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  & shorts

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Toonhound presents...






Peppa Pig art for sale at The Animation Art Gallery!

     Nov/December 2009
 Extra! Extra! - Read all the Toon News!

     Ivor's new book
A new Ivor the Engine story...

   And the winners are...
Those Children's BAFTA winners...

  Mr Benn's big day
A pavement tribute for Mr Benn...

  Peppa's posh new print
Peppa Pig at Selfridges...

  More Shaun
All-new Shaun the Sheep
   on CBBC....

    A bit distracted
   The Hound's been busy...
more »

   news archive »     interviews »      giveaways »

    Ivor's new book     

    Here's some bright Winter news for you. Our favourite Welsh loco,
    Ivor the Engine is making a miniature comeback, via a brand new
    storybook. "Bluebell's Christmas Mission" is a small Christmas tale,
    starring Ivor and Jones the Steam, and Bluebell the donkey, who
    helps our psht-a-coffing duo to deliver a special Christmas parcel.
    It's been written by Dan Postgate - he being the son of the late
    Oliver Postgate - and illustrated once more by his father's longtime
    collaborator, Peter Firmin. It's the first new full-length Ivor story to be
    published in over thirty years, and the first new SmallFilms-associated
    project to surface since Oliver's passing, which makes it quite a
    Big Deal, wouldn't you say?

     "Bluebell's Christmas Mission" available now from the SPANA website!

    Of course, it's an even Bigger Deal for Dan Postgate, stepping in to
    his father's shoes for the first time. That must be a daunting thing.
    But if Adam Hargreaves can do it...

    Now, there's extra importance attatched to this book, because it's
    been put together as a charity project, with money raised from sales
    benefiting the Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad (SPANA).
    The book came to fruition after Peter Firmin and his daughter Emily
    the visited the charity's projects in Morocco earlier this year. So it's
    a Big Deal and a Good Thing (The Hound does like his capitals).

    “Bluebell’s Christmas Mission” is available as a download from the
    SPANA website from today at a cost of £3.00. Hard copies can be
    ordered online for £3.50, or by sending a cheque to SPANA at
    14 John Street, London, WC1N 2EB. And just to repeat, all profits
    made will help SPANA’s veterinary and education work overseas...


    And the winners are...   (30.11.09)

Sunday night was Children's BAFTA night,when the British Academy
    hand out gongs to the best live-action and animated shows, movies,
    productions and presenters working in the Children's sector. And
    this year there were thre big UK toon wins to trumpet here
    at Toonhound:

     Best Animation:

       Sue Goffe, Philip Hunt
       (Studio AKA/Contender Entertainment/E1 Entertainment Group/Channel 4)

     Pre-school Animation:

       Phil Davies, Neville Astley, Mark Baker
       (Astley Baker Davies/Rubber Duck Entertainmen/E1 Kids/ Nick Jr)

     Independent Production Company:

       Phil Davies, Neville Astley, Mark Baker

     This year's Feature Film award went to CORALINE, and there was a
     Special Award for our favourite Womble, actor Bernard Cribbins...

     Short and sweet, then, but what a giddy night for Philip Hunt, Sue
     Goffe and the Studio AKA team. Their adaptation of Oliver Jeffer's
     "Lost and Found" picturebook is one of the sneakiest, tear-stealing
     films you'll ever watch. A perfect CG half-hour concluding with a twist
     that had The Hound blubbing uncontrollably when he first watched it
     last Christmas. Since then, the film has had a handsome DVD
     release where it's presented with a very informative "making of".
     There's so much to savour here, in the detail of the boy's seaside
     town, and that wonderful waddling penguin visitor who may, or may
     be lost. And Jim Broadbent surely deserves his own gong for Best
     Narration Ever. Can't wait to see where Studio AKA go next...

     ... And speaking of "next", how do you top an international success
     like Peppa Pig? With another series that just as good, if not better,
     that's how. Astley Baker Davies have proven that lightning really can
     strike twice with Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom. It's a show
     that brings a smile to your face when ever its airing. It's the subtle
     design that grabs you. It's blocky and picturebooky, in a child-like
     way. And the character look like little garden bugs, with their upscaled
     heads on those peddling bodies - very understated, but lovely,
     just lovely, and another deserved award-winner from a top
     independent studio...

     As always, well done to all the night's winners and losers, equally.
     Just being nominated is something special, isn't it?


    Mr Benn's Big Day    

    Ah, good old Mr Benn. Regular visitors to this site will know that
    The Hound is a fully paid up member
of the Mr Benn Fan Club.
    Or rather, he would be, if there was one. Gotta love Mr Benn, and
    the escapism that Costume Shop brings to his otherwise humdrum

Mr Benn

    David McKee's classic creation is as relevant today as it was back
    in 1967, when the first tale, "Mr Benn - Red Knight" was published.
    And it's why we have this lovely news story to celebrate today.
    It seems the good folks of Festing Road in Putney, SW1, have
    clubbed together to have a pavement slab engraved in recognition
    of their famous former resident. As most folks know, Festing Road
    previously played host to David McKee, back in the 60's, and it was
    the real-life inspiration behind Festive Road, which is Mr Benn's
    famous address. Mr Benn resided at number 52, just two doors down
    from his creator's then home at number 54. So now there's this lovely
    pavement stone for visitors to view. And what's particularly touching
    about this story is the fact that it's the local residents who have
    undertaken this inauguration, of their own volition.

    The stone is officially unveiled/laid this coming Saturday, November
    28th, with David McKee himself coming over from France, especially
    for the ceremony. In the BBC's news story he reveals that he's working
    on both a new Mr Benn picture book and a proper Mr Benn novel, for
    older children. Which is more news to make The Hound smile.
    Because, as he proved not too long ago with Mr Benn: Gladiator,
    that ol' McKee magic is still there...

    Apparently, high-definition versions of the original stories are also in the
    pipeline, and those long-gestating movie plans have also come back
    into the frame - though we're not told if they're still live-action, or not.
    But debate about the whys and wherefores of any film version are
    for another discussion, at a later date. All that matters right now is
    Festing Road and Mr Benn, and this weekend's wonderful unveiling!      

                                             More: David McKee at Andersen Press


    Peppa's posh new print   (17.11.09)

Well la-di-da. Here's some posh news for fans of Peppa Pig.
    She's going to be making a special appearance at Selfridges in
    London's Oxford Street, this coming Saturday 21st November, as
    part of a promotion for a rather special and exclusive new signed
    print that's going on sale at the store.

    The print in question is another beauty from The Animation Art Gallery's
    Art You Grew Up With programme, and it features Peppa's family feeding
    the ducks at the local park. Here you go:

    Peppa pig print exclusive - at Selfridges!

    Luverly, innit? It's limited to just 100 signed editions, and they're only
    going to be available from Books at Selfridges.
    The launch event takes place between 2.00pm and 3.00pm in
    Selfridge's Books department, on the Lower Ground Floor. And
    Neville Astley and series producer Phil Davies will be in attendance
    with Peppa.

    But never fear. If, like The Hound, you live outside of the Old Smoke,
    you can still reserve one of these fine giclees - or any of the others
    in the art You Grew Up With range - by getting in touch directly
    with The Animation Art Gallery!
                                                     More: The Animation Art Gallery


    More Shaun    

    Here's something well worth bleating about. Shaun the Sheep is
    returning to our screens later this month!

    Shaun the Sheep - back on cBBC! (image copyright Aardman Animation)

    Shaun's first series was an Emmy-winning triumph for Aardman Animation
    Forty fab stop-motion stories stuffed with farmyard frolics that really ought
    to have been indexed at Toonhound by now. We'll have to do something
    about that, sharp-ish. Anyway, if you liked them, there's lots more on
    offer from Monday November 23rd at 4.25pm, when Shaun the Sheep
    Series II premiers on cBBC. Forty more episodes are currently in
    production (twenty completed, twenty more in the pipeline), and this
    time around Shaun, Bitzer and company take up ballooning, kidnapping
    and piracy, they have a go a quad-biking, and stage their very own
    Winter Olympics. So it's pretty much business as usual, down on
    that Aardman farm...

Shaun the Sheep


    A bit distracted     

    If you're a regular visitor here (and I think there might still be at least one),
    you'll probably have noticed a slowing down of additions and updates on
    the site, over the Summer and into Autumn, for which I must apologise.
    But you see, I've been indulging in a little "me" time of late, and it's
    distracted me somewhat from the day-to-day business of Toonhound.

    So what have I been up to? Well, it's my very own, very small, comic project.
    Smaller than Small Press, I'd say. If you've found me on Facebook, or you've
    stopped by my blog, you'll have already caught up with its development.
    It's called BLIP, and I've set myself a goal of getting the first 48-page tale
    drawn, inked, and coloured, ready for self-publication by the end of the year.

    BLIP by F - coming soon!

    I'm using it to scratch an ever-growing itch to be creative, and to prove to
    myself that I have the ability to see a comic project through to completion.
    You see, I've been far too distracted in the past, and there are umpteen
    half-finished endeavours scattered around my old attic. There's also been
    the little matter of Toonhound and its neverending need to be fed new toons
    and news. This place has been online ten whole years now. That's a long
    time, in web terms, and it feels a whole lot longer to me. I seem to have
    been chained to my PC for an eternity, and whilst I've been tapping away
    on my keyboard, my old drawing pad has been left to gather dust.
    Oh, but look, there's no need to panic. You might think I'm about to abandon
    Toonhound to the four winds. No, no, no. And once more, no. I've no such
    intentions. I'm just saying that I am a tad distracted right now and there may
    be a period between here and the end of the year in which the updates and
    the news stories don't get online quite as quickly, or with quite as much
    regularity. But these are "mights" and nothing more. I've broken the back
    of my comic tale as you read this, so I should be able to divide my time
    a bit more  evenly between pad and keyboard. Which all means that,
    with luck, you won't even see the join and this editorial ramble
    becomes redundant.

    I've keeping a running commentary on my progress with BLIP, over on
    my blog, if anyone's interested. And if you're not, well, yah-boo to you,
    'cos I'm continuing with it regardless!

    Till next time!

        Pooch says 'Stay tooned!'

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