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    TheHound - an irregular round up of toon news and chatter from the uk        March 2002

   In a mad March month, Bean becomes animated
   whilst Jamie and Fungus prepare to go live...


         it's Mr Bean!

   Bean There...
   Here and everywhere, it's bumbling Mr Bean!..
  A Magic Movie...

  A Jamie movie in the offing?...

  Pick Of The Week...
  Fungus The Bogeyman is coming to town...

  Grrr-eat News...
  A Hamster that's out of this world...

  Sites For Sore Eyes...
  New Q&As on their way...


  Mr Bean's teddy bear   

The big news this month is the launch of a brand new cartoon version of Rowan
    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:


        Jamie with his magic torch    

    ...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...



     Fungus The Bogeyman sticker  

    Cor, 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 The Bogeyman'!

    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 umbilical chord.

    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 broadcast slot...

    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...


     Marion -  Bounty Hamster!  

    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 episode courtesy
    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 funky. 
In 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, t
ell your friends, tell your enemies, tell 'em all
    - The Hound gives Marion two cute thumbs way-y-y-y up...

    For more on 'Bounty Hamster' and the talent behind its creation, keep your
    eyes on:


     Pooch imagesites for sore eyes

    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
    last month. 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
    of Lazy Bones and Catnap! - Like I say, these two delights should be
    online soon, with plenty more surprises to follow...

    - Till next time!

Pooch again!    




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