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Toonhound presents...






      November 2007
 Extra! Extra! - Read all the Toon News!

    And the winners are...
This year's BAFTA round-up...

Dare to dream
Dan Dare's six-page preview...

    Morph for Christmas
Cult Prints' new Morph print...

Some Secret Show news..

    Let's scramble!
Bob's built a new special...

    200 at last!
   A milestone is finally reached...  more »

   news archive »     interviews »      giveaways »

    And the winners are...   

    Or is that "were"? Goodness, the weeks have flown by. It seems
    like only yesterday The Hound was reporting on the nominees for this
    year's Children's BAFTAs. Now, all too soon, the big event has been
    and gone (25th Nov) and we're here to applaud the winners!

    So here's the lowdown:

    Charlie and Lola earned Tiger Aspect the award for Best Preschool
, and Bridget Hurst won the Writers award for her work
    on the show. The wins weren't really a surprise, given the popularity
    of Lauren Child's star characters...

    And Victor Volt and Anita Knight got two as well, because The Secret
    Show won Collingwood O'Hare the coveted Best Animation trophy, and
    the show's super shiny web site won Complete Control the Interactive
    prize. The Collingwood O'Hare trophy cabinet must be positively groaning
    by now, what with all the BAFTAs their toons have collected
    over the years...

You might argue, those super secret agents stole their main prize
from Shaun the Sheep. And they lost out twice, because those toe-tapping
    Happy Feet penguins flushed away Roddy and Rita to the Feature Award.
    But Aardman Animation didn't leave the night empty-hooved, 'cos they
    were consoled with the Independent Production Company of
    the Year award...

    But this was the year when the award discussions were outshone
    by a bigger debate. The crisis in UK Kids TV dominated the evening.
    And rightly so. The UK's industry pool is drying up rapidly in the face
    of so many adversities. It certainly took the lustre of what should have
    been a super, shiny industry event. And it makes this commentator
    so cross. We have a fabulous cartoon tradition in this country. Where
    others sacrifice quality for output, we take risks with defiantly unique
    and original animated creations. We lead the way in the preschool arena,
    and older viewers get to feast on a fine toon selection too. The Secret
    Show, Charlie & Lola, Shaun the Sheep, Peppa Pig - these are
    spectacularly imaginative, one-of-a-kind series that stand head
    and shoulders above a crowded marketplace, with appeal to young
    and old alike. And they're just the latest in a wonderful production line
    that stretches back to the birth of Kids TV. How on earth did we
    allow ourselves to get to such a low point?


As always, congrats to all - winners and losers alike. Even a
    nomination is something to be proud of, after all. And you'll find
    a complete list of winners on the BAFTA web site. But given the
    state of play right now, one wonders if they'll be any toons left to
    vote for in a few years time....?


    Dare to dream  (25.11.07)

    Remember how, in August, we were told that Virgin comics was
    reinventing Dan Dare again? Well, the first fruits of their labour are
    now upon us - or rather, the fruits of Garth Ennis and Gary Eskine's
    hard labour are here.

    Dan Dare Issue #1 hits stores from 28th November, but those of us
    who can't bear the wait any longer can preview the first six pages of the
    title over on Newsarama. In this latest incarnation, the UK is the last
    remaining superpower and Dare is now in self-imposed retirement
But events are moving quickly and it looks like our galactic
    hero may soon be dragged into service again...

    Virgin have made much of Dare's "return". It makes sense, given
    that he's been out of the wider public eye for a while. But of course,
    with all those Titan reprints of the original strips, the recent misfiring
    tv series and the ever-present continuation that is Spaceship Away,
    well, we know he never really went anywhere.

    Oh, and by the way. Dare fans would do well to drop by Chris Weston's
    rather fine little blog. You see, he's been rather busy of late, designing
    something that will get you salivating... If you love the Hampson
    original, well... let's just say, you're in for a treat!...

                                          More: Virgin Comics  Dan Dare Corp.


    Morph for Christmas   

    Wow. 2007 has certainly been the Year of the Brit Toon Giclee.
    Already this year we've had Mr Benn, BOD, Paddington, Rupert Bear,
    Peppa Pig, and The Mr Men - this after an era that's been almost
    devoid of anything British and animated and framed...

     Cult Prints' Giclee Morph Print - now available!

    And now, just in time for Christmas, we've got a handsome giclee Morph
    print to get us grinning yet again. This new print comes to us from Cult
    Prints and it's been produced in celebration of his 30th anniversary year.
    "The Many Faces of Morph" is a 46 x 38cm print which features a
    montage of some of the original drawings of Morph from Peter Lord's
    very own sketchbook, together with an exclusive new illustration of our
    plasticene pal, as drawn by our Aardman hero. There are only 250
    editions available, and what's more, each is numbered and hand-signed
    by Peter himself.

    Sounds like the perfect pressie for any Aardman fan out there.
    You can find out more about the piece, and how to buy it directly
    from the Cult Prints site. But I'd hurry if I were you, 'cos with the
    festive season almost upon us these are bound to be popular!...

                                                                       More: Cult Prints


    Ssh!  (15.11.07)

    Collingwood O'Hare have a secret to share. There's a Double
    Agent at large in The Secret Show and he's going to be
    exposed on December 1st!...


And here's another for you, courtesy of The Hound. "The Secret
    Show" is one of the best toons on tv right now. And it's British.
    And Brit-created toons need all the promotion they can get during
    these miserable tv times. So skip on over to the CBBC Channel
    now and support your those super Secret Agents Victor Volt and
    Anita Knight as T.H.E.Y. fight for U.Z.Z. And set you recorders
    for 18:00hrs on December 1st when the cat is finally out of the
    bag... The Double Agent is unmasked... The revelation is
    revealed... in the episode "Secret Double Agent"...

The Secret Show


    Let's scramble!   

    There's some great news for Bob the Builder fans this week - and let's
    hold our hands up here, The Hound is a big fan - because an all-new
    special has just skidded on to DVD, here in the UK.

    "Bob the Builder: Scrambler to the Rescue" new to DVD

    Scrambler to the Rescue sees our titular vehicle leading a snowy
    rescue mission out of Sunflower Valley, with Zoomer for company.
    But we know from past experience how those pesky machines need
    to learn a thing or two about teamwork, and sure enough, our dynamic
    duo take a wee while to get their heads together to save their snowed
    up friends, and newcomer R-Vee, the - erm - RV...

    This one's "only" a short - it's got a running time of 24mins - but all five
    previous specials have been fab, regardless of their varying lengths, so
    it's a safe bet that number six will match them in terms of topnotch
    animation and storytelling. Seriously folks, the HOT Animation team
    have delivered the goods time and again. It's sad to think this might
    be the last such outing from them, given all the chatter that's surfaced
    in recent months....

    But let's not dwell on industry gloom. Instead, let's savour Bob and the
    gang once more, in full filmic flight. Each special tale has developed
    another facet of our star's life, whether it be revealing more of his past,
    his family, or his plans for the future. Bob's world just keeps getting bigger
    and brighter. The Hound reckons it's only a matter of time before the
    bright sparks at HIT decide to marry their star off to his best pal.
    Oh yes, "Bob Loves Wendy" is bound to be in the creative pipeline
    somewhere. And if we're taking things to their logical conclusion,
    why, "Bob Junior" can only be a twinkle away!...

Bob the Builder


   200 at last!  

    This time last year, The Hound was celebrating the imminent arrival of
    a very jolly milestone. He was closing in rapidly on the big 200. That is
    to say, the 200th animated series to have entered the TvToons index.
    He had his streamers and party poppers at the ready... The cake was
    in the oven...

    And then, fate intervened. 2007 has been a ridiculously busy year.
    I've been pulled everywhichway, offline and on, and the amount of new
    additions to the various indexes have slowed to a mere trickle of late...

    But finally, twelve months later than planned. We've done it. We've hit
    that double century, courtesy of Roger Hargreaves and those fantastic
    Little Miss, who joined the site this week. And it's rather apt because,
    Mr Hargreaves was a masive influence on this dawg's formative years.
    His Mr Men books were my first love when I was five, and their
    elegant simplicity encouraged me to pick up a pen for myself and
    get drawing... Why, those are just felt pen drawings.. I could do
    what he did... Easy-peasy...

    But of course, that's the beauty of the Mr Men. They are, in fact,
    defiantly sophisticated. Oh for sure, my young hand could draw a
    big wobbly shape, colour it purple and call it "Mr Greedy". But
    Mr Hargreaves' original had such splendid control to it. A perfect
    smile... dinky little fingers on the tummy... I spent a whole Summer
    drawing Mr Men over and over, but they were never as good as
    those originals.... and maybe I'm not alone, given the furore that's
    been building over "The Mr Men Show"!

    Anyways, let's not get mired in that debate. Instead, let's celebrate
    that 200th addition to the index. Of course, there are still plenty of
    missing shows - Roger Hargreaves' "Timbuctoo" amongst them -
    but you can bet the index will keep growing, slowly but surely.
    As long as they keep makin' them, Toonhound will keep on
    Till next time!

        Pooch says 'Stay tooned!'

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