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  Short British Films &  TV Specials  

       Mole's Christmas

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Mole's Christmas    (1994)
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producers:  Martin Gates Productions Ltd
                      in association with CTE.
   animation:  2D animation
      run time:  25mins


"Home! - My old home that I haven't seen for so long!"

    Martin Gates brings us a slice of the Riverbank here, in this half-hour special,
    adapted from Kenneth Grahame's classic tale "The Wind in the Willows".

    It's Christmas Eve, and as the human residents of a little country village
    settle themselves in for the night, so Ratty and Mole are making their long
    way home from Badger's House in the Wild Wood. Ratty takes his friend
    off on a shortcut through the village, in a bid to hasty their journey, and to
    allow himself a little musing about carriage clocks and their ilk. But his
    next shortcut leads them in to the path of two hungry farm dogs, who drive
    them off into the snow again. And that's when Mole catches a whiff of his
    old home, Mole End, blowing in on the night wind. It's missing him and it
    wants him back. Mole is keen to look in on the place, but Ratty's keener
    to move on, fearful of more snow, and snooping weasels on the prowl.
    As they pause for thought, so they inadvertently thwart two such critters
    who were close on the heels. The pause allows Mole to pour out his heart,
    and for Ratty to apologise to his good friend. Why, he's been a pig. They
    should seek out Mole End at once...

    And there's very little else to add, storywise. Within a minute, Mole has
    unearthed his compact abode, and the two are soon busying themselves
    with a warm fire and a tot of blackcurrent cordial. A group of young field mice
    stop by to sing a song, and are swiftly ushered in to imbibe of the Christmas
    spirit. Ratty persuades the eldest soul to purchase a suitable basket of
    provisions and our duo welcome in Christmas Day with a raised glass
    and very wide smiles.

    "The Wind in the Willows" has, of course, been visited a great many times,
    in a great many ways. In 1995, Martin Gates brought us a second slice of
    Riverbank life, with "The Adventures of Mole", to sit alongside this half-hour.
    The film features the same cast on the soundtrack, and actually, Richard
    Briers (Roobarb) and Peter Davison (Dr Who)
work very well together...

    "Mole's Christmas" premiered on ITV, at 12.40pm, on Christmas Day 1994.

» Though he's still "Ratty" in the script, Richard Briers is billed as being
        the voice of "Rat".

» Ellie Beaven and Imelda Staunton both lend their voices to Martin Gates'
        two Snow Queen films.


a Martin Gates Production
      in association with Central Television Enterprises

      produced and directed by Martin Gates

              Marion Edwards, Sue Radley
               Tony Britten
     art direction
      & key design: 
      Errol Bryant
     anim director:      Athol Henry

     line producer:      Marion Edwards

     storyboard:         Marty Murphy
     character des:     Richard Fawdry
     timing director:    Chris Randall
     prod facility:        Moving Images International
     managing dir:      James Costello
     track reading:      David Hillier
     sound editing:     Kevin Brazier
     dubbing mixer:    David Humphries
     telecine grading:  Alan Bishop
     video editing:      Neville Donoghue
     assoc producer:   Tom Parkhouse
     prod secretary:    Sarah Absalom
     prod manager:     Stuart Lock
       Richard Briers (Rat)
                               Peter Davison (Mole)
                               Imelda Staunton (Village Mother)
                               Ellie Beaven (Village Child / lead field mouse)
                               Stephen Donald
                               Jonathan Gabb
                               Olivia Hallinan
                               Richard Tate

                               field mice carol singers:
                               Alexander Britten, Benjo Fraser,
                               Oliver Howard, Amanda Lake,
                               Tanya Lake, Sophie Mullen


      On the web

      No links as yet, unfortunately...

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© Martin Gates Productions Limited / F2006