sam Tyler says "hello"...

    Well lookee here, Trumptonshire has just been added to the mix in the form
    of an animated parody of "Camberwick Green". Our hero (Sam Tyler) is now
    a Murrayesque character in a leather jacket, who's seen atop a musical
    box, waving to camera, before we cut to his pal Gene, beating up a guy
    in an alleyway. The parody was put together by Geoff Walker and
    HOT Animation, of Bob the Builder fame, and it's the company's first
    "adult" commission. Their footage forms the intro to one of the
"Life on Mars" episodes (episode 5, it's mooted), but of course,
    the Beeb couldn't resist letting this little snippet play as a teaser.
    And it's certainlty done its job, judging by the number of emails
    The Hound has received about it!

    You can catch up with this short sharp promo here.

    Of course, you could argue that the three Trumptonshire series arrived
    in the 1960s. But just as many folks recall the plethora of Watch With
    Mother repeats and the tie-in goodies that hit the market in the
    early 70s... And... Well, enough with the nitpcking. Let's just
    savour that short-but-great little promo!

    "Life on Mars" begins its new run on BBC1, 13th February, at 9.00pm.


   Prize rats  

    On Saturday, ASIFA-Hollywood held their 3th annual shebang,
    known to you and I as the Annie Awards, in Glendale California.
    And lo and behold, Aardman and DreamWorks collected five of
    their shiny trophies for "Flushed Away".

    The film won prizes for Animated Effects, Feature Character Animation,
    and Feature Production Design, Ian McKellen was trumpeted for Best
    Feature Voice Acting, and the film's script by Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais,
    Christopher Lloyd, Joe Keenan and Will Davies was given the Feature
    Writing Prize. On top of that, a sixth prize went to "Flushed Away the
    Game," from D3 Publisher of America, which was named best
    animated video game.

    In the end, "Flushed Away" sailed off with more trophies than any
    of the other nominees, including Pixar's "Cars", which won the Best
    Animated Feature prize. And that's two years in a row that
    Aardman/DreamWorks have dominated the animation industry's
    big awards night (last year, "Were-Rabbit" stormed the celebrations).
    How ironic that this big-hitting duo have now gone their separate

    Mind you, Roddy and friends missed out over here. In last night's
    BAFTA ceremony, "Happy Feet" collected the golden face mask
    for Animated Feature Film. And yet again, The Hound has cursed
    a favoured toon, because Joanna Quinn was beaten to the Short
    Animation prize by Ian Gouldstone and his "Guy 101". Well done, Ian.
    And well done to those rats, who must be simply "flushed" with
    their success!

                                                                     More: Annie Awards


   I.T.S back  (08.02.07)

    That super series The Secret Show returns to our tv screens
    next week. It's a central plank in the new Saturday morning line-up
    on CBBC, and it begins its run at 10:45am, on Saturday
    17th February on BBC2.

    Lucky Leo takes flight!
    Series Two kicks off with the classic episode "Lucky Leo", with
    Stephen Fry guest-starring as the titular villain. You might recall
    this one was actually the series pilot, right back at the start of things.
    Well it's been given a makeover since then, so that we lucky viewers
    can watch an even funnier encounter between Victor and Anita
    and the luckiest man alive. And even luckier, there's a press
    release to accompany Leo's arrival:

    "Lucky Leo was born with a ‘lucky gene’ and is the
    luckiest man in the world. Luck has brought him great
    riches, without even trying. Now he’s winning all the
    world’s elections, simply because he’s entered them.
    Can secret agents Victor Volt and Anita Knight stop
    Lucky Leo taking over the world through sheer luck?
    There’s just 24 hours to find out…

    "Lucky Leo" launches us into a run of 26 all-new action-packed
     episodes, courtesy of Tony Collingwood and the team at Collingwood
     O'Hare. This top toon is also supported by a bloomin' good web site,
     which The Hound trumpeted back in November, and is - I'm told - the
     largest site ever created to accompany the launch of a British
     Cartoon Series.

     Let's hope Lady Luck continues to shine of the show so that
     W.E. can get to see even more of T.H.E.M. and U.Z.Z. at play...

                                                       More: The Secret Show


   Crappy New Year  

    So how was it for you? - Christmas, I mean. If you're still feeling
    bloated and elated from the New Year festivities, then I'm delighted
    for you, I really am. Just don't ask me about mine.

    Let's step back in time a few weeks. On December 5th, whilst surfing
    the wonders of the web, my not-so-super PC casually inquired if I'd like
    to download the latest upgrades from Microsoft. And coincidentally,
    Symantec advised me that my Norton subscription was about to expire.
    Would I like to upgrade to Norton 2007?

    Unfortunately, I said "yes" to both and the result sent my PC spiralling
    into microchip oblivion. Thus, I was offline for the better part of two weeks,
    and this here web site was devoid of updates until my all-singing, all-dancing
    New Machine showed up. But alas, just as I'd safely transferred a whole
    heap of files and software to this shiny new machine, its right-click
    function decided to pack in.

    That was the cue for another week of frustration as I firstly attempted
    to resolve the problem before latterly reverted to a complete reformatting
    of what was obviously a not-so-super new computer after all. And in
    between the two PCs a stack of contacts, info, downloads and details
    were lost to that great microchip in the sky. Plus, of course, this here
    site was set adrift, alone and neglected over the Holiday period.

    So please don't ask me about Christmas or New Year. Ask me about
    the future. What does 2007 have in store for Toonhound? Well, plenty.
    Lots more indexed series and films, for starters, and lots more news
    and some big surprises are on their way...

    Till next time!

        Pooch says 'Stay tooned!'

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