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Toonhound presents...






      November/December 2006
 Extra! Extra! - Read all the Toon News!

     Crumbs, chief!
    Tony Leetham's DangerMouse

     A wild release
    Built to be Wild on DVD...

    Hell, yes
   Mr Hell is coming to DVD....

    Snow joke
   Irn Bru's Snowman parody ad....


   Adrenalinis win big at BAFTA...

    No disaster
   King Arthur's Disasters returns...

    Look here
   The Best of Look & Learn...

    200 cartoons
   A milestone approaches...   more »

     news archive »     interviews »      giveaways »

   Hell, yes  (05.12.06)

    Mr Hell is finally coming to DVD. And Serge the little seal cub. And Lucky.
    And Champion the Wonder Snail. And Thomas the Tank and the rest of
    the myriad stars and celebrities who popped up in the 13 episodes of
    Aaagh! - It's the Mr Hell Show during its disastrously short run.

      Mr Hell - coming to DVD!

    "The Mr Hell Show" was a hit in Canada and Australia when it aired,
    back in 2001. But here in blighty viewrs were given the runaround by
    the BBC who pushed the series around the schedules until they finally
    buried it in a painfully late slot on BBC2. Even so, a fair few found
    the show and they liked it enough to contact folks like myself,
    wondering when a fully-fledged DVD release might surface.

    So I'll repeat the good news. Mr Hell is forthcoming. The series
    is being released in the UK next Spring, via MVM. So start saving your
    pennies now, folks!

    Time has been mercifully kind to this most topical of series, and whilst
    a few political asides now miss the spot, there's still stacks to enjoy as
    a succession of anarchic stars parade for the camera. And then, of course,
    there's our pointy-headed hero himself, adeptly voiced by the late Bob
    Monkhouse. Mr Hell had so much potential, and indeed, still does have
    plenty of mileage left in him, if only the Powers That Be could be brave
    enough to redeploy him. Just think what he'd make of the War Against

    Hmm. Maybe we should send Serge after them, for some
    friendly persuasion?

    Stay tooned for more info on the release, nearer the time!

                                                                                More: MVM


   Snow joke  (03.12.06)

    Bloomin' eck. Everyone's talking about the new Irn-Bru advert.
   "Phenomenal Christmas" is an animated  parody of "The Snowman",
    and in particular, the classic flying sequence that's accompanied
    by the song "Walking in the Air".

     Irn-Bru's "Chilly snowman mate"

    Directed by Robin Shaw, the tv advert features a portly-but-familiar
    snowman and a lad in a dressing gown taking to the air, and it
    replaces Howard Blake's lyrics with a cautionery tale about sharing
    one's Irn-Bru with your "chilly snowman mate". It also takes us
    on a whirlwind tour of Scotland, the home of Barr and their fizzy
    drink, giving us aerial views of the Falkirk Wheel, the Forth Bridge,
    Glenfinnan Viaduct, Eilean Donan Castle, Princes Street Gardens
    Ice Rink and - yes - even Nessie himself, before the lead soprano
    plummets from on high...

    "He nicked my Irn-Bru and let go of my hand..."

    "Phenomenal Christmas" was produced for £250,000 by the
    Leith Agency, and it took 16 weeks to make. It had its tv premiere
    at 9.45pm on ITV1, last night here in Scotland (The Hound's adopted
    home), but you can watch it online from anywhere you like right now.
    Oh, and for the record, the new song is sung by choirboy Ben Robinson.

    It's interesting to hear that, according to the Times, the Mail and
    others, Snowman creator Raymond Briggs isn't so happy with his
    licensees, Snowman Enterprises who "forgot" to inform him of the
    deal until late into production. The new reports suggest he finds
    the advert "inappropriate".

    Whilst it is indeed a jolly ad (it's very hard not to smile whilst watching),
    and whilst the author's concerns may-or-may not be part of the advertising
    ploy (Barr do so enjoy controversy), it is perhaps an ill-timed campaign,
    coming so hot on the heels of the latest moves from OFCOM. They've just
    announced plans to banish such forms of future advertising until
    after the watershed and thus put a great deal of childrens tv in
    even greater jeopardy. It's enough to turn your fizzy drink flat...

                                                 More: Phenomenal Christmas


   BAFTA-arini  (27.11.06)

     Last night, BAFTA dished out their annual Children's prizes, and
     this year the spotlight fell on the little-known realm of Rendoosia,
     because "The Amazing Adrenalini Brothers" collected the award
     for Best Animation...

   Xan, Adi and Enk - The Amazing Adrenalini Brothers

     Elsewhere, Wallace and Gromit collected the film award for "Curse
     of the Were-Rabbit" and "Pocoyo" beat Postman Pat and the rest
     for the Pre-School Animation trophy. But it's those Adrenalini Brothers
     who really must be celebrating. Xan, Adi and Enk beat out stiff
     competition from King Arthur (see below), the Koala Brothers and
     those Scurvy Rascals in a category that really was too close to
Pesky and Studio B must be delighted!

     "Pocoyo"s win was no real surprise, given the cult following this
     little chap has amassed. That's not to say he was any better than
     the other nominees. It's just that right now, he's the freshest on
     the block. And Stephen Fry's narration is super.

     And of course "Were-Rabbit" won large. Surely there was no
     contest in that movie category? - Well, at least The Hound didn't
     spoil the ballot by pontificating on its winning potential...

     As always, hearty congrats to one and all!



   No disaster  

    The second series of "King Arthur's Disasters" has been airing
    on CiTV over the last few weeks, and if you haven't tuned in yet,
    you've been missing a treat!

     King Arthur's Disasters

    Series two features more madcap antics in medievaldom, as
    King Arthur and his merry band of knights and misfits embark
    on quests hither and thither in the name of True Love, honour
    and - well - any excuse at all, really. It's all voiced splendidly
    by a famous cast, including Rik Mayall, Morwenna Banks and
    Matt Lucas, and each tale rattles along, chock full of wit and
    stupidity in the best traditions of "Monty Python" and "Maid

    Set your recorders for CiTV every Monday and Tuesday
    at 4.00pm. And just as exciting is the news that a chunk of series
    one is now available on DVD Yep, there are six ridiculous episodes
    for your viewing pleasure. And for a little insight behind the production,
    you might want to peek inside the mind of second series director
    Dave Freedman, who has his very own blog online. Arthur's there,
    as well as Dave's doodles and thoughts on the world at large...     

    Gadzooks! - "King Arthur's Disasters" is just one of three unmissable
    toons to catch on terrestrial tv right now. The Hound has rattled on
    incessantly about the delights of "The Secret Show" on BBC1, but
    there's also the death-defying stupidity of "The Amazing Adrenalini
    Brothers", still airing in and around the CiTV schedules. That's a
    series that's been sorely neglected here at Toonhound. So now
    we'll start setting the record straight: Track it down at once!

                                                More: King Arthur's Disasters


   Look here  (24.11.06)

    Back in August, The Hound heralded the return of the encyclopedic
    brilliance of "look and Learn", the educational weekly that was
    such a hit back in the 60s and early 70s.

    Well, now the next stage of that return is upon us in the form of
    a "Best of" publication. Laurence Heyworth and company are offering
    folks the chance to sign up to a 48 issue subscription which will compile
    the very best art and editorials from throughout the title's run. And to
    whet our appetite they're mailing out sample copies to interested
    parties. The Hound got his just last week, and goodness, it takes you
    back. There are articles on Tintagel Castle, a biography of RL Stevenson,
    a look back at the San Francisco earthquake and - best of all - Don
    Lawrence's classic "Trigan Empire" strip. And they've all been reprinted
    in that olde familiar newspaper-size format.

    Any skepticism you may have will be cast aside once you've seen
    the new edition. The title is just so vibrant. And if feels so fantastic
    in your hands - it's difficult to explain - but as you pick it up and
    peruse its contents, you're really taken back. Nowadays, information
    always seems to be spoon-fed to kids in the form of Top Ten Factoids,
    or wafer-thin articles. But the features in "Look and Learn" went so
    much further, and they took a step off the familiar road to explore
    some truly diverse little pathways and avenues. And of course,
    each article was always fantastically well illustrated.
    If you fancy getting your hands on some wonderful nostalgia, drop
    by the official site. And who knows, if the "Best Of" run is a success
    we may even see the title returning as an all-new publication,
    some time in the future...

                                                                 More: Look and Learn 


   Crumbs, Chief!  (20.11.06)

     Look what's just arrived! - It's those DangerMouse collectable figures,
     announced a wee while back. They've been sculpted by a talented
     chap called Tony Leetham, and the figures represent his first solo
     foray into the figural market.

     DM Figures - available now!

     Tony has his figures in a number of company pies identified on
     the Concept Group web site and "Concept 2 Creation" is the name
     of his latest figural venture. Here's Tony with more:

    "I originally had the idea for the DM figures about five years
     ago and actually started to sculpt the main DM&P figure all
     those years ago, but at the time it was just a dream and I
     didn't progress very far with it.

     It wasn't until a chance meeting with Fremantle Media in
     October 2005 at Brand Licensing , when I learned of the
     anniversary, that I started to think about it seriously!

     I decided it was now or never! I struggled to get the licence
     as I only had experience of the product development side of
     things and not the manufacturing and retail/distribution. So,
     it wasn't until May of this year that I secured the licence and
     set about developing the figures - which made it very hard to
     get them released anywhere near the actual anniversary,
     and before Christmas.

     But here we are, 6 months later after lots of hard work
     (first 2 months almost 80 hrs/wk!!!) awaiting the arrival
     of the full production run..."

    And don't they look grand? - The six resin figures can be ordered from
    stores like Forbidden Planet, right now, or direct from Concept 2 Creation.
    And if all goes well, sales -wise, maybe we'll seel more fab figures
    from Tony. Of course, as we all know, The Hound is still holding out
    for his own Happiness Dragon. But that's for another time. Right here,
    right now, there's astounding, amazing DangerMouse. Now, where's
    my old piggy bank....?

                                                                More: Concept Group


   A wild release  

    Yee-haw! - This week sees the release of Bob the Builder's latest
    feature-length adventure on DVD. Bob the Builder: Built to Be Wild
    originally played in cinemas back in July, as part of a HIT Entertainment
    tour, alongside a new Angelina Ballerina offering.

     Bob the Builder - Built to be Wild!
    Previously, Bob's had a memorable Christmas, he's fixed up a
    castle and built a Winter Games stadium. But in this latest adventure,
    Bob and the gang take a vacation to the one-horse town of Cactus Creek,
    in the US of A, where they meet up with a cowgirl called Rio, tell Tall Tales
    around the campfire and undertake a  rootin'-tootin' treasure hunt.

    The Hound still hasn't caught up with this new toon, but it's a fact
    that Bob's previous feature-length productions have all been superb.
    The HOT Animation team really go to town on these tales, giving
    them proper feature-film trimmings and expanding the mythos into
    a widescreen landscape. "Built to be Wild" is undoubtedly going
    to continue the trend. The Hound can't wait to round it up...

Built to be Wild


   200 cartoons  

    That's right folks, we're closing in on the big one.

    Right now, Toonhound's TvToons index identifies 194 series of one
    animated form or another - be they stop-motion, 2D, 3D, or just plain
    old animatic toons. That leaves a mere half dozen to go before that
    double century milestone is upon us!

    It's taken six years to get this far and thorough, but even so, the list
    of "missing" toons still never seems to shorten. And even more surprising
    are the ongoing emails this site receives, not only from fans pointing out
    omissions, but also from industry bods - the very producers themselves,
o less - seemingly keen to get their toon creation included post haste.

    It's all very flattering, if rather frustrating. After all, The Hound know what's
    missing, it just takes so very long to sort out. I've spent far too many
    years squinting away at my DVD and VHS collection in order to identify
    credits and info and nuggets of detail. My poor eyes are suffering,
    I tells ya! And every year, more and more top toons find their way
    through development hell and onto our screens. For every series I have
    to track down copies, record them from tv, or pick 'em up from car
    boot sales and auction sites. And if I want extra info on tie-ins and
    toys it means yet more sleuthing abroad, turning over stones...

    Oh, and don't get me started on the credits. A top toon series
    often dips into a pool of many writers, it'll have a series of guest
    artistes on the voicetrack, storyboard artists will come and go.
    Getting all those names together and correct can be a thankless
    task, especially when many of the selfsame folk appear to be
    poised on the other end of a mouse, waiting to chastise me for
    my errors!...
    But who would have it any orther way? - Good mail or bad mail,
    it all means that folks seem to care about what this site is trying
    to achieve. And that makes the leg work more than worthwhile.

    Never mind 200 toons, I'm already looking froward to the big 300.

    Till next time!

        Pooch says 'Stay tooned!'

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