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Toonhound presents...






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

    BAFTA shorts

   The three nominees are...

    Cat chat
Frankenstein's Cat is finally here...

    There's been a Murdoch!
PC Murdoch, that is...

    More Frankenfun
 It's Pedro and Frankensheep...

    Oscar and the Wolf
Templeton film gets a nod...

    More Toss for you
Modern Toss returns...

    Its magic!

    Another Mr Benn print...

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

   news archive »     interviews »      giveaways »

    More Frankenfun   

    Isn't it typical? - You wait eons for a good old-fashioned Frankenstein
    spoof, and then two turn up together, nose-to-tail. You see, whilst this
    Hound has been raving for far too long about the feline pleasures of
    "Frankenstein's Cat" (via Curtis Jobling) , the Brothers McLeod have
    been tinkering away in their own cartoon laboratory. They've stitched
    and hammered and toiled.. they've added a dash of Clasky Csupo
    craziness... some SpongeBob anarchy.. and they've constructed... er...
    a cyborg sheep... and two ticks and - um - a Guinea pig-thing...
    and they've sent them to Lake Poopo in Bolivia...

    Yep. "Pedro and Frankensheep" is on its way to CBBC this February.
    And this 10 x 5min series is a freewheeling, off-the-wall triumph.
    But how to describe it, exactly? - Take a look for yourself:


    "Sleep, Guinea pig, sleep!
    If you don't your head will explode!"

    Now that's a lullaby. And if you like that, there are a bunch
    more song-filled episodes to view on the CBBC web site.

    What a great little series. Full of bug-eyed invention, and something
    that's clearly been created outside of any corporate corridors. By the
    way, in a spooky bit of cross-series pollination, Myles McLeod tells
    me he's also written three episodes of "Frankenstein's Cat"!

    It's enough to make your brain ache, it really is.

    Now what we say the other day: 2008 is the Year of the Cat?
    Well, that needs adjusting right now, 'cos 2008 is most surely
    now the Year of the Frank!

The Brothers McLeod

    Oscar and the Wolf   

    Big congratulations today for Suzie Templeton, Hugh Welchman,
    Breakthru Films, Se-ma-for Studios and Storm Studios. Their stop-motion
    adaptation of Peter and the Wolf has been nominated for Best
    Animated Short Film at the 80th Annual Academy Awards...

    This year's short film selection is a doozy, with five films representing
    a sizable range of animated styles and media:

    Meme Les Pigeons Vont au Paradis
    (Samuel Tourneux, Simon Vanesse)
    I Met The Walrus
    (Josh Raskin)

    Madame Tutli-Putli
    (NFB, Chris Lavis, Maciek Szczerbowski)

    Moya Lyubov
    (Alexander Petrov)

Peter and the Wolf
    (Suzie Templeton, Hugh Welchman)

    This is a very fine selection, and it's going to be tough choice, come
    Awards Night. Right now, the smarter money seems to leaning towards
    the sublime "Madame Tutli-Putli". But is it too esoteric for the Academy?
    And you can't ignore the magnificent work on "Moya Lyubov" (My Love)
    either. And then there's our Templeton Wolf. It's a very accesible film,
    and beautifully crafted. Oh, we could preguess all day if we want.
    But on Oscar night, anything can happen, so let's keep our paws
    crossed for the Wolf on 24th February.

    Of course, for us in the UK, "Peter and the Wolf" has aired on tv and
    moved on to DVD a long while ago. But the film only reached big
    screens in the USA in 2007. Hence its Oscar qualification...
                                                              More: Breakthru Films


    More Toss for you   

    It's crude. It's rude and scattergun with its lampooning. And those
    comedy bullets will skim over the heads of many-a-viewer. But others
    can't wait to be struck by 'em...

    What are we talking about? - Modern Toss, of course. Stephen
    Cavalier tells us that Series Two is in the bag and ready for transmission
    on Channel 4 from 23rd January. Now Spy Pictures' animation may look as
    simple as Simon's pieman, but when it works, it works so sublimely. This
    Hound loves the Space Arguments, in particular. So he's delighted to hear
    they will be returning, in even longer sequences. And it gives us a jolly
    good excuse to post this YouTube clip. Don't worry about it's content,
    though. This one's PG certificate, unlike most of the Toss toons!


                                            More: Modern Toss  Spy Pictures

    It's magic!   

    Yes, I know. This Hound's been raving about far too many giclee
    art prints over the last twelve months. And far too often, too.
    But you know... We're in a special place right now... We've gone
    from an era almost devoid of British goodies, to one which is
    positively dripping with delights, and honestly, these things are
    just too good - and too relevant - to pass over. After all, if you're
    a fan of all-things British and animated, if you're a sucker for
    all those classic creations of the past, then chances are you'll
    be just as delighted with all these fabulous art pieces...

    Well, that's what I'm banking on, anyways.

    And so, we can finally get to the crux of this particular story.
    You see, The Animation Art Gallery in London have recently launched
    another extrordinary Mr Benn giclee. And it's quite probably the best
    yet. The print is called The Costume Shop. It measures 29" x 25"
    and is restricted to just 200 editions. And frankly, if one of these
    doesn't make it to my home I think I shall die lonely, stinking
    and afraid in some desolate hole...

    "The Costume Shop" - new from The Animation Art Gallery!

    Ain't she beautiful?

    Aside from Mr Benn prints, there's a second reason for plugging
    the AAG again this month. They're being highlighted in one particular
    daily newspaper, 'cos The Times is currently fanfaring a series of
    articles regarding classic kids tv of the past and present. They've been
    enouraging readers to share their views on their favourite kids tv
    series, and they've been giving away DVDs of shows via coupons
    in the daily editions. Plus, our friendly neighbourhood Gallery has
    been running two rather spiffy tie-in competitions. In the first, folks can
    win an original DangerMouse cel for their wall. And if they don't win this
    most handsome and desirable top prize, there are are runner-up
    DM art giclee editions up for grabs too, as created by Brian
    Cosgrove... And in the second, well, it's our old friend Mr Benn
    again. Yep. You can win a copy of Mr Benn Waving. The Hound's
    already got one of those, and let me tell you, they're fab, fab,
    fabbity-fab. With fab on.

    Mr Benn and DangerMouse are just two of the creations which the
    AAG are promoting under their Art You Grew Up With banner. Check
    by their web site to find out who else is on their slate...

    Ohhh... more art... must have... wallet empty...

The Animation At Gallery


    BAFTA Shorts   

    Three great animated shorts have been nominated for this year's
    Short Animation BAFTA. Now, just before we get confused, this
    particular award stands apart from the Children's BAFTAs, awarded
    at the end of last year. Think of it as the grown up cousin, although
    frankly, there's just as much artistic integrity in many a pre-school
    series, but we can see where they're coming on...

    Anyways, here are the three nominees:

   John McCloskey/Pearse Moore - Raw Nerve Prods Ltd

   Luis Cook/Jo Allen - Aardman Animation

   Osbert Parker/Fiona Pitkin/Ian Gouldstone - LUX/Channel 4

    As to choosing a winner, well, those twisted Pearce Sisters have
    been a big hit on the festival circuit over the last year. There's an official
    Aardman site for the film, with clips and background info too, and
    it's got a really raw, chillblained atmosphere to it...

    "Head Over Heels" is a film this Hound has yet to see, but Osbert Parker
    has a signature approach to film making which involves mixing cut-outs
    with live-action and other media...

    And then there's that Crumblegiant. T'is a beguiling film, indeed,
    with Bernard Hill narrating... Such beautiful movement... Here's
    a clip for you:

So that's your trio. We'll find out which of them collects that
    coveted prize on Sunday 10th February. And similarly, we'll learn
    which of the three big American productions walk off with this
    year's BAFTA for Animated Film. That's the prize most recently
    collected by Wallace and Gromit, with their Were-Rabbit in tow.
    This year's nominees are of course, Brit-free. Instead, RATATOUILLE,
    SHREK THE THIRD and THE SIMPSONS MOVIE will be slugging
    it out for that shiny smiley face...


    Cat chat  (15.01.08)

    "Gather round kids, 'cos I've got a tail ..."

    Finally! - The freaky fun series we've been waiting for is about to premiere
    on CBBC. "Frankenstein's Cat" is the brainmoggy of the multitalented
    Curtis Jobling, and he's been stitched together by Mackinnon & Saunders
    and Kayenta Production (in association with CCI). Put simply, Nine the
    cat is a munster moggy created by the twisted genius that is Dr Frankenstein.
    He's a patchwork of fur and thread that's prone to falling apart, but he's all
    heart inside and he and his best friend Lotte get up to all sorts of mischief
    around their Transylvanian hometown. Oh yes, and  his squeakily familiar
    voice is delivered by the one and only  Joe Pasquale.

    Goodness, this is a show that seems to have taken an age to get to our
    screens. The foul but friendly feline began as a stop-motion project, before
    contorting into two dimensions. The show looked like it was about
    to nestle into the Autumn schedules last year, but at last we can set
    our recorders for the CBBC Channel, on February  4th at 6.00pm,
    And then we can all get to listen to that brilliant theme song, with
    lyrics by Alan Gilbey, which is worth the price of admission on its own.
    Seriously, folks will be humming this one in the playground, on the Bus
    and down the Pub in years to come. And just to tease us still
    further, there's a series trailer now online for our perusal:


     See what I mean? - It's infectious!

     Oh, but just before we move on. Let's hear it for Curtis Jobling's
     very own, and very real, pet cat called Ernie. You see, the poor
     fellow fell victim to a horrible drive-by shooting, in the week
     before Christmas. Seriously. He was shot in the rump, just by
     his tail and has had to undergo some very painful and unpleasant
     surgery and recuperation as a result of the "prank". How ironic.
     And horrible. Ernie, we wish you all the best, we really do...

And as for the show, well,  you heard it here, people.
     2008 is definitely the Year of the Cat!

Frankenstein's Cat


    There's been a Murdoch!   

    No, really. Dreadful Taggart puns aside, today we've learned that
    Oor Wullie's flatfooted antagonist - PC murdoch - was based upon
    a very real police constable and contemporary friend of cartoonist
    Dudley D Watkins!

    Sandy Marnoch was as a reserve constable in Kincardine, along
    with Watkins, who served time in the force during the war. And
    Watkins drew upon Marnoch's no-nonsense approach to police
    procedure when he was creating the character for DC Thomson.

    So why is this news today? - Well, a photo of the Kincardine coppers
    was recently given to the force, and it's now hanging in the
    Kincardine's spanking new police facility...

    And whilst we're Wullieing (?!), this smashing bit of china evidently
    passed me by in the Christmas rush:

     "Maw, Paw and The Bairn", as scuplted by Perer Davidson/copyright DC Thomson

    See? - It's a limited edition Broons figurine, created especially by
    current artist Peter Davidson, and its release follows up on the hugely
    succeful Oor Wullie edition he sculpted back in 2006. This time,
    we're presented with Maw and Paw Broon, and The Bairn, and
    only 3300 pieces have been produced. If it's anything like as
    popular, these Sunday Post stars will sell-out in doublequick
    time. So you can purchase yours right now, via the DC Thomson
    web store, so help me boab!...


   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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