Pooch says 'Welcome to Toonhound!'TheHound - an irregular round up of toon news and chatter from the uk

  ...cartoon news interviews and views from the UK!  Union Jack


  british toon
  news & chatter
  animated films
  & shorts

  animated series

  animation studios

  & people

  string, hand
  & finger puppets

  characters, strips
  & comic books

  British animators
  & illustrators



  Click here for Frankie Stein... Click here for Fungus...
   Click here for Bunty...  Click here for Wallace...





Toons for sale at ToonsToGo!




                                                                     July 2004
Extra! Extra! - Read all the Toon News!
Watch this space...
The updates are on their way!...  More...

   Clangers to return
SmallFilms classic, back on tv...

    Strike it rich

Striker hits its shares goal...

    The publicity is GO

Thunderbirds begins its film assault...

    The Ministry needs you

A top toon for Cartoon Forum...

    A bucket full of toons

New toons from Silver Fox!...
   More news:       


   Clangers to return

    'The Sun' and others are today breaking the new big news that Oliver
    Postgate and Peter Firmin's classic 'The Clangers' are to return to terrestrial
    television in a new series for the UK's terrestrial channel Five. What's more,
    the story has gone wide, getting a mention on the likes of GMTV etc.

     Horray for THe Clangers!

    But let's not get too excited, because, if you look closely at the detail, you'll
    find that Tiny and the gang are actually only returning for re-shoots, idents and
    publicity photos prior to the re-launch of the original shows. No new episodes
    are actually planned - at least, none as yet. Instead, Five are treating us to the
    remastered originals, spruced up and dusted down for a modern audience,
    together with some all-new 'stings' . But hey, that's news enough, methinks...

    As a sideline to the hoo-haa, there is also talk of the hunt for the missing
    Clanger. And it's talk with a bit more substance because, back in 1972,
    the original Mother Clanger puppet was stolen. Apparently, the BBC asked
    to use them at a conference exhibition, and during said event Mother
    vanished in to the ether, never to be seen again. Now the folks at 'The Sun'
    want information on her whereabouts and they're encouraging anyone
    who might know to get in touch.

    Five have scored big with nostalgia before, of course. Witness 'Roobarb's
    success t'other year. And as for Smallfilms, well, they're re on something of a
    roll again this year, what with Bagpuss' birthday in the news, a new wave of
    collectibles hitting stores and now this high-profile re-launch...
    Remarkable, isn't it? - Nyeh, nyeh...

The Sun   Oliver Postgate


   Strike it rich

    Pete Nash and the gang at Striker 3D must be doing the Peacock Strut
    this week, with the news that their 'Striker' shares issue has scored with
    the comic-buying public.

    As reported previously, 'Striker', the CGI football comic had been on the
    horns of a dilemma of late. In need of a cash injection to keep the title
    going, Striker 3D opted to raise the £300K they needed through a
    shares issue. Whilst some in the financial echelons scoffed at their plans,
    comics fans dug deep and this week, Pete Nash revealed a final cash
    tally of some £332,375 - £202,375 having come from the public at large.
    That's an extraordinary figure for a shares issue that had to be rushed
    through the system at such a late hour, and hats must certainly be doffed
    to the team for having scored in Extra Time like this...

    That much-needed moolah now means that 'Striker' will remain a weekly
    title for all to read. Which is muddy brilliant, because this is a top comic
    with big plans. In recent issues, Mr Nash has been putting forward the
    idea of reprinting some classic football strips of yesteryear, like 'Billy's
    Boots', 'Kangaroo Kid', 'Lags Eleven', Royal's Rangers', 'Hot Shot Hamish'
    and more - great nostalgic stuff for the older comics readers who make up
    the largest slice of their readership. These would sit along the main
    'Striker' strip, which is a modern classic of its own. The current tale
    features the Warbury Warriors team on their Summer tour of Scotland,
    where their loudmouthed manager, Eric Openshaw has found himself
    embroiled in a murdrous plot that's part 'Misery', part 'Deliverance' and
    laugh-out loud hilarious...

    'Striker' still needs to boost its weekly sales, though, so if you haven't
    dipped into it yet, do yourself a favour and track it down!

Striker 3D


   The publicity is GO

     Crikey, 'Thunderbirds' are well and truly GO this week in the UK.

     Working Title have launched a veritable tidal wave of publicity for their live-action
     film, across all media. Jonathan Frakes, the stars, Sylvia Anderson and even the
     original series puppets have graced our daily papers, radio shows and the likes
     of tv's 'Good Morning', 'GMTV' and 'BBC Breakfast', and in-between we've been
     assaulted by tie-in promo adverts from the folks at Ford and Burger King, playing
     in the ad breaks. It's been quite extraordinary...

      Spot the difference: GMTV's Jenni and Lady P.

     One name missing from the prerelease razzmatazz has, of course, been co-creator
     Gerry Anderson. Gerry is currently knee-deep is Mysteron doings at Pinewood as
     he toils away on his CGI 'CaptainScarlet' series. Last year, a rumour went round
     that he was to be paid to support the 'Thunderbirds' movie with his name and face.
     But those rumours have been well-and-truly quashed now, with Gerry stating that
     he has no wish to associate himself with the feature. And that's a shame, because
     one can't help thinking that, had the filmmakers been just a little braver, there
     needn't have been such a debate in the first place.

     To be frank, though, whether the fans, Gerry, or you or I actually like the new film
     or not has become almost redundant. This film is guaranteed a strong UK opening,
     in the same way that 'The Flintstones', 'Scooby Doo', and 'Tomb Raider' were able to
     run roughshod over any critical debate, all the way to the box-office bank.

     Stand by for action, folks...

Official Movie Site


   The Ministry needs you

    Cartoon Forum is an annual event in the animation calendar and it
    serves as meeting point for European production outfits and broadcasters.
    Projects are pitched, money is put on the table and funding and broadcast
    deals for new toons are put in place. This year's event is being held
    22nd-to-25th September in Galicia, Spain, and already folks are beginning
    to trumpet their projects in advance of the event itself.

      The Ministry from My Team Animation

    My Team Animation are one such outfit, and this happening team from
    Newcastle are about to launch their heavenly new series 'The Ministry' upon
    an unsuspecting market. The show is being billed as a divine comedy, or
    rather, heaven with red tape and it centers on the character of God T.
    Almighty and his crack Universal Management team based at the Ministry.
    These fellows must battle ex-Ministry employee Lucifer and his rival
    corporation H.E.L.L. Inc. for nothing shorter than the control of the welfare
    and administration of the universe. Channel 4 are sponsoring the toon at
    at this year's Forum event - which suggests that a fully-sanctified commission
    may follow soon.

    To get the promotional ball rolling, a special tie-in web-site is due to be
    launched on Friday 16th July. The site will give visitors the chance to drop
    by the Ministry itself and get to know the boys. Also launching the same day
    is My Team's own corporate site, so you can get to know the folks behind
    the toon too. On a technical level, My Team are making animation waves
    right now through their work combing Plastic Animation Paper (PAP) with
    Animo 6.0 - a technique which allows animators to draw straight to the
    computer screen and thus create all their animation in the digital realm,
    sans paper. And they'll be using this technique on 'The Ministry', if and
    when it gets into production...

    So is 'The Ministry' a preordained hit? - Your guess is as good as mine.
    But you can bet I'll be dropping by these sites, come the end of the week!...

The Ministry   My Team Animation


   A bucket full of toons

    News of some top toons this month, courtesy of Graham Ralph and
    Silver Fox Films.

    First on the development slate is 'Lemmings'. This 80 minute film stars
    a lemming called Leroy who decides there's more to life than simply
    leaping off cliffs to your doom, and there's a promo page for the film on the
    Silver Fox site, together with a couple of images. It sounds very sweet, and
    should be very much in keeping with past productions 'The First Snow Of
    Winter' and 'Second Star To The Left'.

    Then there's 'Harry And His Bucket Full Of Dinosaurs', a new series
    of 52 x 11min episodes, being produced in conjunction with the folks
    at Collingwood O'Hare. Harry was created by author Ian Whybrow, and
    he's the star of a popular series of children's picture books, illustrated by
    Adrian Reynolds. Harry's following in the footsteps of another Whybrow star,
    'Little Wolf', who featured in his own tv special back in 2002, and is soon to
    be seen in his own series, courtesy of Lupus Films. As for Harry, well,
    he has bucket full of living breathing dinosaurs - just like it says in the
    title. The series has Home Run Hit all over it, and is bound to fare
    well when it airs in 2005.

    Meanwhile, Silver Fox remain hard at work developing their frog-filled
    CGI feature film 'Water Warriors' (previewed last year), and there's a
    couple of fab new froggy pictures on their site for us to feast upon.
    And on top of all of this there's the tantalizing prospect of a second series
    of 'Spider', currently in development at the studio. Now there's a show with
    legs (sorry). TheHound gets very many happy emails about this one still
    today, a dozen years after it first aired. All together now: 'Here I am alone
    in the drain...'

    Hmm. Sounds like there's little chance of being alone at Silver Fox,
    what with so much going on right now!...
Silver Fox Films


   Watch this space...  

    Yes indeed, folks, keep watching this space because things have been
    deceptively quiet on the site in recent weeks. To steal a title from a
    forthcoming toon: there are a bucketful of updates on their way to the
    site over the coming month.

    The first of these updates is just about to strike the TvToons section. There'll
    be a tweaked page design, for starters, and rejigged info on every page.
    Many of the links needed updating, so this has been duly done (just about).
    But better yet, there should be lots more series identified and indexed for
    your enjoyment, taking the indexing comfortably past 150 different shows
    and productions. Updating this site is tricky. Folks seem to like its
    accessibility (quick-loading pages, no-nonsense layout, etc). There appears
    to be little point in completely redesigning this vessel, especially as it
    takes an age to catch up with the workload here. So the changes will
    be slight and sleek, but sizable - if you get what I mean...

    Once the TvToons section launches, I'll be burying myself head-first in
    to the Movietoons section, and - ideally - that oft-promised, never-yet-
    delivered Toon Movie Mini Guide should at last appear online. I think
    that one was first promised to you 14 months ago - Ouch!

    And then? - Why, then it's time to roll up my sleeves and finally tackle
    the behemoths that are the Comics and Puppets sections of this site.
    Those poor sections have been sorely neglected over the years, with
    many pages still sporting their original formats from 2001-2002. It's a
    disgrace, actually, and I promise I'll be rectifying this just as soon as
    I possibly can.

    A Hound's work is never done - *sigh*
    Till next time!

        Pooch says 'Stay tooned!'     thehound@toonhound.com

  all characters © to their respective estates/creators / F2000-2004