Ze Baddie unmasked (27.05.03)
Imagine if you will, Yours Truly bent over his
keyboard over the Bank Holiday
weekend compiling information for the new site
pages. Biggest and brightest will
be a new Forthcoming Features page detailing all of
the British animated feature
films currently in development and production. And
one of the most exciting
is Dave Borthwick/bolexbrothers' CGI film of The Magic
Roundabout - a mouth
watering prospect, coming from the creators of
The Secret Adventures Of
Anyway, the thing about this film is that since
its official announcement
back in October 2002 there's been a total silence
on the plot. Sure, we've
been enticed with some fantastic
character pics and news of a great voice
cast, but no plot - zippo - zilch. All
we know for sure is that we'll be taken
outside the realm of the Magic Garden and that
there are at least two brand
new characters in the film. Ray Winstone is voicing
a tin-soldier type called
Soldier Sam, but more importantly, Tom Baker is lending vocal
to a chap called ZeeBadee.
Now everyone I've spoken to have been referring
to him phonetically as
Zeebadee, just like Zebedee. But take a look at
that proper spelling again:
ZeeBadee, pronounced properly is 'Ze Baddie' - that's
'The Baddie' in
moustache-twirling pidgin English, isn't it? And it's
also very much in
keeping with the Anglo-French nature of the show...
So does this mean we are going to get a tale concerning
Zebedee's evil twin,
wreaking havoc on The Magic Garden? Will a well-sprung
alter ego or
marauding mimic put Dougal and Florence in peril?
has The Hound unmasked this movie's biggest
secret, or has he simply
spent too long stuck in front of his monitor?
The only thing for certain
here is that no one else seems to have picked
up on a spoiler that's been
right in front of us for the best part of eight
So does anyone out there know better? If
you can unmask my own
shortcomings here do please
XL-ent comic (18.05.03)
Well gawsh, it seems we are being encouraged to
gorge ourselves on a feast
of Gerry Anderson news right now because if all
that talk of the Thunderbirds
movie, Capt. Scarlet series and Joe 90 dealings
wasn't enough yet another
Supermarionation favourite has now been re-vamped
and unleashed upon us.
This time it's the turn of that outerspace adventure
series Fireball XL5...
That's right, Steve Zodiac, Venus, Robbie and
Propfessor Matic are back in
all-new strip adventures, courtesy of the folks at
Misc! Mayhem. The Fireball
comic arrives hot on the heels of Misc! Mayhem's Supercar
revival (see our
and to be truthful, this has been in the pipeline for a wee while
of course, what with all the work involved preparing storylines
But it's certainly fortuitous that it's launching
now, with that Anderson star
well-and-truly in ascendence...
The preview issue 0 should be at your local comics
store as you read this,
with the 'official' issue 1 arriving very soon.
And the Misc! Mayhem/Anderson
connections are set to continue with an all new
UFO comics series too.
You've got to applaude Kez and the gang at MM.
They're trying really hard
to add something to the canon of these classic series,
rather than simply
slapping stuff together to make a quick buck.
There have been some
enlightening postings at their Yahoo
Group in the run up to the launch of
Cracking advert, Gromit! (08.05.03)
Sacre bleu! - Everyone's favourite claymation
pals, Wallace & Gromit
are currently starring in a new car advert
for Renault. In the ad for Renault's
new Kangoo, Wallace demonstrates his latest
invention The Kangoo-matic
with predictably chaotic results. The
spot was put together by Aardman
Animation, produced by Penny Foster and
directed by Dave Alex Riddett
and you can view it online in Quicktime over
And it's a grand little piece, with a very lush
orchestrated score too, although
it is just a teensy bit of a shame that
such a distinctly British duo are being
employed to promote a specifically European firm.
Tch. But that's just me
griping, every new Wallace and Gromit appearance
is a treat, isn't it,
regardless of its allegiance...
And a cracking charity too! (08.05.03)
...Speaking of allegiances, stop what you're
doing and pledge yours
immediately to a cracking good cause.
Gromit's Grand Appeal
has been around a wee while now, helping
to raise oodles of money -
£12million actually - for Bristol's
Hospital For Sick Children. Toonhound
has been linking to the Grand Appeal site
for a few years so hopefully
many of you will be aware of this great
cause, and indeed, may have
bought some of the charitable goodies they
used to offer online.
Well now the charity is expanding on a successful
idea and taking an
officially recognised Wrong Trousers Day
to the entire UK. Every year, on
the first Friday in July, folks can make
a £1 donation to charity and put on
a pair of wrong trousers for the day. The
money raised will go towards
children's hospitals and hospices all around
the British Isles and a host
of celebrities, from Badiel and Skinner
to West Life have already pledged
their support for the notion, with the first
official Wrong Trousers Day due
on Friday July 4th. A cracking idea, eh?
- Go on, get those trousers off!
Coming to play (09.05.03)
Feeling playful? - Andy Pandy is. And Looby Loo.
And Teddy too. And so are we
because we've just taken delivery of some exquisite
new Andy Pandy beanies
and plush toys at our online store ToonsToGo.
Mr Pandy and friends have of
course been recently revisited and revised by Cosgrove Hall
and The BBC and
the new series is jolly sweet, in a candy-striped-kiddified
kind of way...
These new collectibles have been produced by Martin
Yaffe Intl and
they're beautifully constructed, which brings
us to the other reason behind
this otherwise blatant commercial plug. How come
so many licensees
produce such god-awful merchandise? You know the
type, where the toys
don't even remotely resemble the original, or
the 'talking toy' features
a ludicrously false copy of the original voice.
There are far too many shoddy
products out there at the moment, which makes
choosing stock for our
little store incredibly difficult. That's why
we're right behind Andy and friends,
and you should be too...
Um. And here endeth the plug...
Joe W.I.N.s feature deal (05.05.03)
Phew-ee! - Supermarionation really is 'go' at
First there was the Thunderbirds feature finally getting
lift-off. Then there was
the Captain Scarlet series getting to second-stage
funding, and talk of a feature.
And now? - Well how about news that mini-Michael Caine,
Network agent Joe90
is about to become a live-action star for Disney!...
According to Variety,
Carlton TV have sold the Joe90 film rights to The Mouse
House and the picture is now in the hands of UK
producer Susan Montford
and Don Murphy of Angryfilms, whose outfit
is bringing us the big screen version
of The League Of Extraordinary Gentleman this
Summer. Presumably, that
means we'll see tabloid-loads of news stories
regarding 'The Search For Joe',
a la Harry Potter, etc. Will the feature be suitably
'retro' in look and feel? -
We've not been told yet...
You know, Joe90 is a fairly safe bet for Disney.
Firstly, Joe is the
original Spy Kid and - hey - those Spy Kids have
worked box-office wonders
for Miramax. And then, well, there's that spinning
ball and those gizmo glasses
but not a lot else 'cos the concept's not quite
as design-lead as those other
Anderson-produced series. From a Suit's point of
view that means there's lots
of room to tweak and manipulate the concept as
they want, isn't there? - Much
more than, say, Thunderbirds were everyone knows the
ships, FAB-1, the
uniforms etc. Oh yes, far less controversy to be found
Well, we'll see eh? - Stay tooned for more
as the film develops...
Well, judging by the feedback and the way
the hit counters are racing it
seems the new-look site pages are a hit with you,
which means The Hound
can allow himself a slim smile of satisfaction.
All that effort is paying off ;-)
But let's not get carried away here. There's still
an awful lot of work to do
before I can rest on my laurels. The TvToons
section is still waiting for the
last dozen pages to be upgraded and then, why
then attention turns to
Toons pages. Included in the new look movie guides will be info
on forthcoming animated features with a UK bent,
plus that oft-promised
Toon Movie Guide looking at toons which have made
the transition into
live-action features - and a frightening bunch they
Sadly, there's a pay-off to be made here. The
Current Site Guide may be
consigned to that great web-page resting place
in the sky. It's not be updated
in eons, but principally, it's never really felt
right here anyway as it kind
of pulls away from the uniquely British tone of
the rest of the site.
Likewise, for practical reasons, the Movie Toon
Archive is going. It's a
nightmare to keep up to speed, anyway, and again
isn't entirely pertinent
to the ideals of the site...
And speaking of 'ideal'. What would really be
ideal right now would be if
that Great Web Fairy Of The West could wave her
magic wand and complete
the rest of the site upgrade for me. But alas,
it ain't gonna happen. So
before I bury my head back in to those videos,
comics and reference material
once more may I just say to one-and-all that your patience
has been a
real virtue of late. It can't be much fun spinning
around a site with page
formats all over the place, and numerous external
links falling apart.
Thanks for sticking with me. Believe me, I'm working
just as fast as I
can here. And fingers-crossed, it will all be
worth it in the end...