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
releasing Tony Collingwood's classic film Rarg
on DVD, from
Monday, March 10th...
That's right, folks. Rarg. The dream-busting,
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
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
But Rarg was where it all began. An oh-so
delightful place where
the sun doesn't rise until the moment is just...
tells us the
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!...
& The Oscar (25.02.08)
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
& The Wolf
So we have another big British win to sit
alongside the likes of Great and
Comforts" and A Close Shave...
"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...
Now pay attention. This newsflash will erase after
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.
a sneak-peek at the cover:
This super shiny release features the first 9 action-packed
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
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
was richly deserved. It's brought a big blast of
colour and fun to
the CBBC schedules. And a host of fluffy bunnies,
Double congratulations to Aardman Animation this
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
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 -
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
sparkling lightning ball for a second time? Well,
fear not, folks.
Because they can, and they have. Summerton Mill
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.
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
favourites from yesteryear. "Summerton Mill"
is being distributed
Entertainment, and frankly, any broadcaster worth their
salt should be jostling for this...
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