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Toonhound presents...






      February 2008
 Extra! Extra! - Read all the Toon News!

    Hip! Hip! Hoo-Rarg!

   Rarg comes to DVD...

    Peter & The Oscar
Templeton wins ...

    Just for UZZ
The Secret Show on DVD...

    Aardman awarded

   One BAFTA, one Annie for Aardman...

    Summerton gold
Summerton Mill, series two...

    200 at last!
   A milestone is finally reached...  more »

   news archive »     interviews »      giveaways »

    Hip! Hip! Hoo-Rarg!  (29.02.08)

    They say strange things can happen in a Leap Year. On this
    mysterious 29th day in February, a young maiden may ask her
    true love to marry her. And with that notion in mind, The Hound
    would today like to announce his very own engagement to IMC
    Vision. You see, he's just heard that this lovely company is
    releasing Tony Collingwood's classic film Rarg on DVD, from
    Monday, March 10th...

    Rarg on DVD!

    That's right, folks. Rarg. The dream-busting, flamingo-stuffed wonder
    that Tony brought to life back at The National Film School, twenty
    years ago. The film earned a BAFTA nomination and became the
    springboard for his and Chris O'Hare's enduring production partnership.
    Collingwood O'Hare have since brought us the likes of Oscar's
    Orchestra, Captain Zed, Dennis & Gnasher, Eddy & The Bear,
    Yoko! Jakamoko! Toto!, Gordon Gnome and most recently, the
    action-packed delights of The Secret Show. And they've picked
    up umpteen additional awards and nominations along the way...

    But Rarg was where it all began. An oh-so delightful place where
    the sun doesn't rise until the moment is just... perfect... Tony
    tells us the DVD has been mastered from the original print,
    in a widescreen format. Although some folks may bemoan a lack
    of extras, the plus side is the price, 'cos you can get Rarg for
    just a handful of pounds - which means you've no excuse not to
    run out and buy the thing, day and date.. Come... Visit Rarg...
    Edwin Barnes is waiting for you!...   


    Peter & The Oscar   

    Well, what do you know. The Hollywood hierachy gave this year's
    Oscar® for Best Animated Short Film to Suzie Templeton and Hugh
    Welchman, for their terrific stop-motion adaptation of Peter & The Wolf
    So we have another big British win to sit alongside the likes of
    Great and
"Creature Comforts" and A Close Shave...

    "Peter & The Wolf" from Breakthru Films

    "Peter & The Wolf" was produced as Se-ma-for Studios, in Poland,
     and truly, it's a winner. The protracted intro, sans music, sets the
     scene. It's fabulous stuff, moving to and fro from fun and frolics to
     frustration and hurt. And there's something so intense about our young
     protagonist. It's there, in his eyes, growing as the story progresses and
     his injustice builds. Halfway in to the film, his best friend falls "fowl" of
     the wolf, whereupon a ferocious sense of purpose comes over him,
     And all the while, there's that glorious detail to savour, in the scenery
     and effects, and in the behaviour of the characters themselves. Plus,
     of course, that ridiculously famous score from Prokofiev...

     This really is a film to savour, and one that demands repeated viewing.
     And now it's added an Oscar® to its lengthy list if of festival awards
     it should reach an ever wider world audience for years to come...

Peter & The Wolf


    Just for UZZ   

    Now pay attention. This newsflash will erase after reading.
    BBC Worldwide would like us to know that "The Secret Show" is
    coming to DVD very soon. So set your watches for 14th April 2008,
    and be on the look out for The U.Z.Z. Files - Volume.1. Here's
    a sneak-peek at the cover:

     The Secret Show on DVD!

    This super shiny release features the first 9 action-packed episodes
    of the Collingwood O'Hare series, plus a tidy collection of Top Secret
    extras, including a great piece looking at the voices behind this top
    tv toon. The Hound's had a preview and it must be said, it's a very smart
    release, with some terrific menu presentation and additional animation.

    You know, The Secret Show has proven to be everything we hoped
    for when it was first announced, all that time ago. And more besides.
    It's just so much fun. The show's double-BAFTA triumph last year
    was richly deserved. It's brought a big blast of colour and fun to
    the CBBC schedules. And a host of fluffy bunnies, to boot...

                                                        More: The Secret Show


    Aardman awarded   

    Double congratulations to Aardman Animation this week. They've
    just picked up two top industry awards.

    The first was acquired at the 35th Annie Awards night, held in LA, on
    February 8th. This year's event was dominated by Remy the Rat and
    his "Ratatouille" pals. Brad Bird and Pixar scurried off with 9 awards for
    that hit film. But Aardman were there too, with "Creature Comforts America"
    picking up the Annie for Best Animated Television Production.

    And then, on February 10th, we had that annual Brits bash, the BAFTAs.
    And what do you know, the Short Animation prize went to that
    maginificently creepy couple The Pearce Sisters. It's a delicious
    little film, with an EC Comics twist, and a biting Hebridean wind
    in every frame. It's also horrifically funny, and thoroughly deserves
    its shiny prize...

    Don't believe me? - Well, take a look for yourself. But before you
    click on that PLAY button, below, younger surfers should note this
    film has what they refer to as - er-hum -  mature content...



    Summerton gold   

    Psstt.. Come closer.. The Hound's got something to tell you..
    Something to share.. And it's very special and secret and wonderful
    and once you've seen it for yourself you're going to go tumbling and
    cartwheeling over the hills with glee...

    You see, The Hound's seen the second series of Summerton Mill.
    And it's got the same indefinable magic as the first. There was certainly
    some trepidation there, mind, before the series unfolded. Could Pete
    Bryden, Ed Cookson and company really bottle up that same
    sparkling lightning ball for a second time? Well, fear not, folks.
    Because they can, and they have. Summerton Mill continues
    to defy your expectations. This valley doesn't offer us stories,
    as such. Instead, we are invited to watch curious vignettes and
    moments in the lives of Dan, Fluffa, Dr Naybhur and Mrs Naybhur.
    And - oh - what moments they are.

     Summerton Mill - pure gold!

    Take the episode "The Bottle Organ" in which the Naybhur's invite Dan
    to have a go on their new musical intrument. Dan picks up the sticks..
    and plays... a beguiling, glass-donking tune that comes out of nowhere...
    Then there's "Buried Treasure". When the treasure trove is opened,
    golden rays illuminate the onlookers, and a twinkling music box
    melody surrounds us... There's downright lunacy on offer in "The Story",
    which has Dan reading the most ridiculous self-written sci-fi story
    you've ever heard... And as for "Laughter", well, Dan's own laughter is
    the most terrible, maniacal hackle you'll ever hear in a tv toon...

    Summerton Valley resides in the same golden stretch of countryside
    as the Pingwings' farm, or the Pogles' Wood. It's all too-easy to walk
    on by, but if you stop and look... under the stones... there between the
    trees is a rare and precious thing...

    Everywhere you go right now, folks are rejuvenating classic tv toons,
    they're snapping up licenses and reviving the past. But right here,
    right now, we have a wholly new series to match those same
    favourites from yesteryear. "Summerton Mill" is being distributed
    by VGI Entertainment, and frankly, any broadcaster worth their
    salt should be jostling for this...

 Summerton Mill  VGI Entertainment


   200 at last!  

    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...

    And 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"!

    Anyways, 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
    Till next time!

        Pooch says 'Stay tooned!'

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