Here's a snorting good idea. Peppa
Pig has teamed up with Tommy's
the baby charity, to help spread the word and
boost their fundraising,
and the first fruits of their ongoing relationship
are a set of four fabulous
little button badges. Each costs a £1, and they
went on sale at the
checkouts of ASDA stores, the length and breadth
of the UK, from
The badges feature Peppa, Daddy Pig, Mummy Pig
and baby George
and they really are delightful little things.
What's more, you can wear
'em with pride, knowing that you've just given
£1 to a very worthy cause.
Tommy's has just a single goal, and that's to
save babies' lives. They fund
research into the cause and prevention of miscarriage,
premature birth as well as promoting pregnancy
health through a national
information programme that is accesible to all
.Tommy's is the exclusive
charity partner for "Peppa Pig" and they'll
be developing various fun
projects with her over the next 18 months, to help
raise those vital funds.
As for Peppa, well, the preschool world simply
hasn't been the same since
Astley Baker Davies' star creation cartwheeled
on to the scene. She's been
a huge hit in Five's "Milkshake!" morning
programme slot, and on Nick Junior.
She's also been oinking off with a sty's worth
of animation awards...
Bleepin' good news (17.01.06)
Good grief, Space Freighter 9 is returning to
duty! - Maverick Entertainment
have just announced the acquisition of intellectual
property rights for Bleep and
Booster and "Bengo the Boxer Pup", from the estate of William
Timym. And now there are plans to bring them back
to our screens as
newfangled tv series.
Viewers of a certain age will recall that "Bleep
and Booster" and "Bengo"
both appeared as animatic episodes on "Blue
Peter" back in its early
days. The former also made regular appearances
in the tie-in annuals,
and in stand-alone books. Their creator "Tim"
Timym turned his skilled
hand to sculpture, too, fashioning memorable pieces
featuring the "Blue
Peter" Alsatian Petra, and guy the Gorilla from
Maverick Entertainment are no strangers to nostalgia,
of course, having
recently transformed Muffin
the Mule into animated form, for a new
So now that old Space Freighter 9 is blasting
off again, to join that
never-ending stream of series and creations from
the past that are
getting reimagined and recycled. It will be
fascinating to see how
"Timm"s glorious artwork is translated. His otherworld
were decidedly "low-tech", and very
much of their era.This was a
production that was low on sophistication, but
very high on charm...
So the figures are almost in, and it's cracking
to see that "Curse of the
Were-Rabbit" is currently the fifth most
successful feature film released in
the UK last year. Wallace and Gromit's first feature
hopped off with £32m,
here in blighty. That's £3m more than "Chicken
Run", back in 2000. The
rabbit may soon lose its current fifth spot to
the mighty "Kong", once
Peter Jackson's Goliath has played out, but even so,
that's still a tidy
take for our claymation pals - who proved even more
Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg!
UK box-office top 10 - 2005 (16/01/05) 1 - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
* 2 - Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith 3 - Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the
Witch... * 4 - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 5 - Wallace &
Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit 6 - King Kong * 7 - War of the Worlds 8 - Meet the Fockers 9 - Madagascar 10 - Hitch
* still playing
Internationally, "Were-Rabbit" has dug
up $183m of business. That's down on
"Chicken Run's" $225m tally, but the
drop can principally be attributed to a
disappointing North American take. Despite opening
at number one in that
key market, and despite being one of the very
best reviewed films of the
year there, and being nominated for an allotment
of awards, it seems that
our dynamic duo were simply too "British"
for our friends across the pond.
The film only harvested $56m stateside, which is just a
little over half of the
amount "Chicken Run" clucked off with, five
and a bit years ago.The shortfall
has even driven
a move for a "loss and write off" at DreamWorks Animation,
for their fourth quarter results, but you can't go
reading too much in to that,
given the twists and turns of Hollywood accountancy.
It's been announced that Maurice Dodd, the writing
that evergreen strip The
Perishers, died on New Year's Eve, aged 83.
Maurice started scripting the strip for the "Daily
Mirror" in the 1950s and
he held the pen for twenty six years, until his
retirement in 1983.
Surely those Perishers need no introduction? Wellington,
Maisie, Marlon, and
Boot the sheepdog formed the nucleus of a
strip that - in its heyday - became
a British institution to rival those "Peanuts"
stars, across the Pond. Dodd
continually played with the characters' vernacular,
dropping letters and
twisting words with great relish. He also
incorporated much social musing
and political commentary into his work, and he
had a particular bee in his
bonnet for the joys of British taxation.
Those perishin' kids soliloquized to the moon
and munched on a gloriously
unhealthy diet of tomato ketchup sandwiches.
The strips were packaged into
popular annual anthologies, and in 1978, the troupe
made the transition into a
very successful tv series - with Dodd and his partner Dennis
closely alongside the folks at FilmFair. The politics
were dropped, as were the
Pete'n'Dud antics of Fred Beetle and Delinquent Caterpillar,
but the show
maintained all the Pygmalion charm of the strips....
Maurice collapsed at home with a brain haemorrhage
on Saturday, and died
later in hospital in Ashford, Surrey. He leaves behind
his wife, Daphne, and
four children, and a cartoon legacy we will treasure
Okay, so if you're a Toonhound regular, you'll
no doubt be wondering
where all the updates have gone. Christmas
has come and gone, but
things have remained pretty stagnant round
these parts. So what's been
Well, how about a site-wide redesign? That's
right, Yours Truly has been
stupidly busy behind the scenes, redesigning
the main indexes for a
New Year Springclean. It had to happen sooner
or later. Toonhound is
getting bloated with old links and dollops
of HTML which serve no
purpose, other than to slow the loading
times of all those site pages.
So now there's a leaner, slimmer design
on the way. It's still HTML.
I've no time for, or knowledge of, CSS and
its ilk. But it's going to be
trim and fit for 2006 and beyond.
So what's in it for the average visitor? Well,
beyond those speedier
pages, not too much. Just clearer presentation.
But more importantly,
MORE presentation because there's a sidebar
to this news story
and that's the fact that ToonsToGo
is, alas, soon to be no more.
ToonsToGo was great fun, and popular too.
We had a blast selling those
Talking Basil Brush Toys, and Koala Brothers
Beanies, but the hassles of
running your own web store are all encompassing.
We had a nightmarish
time sourcing stock, maintaining stock levels,
and negotiating with a
licensing and manufacturing industry which, frankly,
doesn't have a clue
about the collector's market. The lack of
awareness is shocking. Lines
are released and dropped on a whim, with little
information ever passed
on to sellers. Most of the sales staff have
no knowledge of the lines
they've just licensed, who to target, or how
to sell 'em. That's why you
get 100 heroes in different forms, with ne'er
a villain in sight. Product
launches never seem to correspond to broadcasts, in
any shape or form.
And time and again, folks steer lines towards the
when they should be aiming squarely for
folks in the nostalgia bracket.
Oh, if only The Hound ran a licensing firm...
And don't get me started on the bureaucracy
of it all. We've been
squeezed by Red Tape, by the banks, et al.
Though we've kept ourselves
in credit throughout our time, the Suits
remain determined to bring us down.
Really, for the effort involved, the profits
just ain't worth it. Unless you're
already a millionaire, with the clout to
fight your way through the mire....
So that, my friends, is that. There'll be
no more ToonsToGo. But the
upside is that now there'll be far more
time to devote to these pages.
Which means lots more news and information
for you. And our foreign
friends will hopefully be pleased to see
new links being added sitewide,
to Amazon's Region 1 DVDs. It's something many,
many folks have
asked for, and it makes complete sense, given
this site's mission to
"spread the word" around the globe, and
the popularity of those
existing sales links .
But all good things take time. Methinks
it will take a fair few weeks
to bring all site areas into line, given
that each page is updated by
hand (yes, I know it's foolish and unnecessary
in today's templated
world) . Stay tooned for the all-new
Movietoons index first. And do
please let us know what you think of the
new look. There's still time
to tweak stuff if it ain't working