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  Short British Films &  TV Specials  

      Everyone loves Hamilton Mattress !

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Hamilton Mattress  (2001)
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producers: Harvest Films / BBC / Egmont
                     & Entertainment Rights

stop-motion animation
      run time:
30 mins


"Everyone loves a Hamilton mattress..."   

Sludger the aardvark has rhythm in his veins and Feldwick C Hackenbush 
    caterpillar is keen to get him on the ladder to stardom. Feldwick takes Sludger
    from his home in the Outback to meet the in-crowd of Beak City, and he gives
    him a hip new name lifted from ad-line on a giant billboard. Thus Hamilton
    Mattress is born.

    Feldwick quickly inveigles Hamilton into the ultra-hip Africa Club, where he
    earns himself employment as a Drummer Extraordinaire and after various
    shenanigans with the rough-beaked club owner and his snooty clientele,
    our happy aardvark finds his star well and truly in ascendance. Everyone
    does indeed love a Hamilton Mattress...

    This is a well-sprung film. Technically speaking, it's a treat. The models
    are fabulous, the animation extremely complex with lots of background
    action and interaction to feast upon. The voices are splendid too, and
    there's a "groovy" jitterbugging score from Real World musicians/artistes
    Spiro, Wix and Ogada. It's quirky, certainly, and the plot's wafer
    thin. But when the animation is this good, who cares?

    Hamilton Mattress brings together three incredible British toon talents in the
    the one production: Barry Purves, Chris Moll, and Mackinnon & Saunders.

    Director Barry Purves is a veritable Toon God, knocking on the door for admittance
    into Toonhound's elite group of heroes. He established himself as a key member
    of Cosgrove Hall's production team back in the seventies, working on the likes
    of Chorlton and the Wheelies, Grandma Bricks, Cockleshell Bay, and Wind in
    the Willows. Barry developed Cosgrove Hall's naturalistic animation technique
    and was a central force in their award-winning films of Cinderella and The Pied
    Piper of Hamelin. In the late eighties he joined up with Aardman Animation
    where he brought us a condensed version of Shakespeare in his film "Next",
    and almost brought home an Academy Award for the Oscar-nominated short
    "Screenplay". "Rigoletto" and "Achilles" followed. His work on the aborted
    stop-motion Martian animation for Tim Burton's "Mars Attacks" has been
    well-documented and universally praised. In 1997 he returned to Cosgrove
    Hall to direct and animate on series including Brambly Hedge, "Noddy",
    Lavender Castle and "The Animal Shelf". Somewhere in the middle he
    squeezed out another laudedfilm titled after, and about "Gilbert & Sullivan"..

    Producer Chris Moll, meanwhile, can highlight all three of Nick Park/Aardman's
    Wallace & Gromit movies on his producer's CV. A Grand Day Out, "The Wrong
    Trousers" and A Close Shave were instant animated classics, weren't they?

    As for Mackinnon & Saunders, well, this little firm was set up in 1992. They
    specialize in the making of animation puppets and models. And they're darned
    good at it. They produced the amazing Martian figures for that aborted "Mars
    Attacks" animation as well as beautiful puppets for Cosgrove Hall's revamp of
    "Noddy", Oakie Doke, Brambly Hedge, HIT Entertainment's Bob the Builder
    and more recently, those helpful Koala Brothers. They also conmstructed
     the remarkablr models featured in "The Corpse Bride".
    As for Hamilton. He came. He drummed. And a sequel is still supposedly
    in the pipeline....

» "Hamilton Mattress" premiered on BBC1 on Christmas Day 2001.



     2002 British Animation Award (BAA) - Best TV Special
     2002 Annecy - Grand Prix - Best TV Animation Programme


     Broadcast info

     "Hamilton Mattress" premiered on BBC1, 25th December 2001, at 2.30pm.


     Hamilton Mattress on DVD

     UK DVD
Hamilton Mattress
                Region 2 / Contender Group / April 2004

     USA DVD Hamilton Mattress
                Region 1 / MGM / March 2001


       produced by Harvest Films Ltd for BBC Bristol

      director:             Barry JC Purves
      producer:           Christopher Moll
      co-producer:      Charlotte Damgaard
      exec-prod:         John Webster
      for BBC:             Colin Rose, Helen Nabarro
      for Egmont:        Tom Van Waveren, Poul Kofod
      for Ent. Rights:    Claire Derry, David Hamilton
      writers:              John Webster, Anna Farthing
                               based upon characters created by John Webster
      music:               Steve Spiro, Wix,
                               Ayub Ogada
      film editors:       David Martin, Jo Bale
      d.o.p:                Paul Smith
      models:             Mackinnon & Saunders
         Steve Boot, Joanne Chalkley, Will Hodge
                              Timon Dowdeswell, Andy Joule, Stefano Cassini,
                              Suzy Fagan, Dug Calder
      asst anim:         Natasha Allright, Bob Scott
          Soren Buus
      voices:              David Thewliss (Hamilton Mattress)
                              Henry Goodman (Feldwick / Septimus)
                              Lindsay Duncan (Beryl / Gertrude)
                              William Hootkins (Balustrade)
                              David Holt (Salvatore / Tino)
                              Roy Hudd (Birmingham)
                              Maxine Peake (Lulu)
                              Clive Hayward (Zakko)
                              Sue-Jane Tanner (Hannah)
                              Sarah Lonton (Mummy Meercat)

                              Amy-Lonton Rawsthorne (Girl Meercat)


      On the web

Mackinnon & Saunders 

      The puppet makers have an official site, but there's only a title page here
      right now, pending a fully-fledged launch...

Entertainment Rights
      And a third official site now, for Hamilton's licensing firm. Mr Mattress
      is joined by other characters in their roster like Basil Brush and Merlin
      The Magic Puppy...

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© Harvest Films/Egmont/BBC/Entertainment Rights / F2006