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       Rufus and The King's Beard...

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  King's Beard
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producers: Collingwood O'Hare for Granada
2D animation
      run time: 73 mins

"The story of a beard, a barber, a wand
     and a wizard; where the fate of a fairy and
     an entire Mirrored Kingdom are held in the balance!"


     The first animated feature from Collingwood O'Hare, "The King's Beard" follows
     the exploits of young Rufus, a newcomer to the merry Mirrored Kingdom. Here
     he finds big bearded subjects following the footsteps of an even bigger bearded
     King and as a consequence, having no need for the services of his newly-acquired
     barber shop. Rufus' attempts to redress the whiskery balance unearths an evil plot
     involving the King's maniacal brother, his batty sidekicks, an upside-down realm,
     and the uncertain fate of a newfound fairy friend called Sophie.

       Sophie     Rufus and the evil Jasper

     "The King's Beard" touches upon territory familiar from COH award-winner Rarg,
     with its central idea of a unique kingdom in peril. This time, however, the focus
     is shifted from whimsy to action. "The King's Beard" is stuffed with characters,
     songs, events and occurrences. Indeed, if there's a flaw it's that too much is
     going on in those seventy-three minutes for you to catch your breathe and
     experience the story. But hey, "Beard" is primarily for kids and, on that level
     it works rather well. It certainly makes a pleasant change to gripe about too
     much content, rather than too little!

     Whilst it doesn't quite reach the whimsical heights of "Rarg", "Beard" still offers
     adult appeal via some witty dialogue and asides, some silly song parodies and
     plenty of that attractive Collingwood layout and character design. As far as tv
     feature animation goes, this one pushes its budgetary restraints to the max.
     You gets your money's worth here. Now how about a True Blue theatrical
     feature on a Disney-style budget? - That really would be something special...

     Talking beards

     Tony Collingwood discussed the origins of the film when he talked
      to The Hound, in December 2001

    "As I was finishing "Rarg" I came up with the idea of "The King's
     Beard". I do this writing exercise where you write 10 one-paragraph
     stories in a morning. It stops you looking at a blank piece of paper
     waiting for the big idea to hit. Most days I write 10 absolutely crap
     stories. But occasionally you hit pay dirt. One day I simply wrote:

      "There was once a King who had the longest beard in
       the world, and the entire population tried to grow beards
       just like him. This was fine for everyone in town except
       the barber...

    That was the starting point for writing the film. After that I
    discovered the story by asking questions. Why did he have this
    beard? What would the barber do? It was the "bottom drawer
    project" for ten years, because we were so busy with the series
    work - and quite frankly, making a feature seemed too daunting.
    Chris (O'Hare) really believed in the idea and kept on at me to
    develop it. At the end of 1999 I finally got the script together
    with our story editor Helen Stroud - and now it's done. At last!!!"


     "The King's Beard" - BAFTA invitation

      Screening & broadcast info

      "The King's Beard" had a special BAFTA screening, on 6th November 2001
      (that's The Hound's invitation, above). The film subesquently premiered
       on CiTV, 24th December 2001...


     The King's Beard on DVD

     UK DVD 
The King's Beard
                Region 2 / Granada / January 2003


       written and directed by Tony Collingwood
       produced by Christopher O'Hare

      script editor:   Helen Stroud
      music:            Philip Appleby
      storyboard:    Chris Butler, Arna Selznick,
                           Andrea Tran
      charac des:    Chris Butler
      seq dir:          Vincent Woodcock  
      voices:           Robin Edwards (Rufus)
                           Maria Darling (Sophie)
                           Jim Broadbent (Wizard)
                           Peter Egan (King Cuthbert)
                           Maureen Lipman (Maddie)
                           Allan Corduner (Ronnie)        
                           Jimmy Hibbert (The Babble)
                           Colin McFarlane (Jasper)
                           Kerry Shale (JJ and Batface) 


      On the web

     Collingwood O'Hare 
      The producers' online home...

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© Collingwood O'Hare 2001 / F2006