The comfort of a BAFTA (28.03.04)
Great news for Aardman Animation this week, with
details of this year's
BAFTA nominations now surfacing for all to see.
And there amongst the
Comedy selections are those splendid claymation
critters from 'Creature
The competion is certainly stiff, with 'Bo' Selecta',
'Double Take' and 'Little
Britain' sitting alongside Frank The Tortoise,
Mr Tickles and company.
But who knows? Maybe they can snaffle the golden mask
away from under
the noses of their live-action rivals. We'll find
out come the 19th April,
when the gongs are dished out.
Regardless of the outcome, the nomination alone
The Aardman team must be chuffed. And similarly,
so should ITV who
took the bold step of putting the series on in
a primtime slot. Their gamble
has seemingly reaped a handsome award, what with
the BAFTA kudos
and good ratings. Things were looking shakey after
'Mr Bean's so-so
scheduling success (that's still a great show,
though, with a very vocal
fan base). Let's hope more 'gambles' follow...
And the winners were... (22.03.04)
The results are in, folks. The British Animation Awards
held at The Shaw Theatre in Bloomsbury on Friday 19th
March, and the
gongs were divided rather evenly between the nominees.
one, and 'Monkey Dust' and - well - here are the
Angelina Ballerina: The Show Must Go On
Grizzly Tales for Gruesome Kids: Revenge of the Bogeyman
Children’s Preschool Series
Koala Brothers: A Letter for George
Yoko! Jakamoto! Toto!: The Special Thing
Grizzly Tales for Gruesome Kids: Revenge of the Bogeyman
So what can one say to this, apart from congratulating
Well, 'Grizzly Tales' win in the Children's Choice
section suggests that
it thoroughly deserves its Children's Series victory
too, given that its target
audience obviously appreciates it as well. Ginger
Gibbons' work on 'Angelina'
also deserves applause. We're not all in to pirouetting
ballerinas, but you can
not fault the way Helen Craig's illustrations have
been brought in to life by the
Grand Slamm team. Spellbound's 'Koala Brothers' is
a top result again. There's
some lovely work in that show, and its Australian scenery
and characters makes
for some very refreshing visuals. On a personal
level, Tony Collingwood's award
for 'Yoko! Jakamoko!
Toto!' is fab. As The Hound has mentioned before, that
show tells its stories through music and action, rather
than dialogue. Bloomin'
tricky to pull off, is that. And then we have
the Talkback Thames' 'Monkey Dust'.
This controversial series has many fans, and it's picked
up several awards over
recent months, as the BBC
are all-too pleased to tell us. Well done, one and all.
So are there any BAA disappointments? Oh, yes.
Pity poor 'Little Wolf'
who bounded into the evening with three nominations,
but went home
emptyhanded. Likewise 'Meg & Mog' was twice
overlooked. Still, the
nominations are something, regardless of the outcome.
Of course, there were other award categories at
the ceremony, and you'll
find all of the info on them at the official
BAA site. Most notable was Chris
Shepherd's double triumph for his short film 'Dad's
Dead', and Aardman
Animation picked up the Best Commercial gong for their
Blur picked up the Best Video award.
Does scooping a BAA actually make a difference?
Probably not, in most
cases. It's not like you can get a bigger box-office
boost from the awards,
as you might with an Oscar. But upcoming or lesser-known
names do get
their chance to shine, and certainly, the animation
industry is acutely aware
of the event and its nominees. Slowly but surely,
those BAAs are getting
noticed by a mainstream audience. Hence we have the
BBC proudly announcing
their win to the world, and interviewing festival
organiser Jayne Pilling too.
The BAAs were set up to celebrate the diversity
of British Animation,
and any awards line up that places 'Monkey Dust'
next to 'Angelina Ballerina'
and 'The Koala Brothers' is most certainly doing
Roll on 2006!
Animation Awards (BAA)
Record-breaking Beano (17.03.04)
Crikey. Remember that first-edition Beano which
was put up for auction at
Compal earlier in the month?
Well, it did well, so it did. Very well indeed.
It actually broke the record for a British Comic
purchase on Tuesday 16th
March, closing at a whopping great £12,100.
That's nearly £5,000 higher
than the previous figure!
Interesting to see various news reports now stating
that there are, perhaps,
about a dozen-or-so of these much-desired originals
out there in the Big
Bad Comics World. That's a revised number, up
from the nine copies that
were previously thought to exist. This particular
edition was said to be
in rather fine fettle. Apparently its original
youthful owner had written
'keep first issue' on the cover in pencil.
And it's just as well he did, eh?
Like, here's some radical news, dude, surfing
in from Galleon Holdings
and James Driscoll, who brought us those ever-popular
Mr Driscoll and company are about to bring us a bunch
Cornish Pasty dudes called 'Oggies'. Fistral Freddie,
Bondi Bruce, Lenny
Zennor and the gang are extreme sports stars who
like to surf, skate board
and mountain bike here, there and everywhere.
So, like, where have these dudes come from? Well,
legend has it that, late
one night, a Cornish baker fell asleep at the back of
his shop. That gave a
mischievous Piskie the chance to sprinkle 'bring-to-life' dust
over a waiting
batch of pasties. Them there pasties subsequently climbed
out of the oven
and took up residencee at surf-friendly Oggie Point.
At least, that's the legend. In reality,
these toon stars were actually cooked up
by a St Ives businessman called Vincent Walker. Vincent subsequently
James Driscoll, who steered the project towards his
old friend, artist and writer
Rob Lee. Rob designed those Shoe People, as well
as 'Joshua Jones' and
Ex-Disney producer Chris Henderson and Emmy-award winning
writer Carter Crocker were then added to the package
which is now winging its
way down to MIPTV this April, and hopefully, wuill
secure full funding for its
planned 26 x 11min episodes.
Originally, those 'Oggies' were known as 'The
Cornish Riviera Pasties'
and what's more, Oggie star Fistral Freddie was
created by Newquay Junior
school children as a result of a competition run on
the BBC Cornwall website.
In October 2003 the Metroplitan Police used Freddie
to launch a Safer Surfing
campaign on the Internet. This dude is now the official
mascot of the British
Surfing Association's Unleashed Club which teaches
youngsters how to surf
the real waves safely. And you can see Freddie
and friends over on the official
'Unleashed' web site. The BBC feature pictures of the
more Oggies on their
With the current calls to get kids active again
and curb childhood obesity,
those always-active Oggies could have arrived
on the toon scene at just
the right time...
Like, we''ll find out soon, won't we dudes?
Number one auction (08.03.04)
The fine folks at Compal
Comics have just posted their March comic auction
catalogue online over the weekend and, as always,
there are some
mouthwatering lots there for folks with money
Top billing surely goes to a first edition 'Beano'
comic from 1938, with
an estimate of £5,500 - £6,000. The last
one offered up went for a record
breaking £7,500 back in December
2002. At the time it was suggested that
only nine editionms of this much-desired comic
were still known to be in
existence. Is this one of the nine, or a new tenth
edition? Whatever, it'll be
fascinating to see how this one goes!
As always, DC Thomson are very well represented here.
Lots include a
number of very early issues of 'The Dandy' , several
But as a guide, the ones with estimates are expected
to fetch up to,
or over, £200 each. Alongside the comics
are some Dandy & Beano Club
Menus dating from 1936-1943 (£100 - £150),
some original 'Keyhole Kate'
artwork from artist Allan Morley (£200-ish),
a Jimmy Crichton 'Dandy' cover
from 1940 with 'Corky The Cat' (£1,500 -
£2,000). And best of all, a wonderful
page of Lord Snooty Propganda art from Dudley
Watkins also dating from
1940 (£1,200 - £1,500). Lord Snooty and
The Professor go back in time to
recruit Robert The Bruce, Wellington And Napoleon for
a stand-up fight
with Hitler, Goering and Mussolini - Fantastic!
It's not all Thomson, of course. 'Eagle' fans
may be able to plug some gaps
in their collection with several comic lots on
offer, as well as a number of
'Dan Dare' goodies, like a pocket watch (£220
- £250) and Walkie-Talkie
Set (£100 - £150).
This auction runs until Tuesday March 16 at 8
PM UK time and bids can be
submitted online, by fax or by telephone - so what
are you waiting for?
Number 'Juan'! (05.03.04)
Pull on your poncho and pin down your sombrero, 'cos
hombre hero El
Nombre is about unleash a number 'Juan' record!
For the uninitiated, El Nombre is a heroic Mexican
gerbil, a masked
crusader famous for thwarting the dastardly deeds
of Don Fandango and
allowing the good folk of Santa Flamingo to live
their lives in peace and
harmony. He was created by former kids' tv presenter
Lillicrap and brought into stop-motion life by
the talented folks at
Ealing Animation. Initially, he was a star within
the BBC's 'Numbertime'
schools programme, but he's since swung into his
very own hit series.
'He's The One' from amazon.co.uk!
This years marks El Nombre's tenth anniversary
and to celebrate, a top
new tune has been put together by Chris Lillicrap
and Richard Derbyshire.
'He's The One' (or is that 'Juan'?) hits record
stores in the UK on March 29th
and a fun video has been made to accompany the
track featuring El Nombre
and pals performing 'Britney style dance moves'.
It sounds a hoot, and it's set
to be included on the single, which makes the
whole package even
Both the old and new series of 'El Nombre' are
currently being broadcast on
BBC2, on Wednesday mornings at 10.20am and, frankly,
you'd be mad
not to set the video for them. This top series
features some great fun
moments and splendid animation.
El Nombre is one heck of a hombre!
El Nombre Ealing
the front page... (13.02.04)
Did you see it? Yours Truly has
finally springcleaned the front page
of this not-so-little site. Let's face it, the
old home page was looking a bit
tired. So what do you think - Is it an improvement?
It's mighty tricky,
juggling jolly graphics with speedy load times,
but the new home page
actually matches the old one, size for size...
Now that the old tvtoons
index is up to speed (well, almost) The Hound
has been able to cast his beady eye further abroad
at last. As promised
last month, updated puppets
pages will soon start appearing, plus a few
St. additions. I'm working as quickly as I can to get new
stuff online, but as you can imagine, maintaining
a site this size takes
one heck of a lot of time and effort. Plus there's
the little fact of my own
'secret' project which eats up every spare moment I
have, not to mention
our busy little sister store ToonsToGo
where lots of Spring goodies are
about to - um - 'spring' up. Ee, there's never
a dull moment round
Till next time!