big news this month is the launch of a brand new cartoon version of
Atkinson's Mr Bean!
Bean - The Animated Series stars the stupendously
daft Mr Bean, his favourite
teddy bear and a variety of poor souls unfortunate
enough to come into contact
with the man, including his landlady Mrs Wicket,
her cat Scrapper and Mr Bean's
very own geeky girlfriend Irma Gobb...
It's taken two years to produce the 26 commissioned
episodes. An animation
team of 200 toiled away in Budapest via Atkinson's
production company Tiger
Aspect and London-based Richard Purdham Productions.
There are 2 tales in
each half-hour episode. Atkinson himself was filmed
acting each story for
In a brave prime-time first, Bean starts Saturday,
2nd March at 5.10pm on ITV1.
The Hound's eyes will be glued to the ratings for
the show. If Bean hits gold it
could well open the floodgates for other primetime
toons at last, freeing
animation from the shackles of 'cultdom'. By all
accounts Bean is quite fun,
bright, and just might win over the masses.
But, it wouldn't be right to end
without just a teensy moan, would it? Whilst
The Hound here applauds this
Big Step for animation, he is just a little disheartened
to see a pre-established
creation like this getting First Foot in such a slot.
An all-new toon would
have been wonderfully courageous. Still, like
I say, good luck to 'em...
For a whole heap of animated Bean info, clips,
and a complete episode
guide, stop by the official site:
...Er, at least, it could be.
In a bizarre, exciting, stimulating, even perhaps
baffling move FreemantleMedia
have recently announced a casting call for the title
role of Jamie in a live-action
'Jamie And The Magic Torch' advertising campaign and
a possible big screen
'JATMT' as it shall henceforth be referred to,
was a True Blue Cosgrove Hall
animated classic from the seventies starring Jamie,
his big furred pooch
Wordsworth and a magical item which, when shone at
night, sent boy and
dog spiraling down a helter-skelter skelter into a
psychedelic land of nonsense and
Now 'JATMT' in an ad campaign is one thing. But
'JATMT' as a fully-fledged
real-life movie? Hmm. I'm not sure about that.
Would it have a wider audience
outside of Britain? And what about the budget involved
in transforming the toon
in to a Big Screen extravaganza - there are umpteen
potholes to negotiate on
the rocky road to box office success. What would
be really great, and have
an unstoppably long shelf-life would be a 'JATMT'
animated feature. Still, on
the advertising front that there casting call has done
the trick hasn't it? I mean,
everyone's talking about the show again, and we'll
all be ready and waiting
for the ad campaign, in whatever form it takes...
Check out the Toonhound
Jamie page for links to the original...
it really is a giddy month for cartoon adaptations. Now the BBC have
seemingly topped both Bean and Jamie with the
announcement of a live-action
tv adaptation of Raymond Briggs' classic work 'Fungus
Fungus, as regulars here must surely know, is
a particular Toonhound fave.
Written back in 1977, Briggs' slimy volume details
the miserable existence
of Fungus, a big green bogeyman from Bogeyland who
wallows in slime and
self-pity, and whose one duty seems to be to scare
the bejeezus out of us
humans - often courtesy of fumes from a foul flailing
In the past, talk had settled on a possible Fungus
feature film, with even
Python-master Terry Gilliam mooted as a potential director.
Now the Small
Screen beckons. A Sunday Tea-Time slot on BBC1 has
been cleared for
January 2003 - following in the shoes of the recent
successes of 'Stig Of The
Dump' and 'I Was A Rat'. Stig was particularly well
adapted, wasn't it?
Faithful to the original, but given suitably modern
tweaks which didn't interfere
with the heart of the work. And the actual Stig suit
worked splendidly. Fungus
could well repeat this success, though it remains to
be seen if his umbilical
will survive the translation to such a respectable
If you've a gas mask handy, the Gentleman
Briggs section has lots of info on
Mr Briggs, Fungus, The Snowman and the rest of
his magnificent works...
Yep, here's some truly great news to excite the
taste-buds of toon connoisseurs
like myself. It comes in the form of a mean, eye-patched,
furred-up critter called
Marion. He's the grrr-owling star of 'Bounty Hamster'
the new animated sci-fi series
from Peafur Productions, Silverfox and Winchester Television...
You may recall The Hound reported on the show's
launch into production last year.
Well, I've now scooped a sneaky peak at an almost-finished
of the kind folk at Peafur and I have to say,
this show rocks! - Now hold on, I'm
not just enthusing out of politeness, or the excitement
of being 'in' on a new
series. 'Bounty Hamster' is truly fast-paced,
brilliantly staged and most importantly,
very, very funny. Even the theme tune is pretty darned
just the one
episode I counted winks and nods to Star Wars, The
Green Berets, Witness,
Rod Jane & Freddy, Back To The Future, The Smurfs,
The Wizard Of Oz and
more - much more. 'Bounty
Hamster' has huge crossover potential and should
win the hearts of geeks like myself around the world...
The series arrives on our screens later this year.
When I find out dates and time
I'll let you know. In the mean time, tell
your friends, tell your enemies, tell 'em all
- The Hound gives Marion two cute thumbs way-y-y-y
For more on 'Bounty Hamster' and the talent behind
its creation, keep your
Crikey, has it been a month already? - Time seems
to shoot by at the moment,
there's always so much work to do on this site. As
you can see, the upgrades
continue, slowly but surely. In time every single series,
film and creation will be
presented in this new wider format. But as you can
imagine, these things just
can't be rushed...
On top of the upgrades, there's the little matter
of ToonsToGo. In
spite of the
small stock, trade has actually been brisk in our first
month, and for that we
thank you most sincerely, folks. Claire and I are all
smiles because the steady
turnover has allowed us to invest in some hot new stock,
like those talking
DangerMouse toys and Mr Benn beanies featured in
our ToyFair report
These should be arriving any day soon. And so too should our
much-delayed PDQ machine, allowing us to take
credit card orders via our
brand new order-line - smart, eh?
Meanwhile, I'll sign off with news of two new
exciting Q&As coming your way
in the next couple of weeks. The first is with
the one, the only, Mr Peter
Maddocks - he of Jimbo
And The JetSet and Family-Ness
fame. Peter has
had a busy, eventful cartoon career taking him
through Fleet St. into
animation and every-which-way. He should have
a lot to say about his life
in toons. So too should Colin Whittock. Colin's
toons have appeared
everywhere from greetings cards to Private Eye,
but he also worked for
Fleetway back in the seventies, where he brought
us the narcoleptic delights
Bones and Catnap! - Like I say, these two delights should be
online soon, with plenty more surprises to follow...
- Till next time!