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British Movie Toons
     Wendy in action in "Bobthe Builder: Race to the Finish" from HIT Entertainment 

   small spacer
Bob the Builder:
   Race to the Finish
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producers: HOT Animation
                     for HIT Entertainment
stop-motion animation
      run time:

   "Without further ado... I am proud to announce...
    the very first Sunflower Valley Games!"


    What we have here - ladies and gentleman, boys and girls - is Bob the Builder's
    fifth feature-length outing, and his eighth extended adventure, if you throw in his
    three additional half-hours. That's incredible, isn't it? And of course, we mustn't
    forget those one-hundred-and-five original tv episodes, and those seventy-eight
    "Project:Build-it" tales and a whole lot of mini-adventures, pop promos, and
    "On-Site" additions too. So at this stage of the game, you'd forgive the folks
    at HIT Entertainment and HOT Animation if they took their foot off the pedal
    a little, to coast on Bob's success. And they do. Ju-u-ust a little. But we'll
    get to that in a minute. Meanwhile, here's the plot:

    In a move that mirrors the real-life hoopla surrounding the 2012 Olympics in
    London, Sunflower Valley is apparently going to be hosting their very first
    Sunflower Valley Games. And as everyone knows, you can't hold such a
    prestigious event without an equally prestigious sports stadium with which
    to showcase the events. So Bob and his machine gang are given the task
    of building it, and to help them there are two new team members, who
    have rumbled though the valley to join them in Bobland Bay, on the back
    of our lorry pal Packer. Gripper and Grabber are twin cranes with tank tracks
    who hail from the big city (or Liverpool, if their scouse accents are anything
    to go by). They've never been to the countryside before, and are all set to
    have fun, fun, fun together. Only, over the course of the next few days, they
    get themselves separated, with one working alongside Bob's gang, whilst
    the other explores the valley, in turn. And that cause more than a little
    friction between them...

   "The whole valley needs you. Every man, woman and
    child is depending on you, Wendy. Imagine their faces,
    as you fly bravely along the track. You could be our glory,
    our triumph, our chariot of fire. Sunflower Valley's
    sporting superstar!"

    That's Mr Bentley, raving, above. You see, as is normal with these extended
    films, there's a secondary plot on the go, in-between the machines' shenanigans.
    This time, we're focusing on Mr Bentley and Scrambler, who have taken up
    training duties for the athletes, and Bob's almost-nearly girlfriend and coworker
    Wendy. She has to step in to the breach when Sunflower Valley's chosen
    heptathlete (David Dickson, for those who need names) injures himself.
    And that's our cue for protracted training scenes in the hills, as Wendy
    tackles the javelin, shot putt and hurdles, and lots and lots of running.

    Eventually, our two plots come together as Gripper and Grabber tangle in
    the hills, and find themselves - quite literally - hanging off a cliff. That's when
    everyone comes together as a team to save the day, before the games begin
    in earnest. And there's no prize for guessing the winner of the main event!

     He's Gripper and that's Grabber in "Bob the Builder: Race to the Finish" from HIT Entertainment

    Whilst it's nice to see Wendy getting her moment in the sun, there's no
    Soap plotting, this time around. In the past, we've had Bob meeting up with
    his brother, making up with his father, revealing where he comes from, and
    even - possibly - falling for a cowgirl, if you want to read subtext in to
    something where it probably never existed. But there's none of that here.
    And there are no guest voices and characters to surprise us, this time.
    Spud only gets one slim, but funny, scene. Plus, if we're really picky,
    we could argue that Bob's already built a sporty venue before...

    So you can see why The Hound reckons we're coasting a wee bit, this time
    around. But, don't be perturbed, because HOT Animation have once again
    pulled out all the stops to make this film a thing of beauty to behold, and
    their efforts override any short-handedness with the storyline. There's a
    "Chariots of Fire" spoof that comes to us complete with slow-motion
    athletes tumbling on the beach, spraying sand and sweat. It's fabulous.
    And once again, the lighting defies belief. From afternoon glows and long
    shadows, moonlit nights to bright midday sunshine. Ah, 'tis the best.
    And as ever, there are those fabulous character moments and actions
    you spy, like the way in which Wendy has to reset her headband before
    she runs out of frame, or the way in which Mr Bentley's scarf ripples as
    he makes his momentous speech...

    Okay, it's true, we're shortchanged a little in the climax. The games aren't
    as spectacular as they might have been. They're over all too quickly, as well.
    But it's all completely forgivable, because, it's simply a pleasure to be in
    Bob's little world again. HIT and HOT obviously care about their yellow-hatted
    star just as much as we do, and on this showing, there's no reason we can't
    have still more big adventures in Bob's magical valley...

» "Race to the Finish" premiered theatrically in the UK, on  1st November
        2008, at limited engagements, before arriving on DVD a week later...


     See also

       TV Series:
Bob the Builder
       Bob the Builder: Project Build-It

       Bob the Builder: Bob's Big Plan

       Bob the Builder: Built to be Wild
       Bob the Builder: A Christmas to Remember

       Bob the Builder: Knights of Can-a-lot
Bob the Builder: Scrambler to the Rescue
       Bob the Builder: Snowed Under

       Bob the Builder: When Bob Became a Builder


     Race to the Finish on DVD

     UK DVD 
Bob the Builder: Race to the Finish
                 Region 2 / HIT Entertainment / November 2008

     USA DVD 
Bob the Builder: Race to the Finish
                 Region 1 / Lyons/HIT Ent / January 2009


    a HOT Animation Production
    for HIT Entertainment Ltd


producer for HIT:
sup prod for HIT:
assoc producer:
creative producer:
exec producers:

original music:
end credit music

& machines
co-ordinator for HOT:
props master:

CG stadium:
prod runner:
art direction
& realisation:

assistant to
the art directors:

st'board artists:
lighting camera:
ad lighting camera:
camera assistant
& studio manager:
camera assistant:
additional camera
technical support:
dubbing editor:
voice rec studio:
dubbing mixer:
on line:
prod supervisor for HIT:
prod asst/continuity:
US script re-versioning:
script editor:
finance office:

PA to the exec producer:
HR co-ordinators:
head of global
production for HIT:
snr prod man for HIT:
post-prod co-ord
for HOT:

Andy Burns, Geoff Walker
Sam Barlow
Macushla Hughes
Melissa Rogers
Liz Whitaker
Andi Copley, Christopher Skala
Marc Seal
Keith Chapman
Keith Hopwood
Keith Hopwood, Phil Bush
arranged by Keith Hopwood
Paul Couvela, Justin Exley,
Matt Smart, George Laban,
Merike Van de Vijver,
John Chorlton, Felix Pereira,
Steve Cox, Kurste Bythell,
Sarah Pereira, Kim Emson

Mackinnon & Saunders Ltd.

Leigh Manning

Kristian Burdsall, Gemma Slack
The As and When Men
Geraldine Corrrigan, Karen Betty
Nigel Place
Jon Kershaw, Tony morris,
James Taylor
Justin Exley
Jenny Hollinshead
Curtis Jobling

Sam Babrovskie, Richard Edmunds,
Barbara Biddulph

Hilary Utting, John Price,
Michele Pouncey, Trisha Budd
Les Eaves, Vibcent James
Iain Karim, Jason Harris
Paul Smith

Paul Jones
Jamie Kennerley

Ben Jones
Chris Lovegrove
Rob Francis
Catherine Le Cocq
Wild tracks Audio Studios
Paul Harrison
422 Manchester
Emma Fernando
Terry Bane
Lorelei King
Marc Seal
Sarah McQuire, Julia Salt,
Joanne Bell
Sally Jellyman
Donna Myers, Leanne Murphy

Karen Davidsen
Laura Dimaio

Helen Brown
Neil Morrissey (Bob)
Rob Rackstraw (Spud / Travis)
Kate Harbour (Wendy / Dizzy)
Rupert Degas (Scrambler)
Richard Briers
(Bob's Dad Robert)


      On the web

       Bob the Builder
       Bob's built himself a web site, naturally...

       HIT Entertainment
       Bob's owners...

       Mackinnon & Saunders
       Bob's modellers...

       Curtis Jobling
       Bob's designer....

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© HIT Entertainment PLC and Keith Chapman / F2009