Gosh. It looks like last weekend's Children's
BAFTA ceremony was
awash with carnival colours and rhythms, because
Jakamoko! Toto! collected not one, but two shiny awards
to add to the company's already-groaning mantlepiece.
YJT collected the award for Best Pre-School Animation
as well as the
award for Best Writer: Original Material - this
at the second time of asking,
because the show was nominated in both of these
categories last year too.
What a triumph, and what a pleasure to report
to the world. As many
of you may know, TheHound has fanfared this delicious
from day one. Truly, it's one of the mysteries
of the cartoon world as
to why our High Streets aren't awash with YJT
and their ilk, but the series still seems to be
lurking on the fringes of the
C-ITV schedules, waiting to be discovered. Come
on, folks. Celebrate
the series' success. Splash it across our screens
and let everyone in on
your double-award winning secret!...
Elsewhere at those BAFTA's, Toon Disney and Dandy
Prods pushed aside
those "Metalheads", "Gruesome Kids"
and "The Blue Dragon" to pick up
the Best Animation award for "Brush Head".
And in the other categories -
well - you can check out those for yourself,
can't you? As for me, I'm
going to crack open my Yoko!
Jakamoko! Toto! DVD and join the
As many of you are probably well aware, the UK
is currently awash with debate
and discussion about so-called "Kids food",
their content and the methods
used to promote such confections. So it's probably
not the best time to be
Isn't it fab! - This is an official Basil
Brush breakfast cereal, stuffed to bursting
with caramel and chocolate shapes and little white chocolate
regardless of any nutritional benefits, side-effects,
or debate, it's a very
edible concoction and very well presented - provided
you've a sweet tooth!
Good old "Striker Comic". The title
is continuing to grow on the back of
its hugely successful
shares issue. And by doing so, it flies in the face of
those naysayers and ne'erdowells who forecast
doom and despair for
the Warbury Warriors footballers when they left
"The Sun" to launch as
publication. "Striker" is a hoot!
One of the more interesting developments in recent
weeks has been the
expansion of "Striker's Retro Zone"
section. A few weeks back, editor/creator
Pete Nash began reprinting the classic 70's strip
"Billy's Boots", to a general
thumbs-up from his readership - even those who
had been a tad sceptical
over the merits of reprints in a modern comic.
Such has been Billy's success,
now, that another classic reprint has ushered
in. This time around, we are
being given the chance to re-read "The Kangaroo
Kid". This daft strip features
the discovery of a Boy Wonder soccer player from the
Quite frankly, the strip is nuts. But it's a gem,
and it's a real pleasure to see
it in print alongside the thoroughly modern 3D
exploits of Eric Openshaw,
Nick Jarvis and the rest.
As for the rest of this
top title, well, it
really is getting better and better.
Or maybe should that be "wetter and wetter",
because we've recently
witnessed the arrival of 3D weather effects in the
CG strips. And fully-fledged
fans can now purchae fab "Striker"
coffee mugs and a rather risque
calendar. - Go "Striker"!
Bob-bling along (18.11.04)
Brrr! - The first icey blast of Winter has hit
the UK this week. And it's set the
mood perfectly for the recent release of Bob the Builder's
third fine feature outing
on DVD. Snowed
Under: The Bobblesberg Winter Games was released at the
start of the month and it builds on the popular successes of
Knights of Can-a-Lot
and A Christmas
To Remember, the latter of which collected a BAFTA for its efforts.
In the new film, Bob and the gang have a job to do
at the Winter Games resort
of Bobblesberg, but the inclement weather threatens
to scupper the job and
the Games altogether. Guest voices this time around
include John Motson,
Sue Barker, and Ulrika Jonsson, and by all accounts
it's another HIT film
for our Bob...
Adam McLean is a researcher with Shine Limited and
he's been in touch
this week to put forward a request. It seems Channel
4 are about to turn their
beady eye on the "100 Greatest Cartoons", which
they intend to air early next
year, and he and they are looking for votes from
the list on their web site.
Now those "100 Greatest" shows stir
up mixed feelings amongst fans. Many
have been quick to snipe at the preconceived approach
to the shows. They say
they're based on an initial list of titles
which are often flawed. Then they like to
moan about the finished productions, with those glib
talking heads and throwaway
comments. But we can mutter all we want, because
- omissions or no - there are
often some fantastic little nuggets of gold to
be found in each show. You want two
examples? Well, in the "100 Greatest Children's
Programmes" we had Nick Park
enthusing about the "The Clangers", and
we had that brilliant little story from
Brian Trueman regarding "Chorlton and the
Wheelies" and the perceived
anti-Semitism of Claptrap von Spilldabeans. Those
two alone surely made
amends for any "errors"...
So now we have those "100 Greatest Cartoons".
As expected, most toons on
the list are from over the pond. But waving a
flag for blighty are:
Ivor the Engine
in the Willows
Jamie and the Magic Torch
The Magic Roundabout 2DTV
Mary, Mungo and Midge
Also pertinent to the UK are the likes of
"The Jackson 5" and "Who Framed
Roger Rabbit" - two examples of productions
made mainly in the UK, even though
they are cited as being American.
So yes, yes, the list makes no sense (What's
happened to "Bagpuss", for
starters. If it's good enough to be
"Greatest Children's Programme" why isn't it even
listed for this show?) But it's not worth kicking
up a fuss. At the end of the day,
let's just keep our fingers crossed for
some more interesting little toon nuggets
to steal away from the evening. And let's remember,
folks: It's only a show!
Pick of the month (15.11.04)
Well, here's some great green news. Fungus
the Bogeyman is finally
going to reach our screens at the end of the month.
The BBC's live-action
adaptation of Raymond Briggs' classic work has
taken an age to get to
this point, with several false starts and delays
on the way. In June,
producer Ian Whitehead got in touch to update
us on the status of
the production, and he penciled in a November
air date. And he was
spot on, because we can now finally set the video for
when the first episode is to be broadcast on BBC1.
"Fungus the Bogeyman" is an ambitious
three-part Gala Films/BBC
production starring Martin Clunes, Fay Ripley
and a CGI Fungus and friends.
Okay, so I'm biased. I'm a great green Briggs
fan. But it looks and sounds
intriguing, and with a screenplay from author/writer Mark
Haddon it could
be a real treat for Drycleaners everywhere!...
Big fun at Bradford (01.11.04)
The Bradford Animation Festival opens it doors
on November 10th, and this
year there are umpteen reasons why you should
make a beeline north, south,
east or west to visit the event.
British toon fans can feast on the delights of
Alan Gilbey (Bounty Hamster)
talking about the mechanics of good scriptwriting,
Tony Collingwood and Andrea
Tran (Yoko! Jakamoko!
Toto!) discussing the creation of a good television
series - specifically their top new series, The
Secret Show - Barry Purves
giving us a 3D animation masterclass, Aardman Director
Darren Robbie presenting us with a history of the studio,
and music maestro
Keith Hopwood talking about music for animation.
There's also a special 50th
screening of Animal
Farm, to be presented by Vivien Halas.
And this isn't everything - not by a long shot.
The official BAF web site
plenty more courses to tuck into. This year's
spotlight is shining on Dutch
animator Paul Driessen. He'll be talking about his
films and you can watch
them all, too. Then there's Randy Cook, talking
about his magnificent work
bringing Gollum to life in "Lord of the Rings"
and - oh - you surely don't need
me to tell you anything more. Book your tickets
The Bradford Animation Festival runs from November
10th - 13th. Do yourself
a favour and give this incredible festival your
It may only be November, but preparations are
already well under way for
next year's Animated Exeter animation festival.
The line-up is currently
currently being put together by Jayne Pilling,
and a first sneaky-peek
at the schedule has revealed that God amongst
Titans, Mr. Ray Harryhausen
is all set to attend.
Maybe not so God-like, but certainly a Devil in
disguise is Mr. Alan Gilbey
of Mr. Hell Show and
Bounty Hamster fame. Alan is currently
of his popular animation quizzes for the event,
and this time around, he's
persuaded Yours Truly and ToonsToGo.com
to donate a little basket of
prizes to the shebang. So it gives me great pleasure
to announce that
"Alan Gilbey's Toonhound Trivia Quiz" will
kick off on Sunday 13th
February. And if it's possible, The Hound himself
may well make the
long trek south from his Elgin attic to attend
Animated Exeter takes place 7th-19th February
2005 and you can keep up
with news of the event, the schedule and festival
chatter via their
site. They also have a regular email bulletin, so there's absoloutely
no excuse not to know exactly what's happening