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Toonhound presents...






British TV series

      "Old Bear Stories" adapted from the books by Jane Hissey

  Old Bear Stories
  producers: Optomen Television
                    & Ealing Animation for
                    Carlton Television
  animation: stop-motion animation

   1996 / 13 x 10mins     THE CHRISTMAS STAR
                                      1998 / 1 x 30min special
   1997 / 13 x 10mins

   1998 / 13 x 10mins

 "Tell us a story Old Bear, we'll all gather round..."
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   Old Bear is a worn and frayed old Steiff teddy bear, who lives in a nursery with his
   soft toy friends Bramwell Brown, Duck, Rabbit, Little Bear, Jolly Tall the giraffe,
   Hoot the owl and Ruff the dog. Their busy days involve helping each other, playing
   games, making jigsaw puzzles, celebrating birthdays, solving mysteries, performing
   plays and much more besides.

   This charming stop-motion series is adapted from the popular picture stories
   by Jane Hissey, and as is so often the case with this kind of British series,
   the translation is perfect, right down to the last worn thread of fur. All of the nursery
   toys are "real" toys, familiar from many-a-childhood, and brought to life by the
   skillful crew at Ealing Animation. The production is steeped in the sepia of
   childhood nostalgia. From the opening bars of its hummable theme, "Old Bear
   and Friends" carries the viewer away downstream, with gentle characters and
   stories, and the warm, cossetting tones of Anton Rodgers' narration. Little wonder 
   the series picked up a BAFTA and animation awards around the globe.

   The first book in Jane Hissey's series, "Little Bear's Trousers", was published
   in 1986. In a lovely little touch, the film makers have Old Bear choose a Jane
   Hissey book from the shelf during the title sequence. Old Bear settles down to
   read the tale to his nursery friends, and we embark on another story with them.

   Some adventures take the toys out of the nursery altogether and into the garden,
   or indeed, in the case of "The Boat Race", all the way to the perils of a full
   flowing river.

   The three series were followed by a Christmas special. "Little Bear and the
   Christmas Star"
follows the exploits of the nursery toys one Christmas Eve.

   By the way, those with a hankering for teddy bear nostalgia might also want to
   track down The Upstairs, Downstairs Bears from FilmFair...

    "Old Bear Stories" adapted from the books by Jane Hissey

Stories & Friends

   The series is billed as being "Old Bear Stories". But Jane Hissey's books
   are billed as "Old Bear and Friends". The two titles often get confused
   and intertwined...

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   Jane Hissey's Old Bear storybooks

   This is a rundown of the storybooks only. There have of course been
   numerous series tie-ins and activity/stationery publications published
   alongside these works...

   1986 - Little Bear's Trousers
   1998 - Old Bear
   1998 - Teddy Bear Tales
   1989 - Little Bear Lost
   1990 - Jolly Tall
   1991 - Jolly Snow
   1992 - Little Bear's Bedtime
   1992 - Little Bear's Day
   1994 - Ruff
   1996 - Hoot
   1999 - Little Bear's Dragon and Other Stories
   2003 - Splash


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   Series One
   Old Bear
   Little Bear Lost
   There Were Five in a Bed
   Jolly Tall
   Little Bear's Trousers
   The Circus
   The Rainy Day
   The Fancy Dress Parade
   Little Bear's Big Race
   The Apple Tree
   The Winter Picnic
   Jolly Snow
   The Dolls' House Christmas

Series Three
   Hoot and the Mystery Eggs
   The Clock
   The Castle
   The Colour Chase
   Little Bear's Snowmen
   The Painting
   Duck Tries to Fly
   The Jolly Dragon
   Rabbit and the Visitor
   Little Bear's Cold Day
   Ruff and the Big Wheel
   The Birthday Camp
   The Treasure Hunt

Series Two
The Boat Race
Spring Clean
Ruff Follows His Nose
Hot and Spotty
The Play
Market Day
The Birthday Band
Little Bear's Book
Old Bear's Chair
The Car

Little Bear and
the Christmas Star

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    1995 Chicago Intl Children's Film Festival - Outstanding Achievement Award
    1994 Royal Television Society - Best Children's Series
    1993 BAFTA - Best Children's Programm
    1993 New York Film Festival - Gold Medal
    1993 Chicago Film Festival - Silver Plaque
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    characters copyright Jane Hissey
    licensed by Random House (UK) Ltd

    an Optomen Television Production
    in association with Ealing Animation

   director:            Kevin Griffiths
   producers:          Peter Gillbe, Richard Randolph
   asst director:      Liz Whitaker
   writer:                Jane Hissey    
   music:                Paul Castle
   animation:          Tobias Fouracre, Bryn Jones
   puppet makers:   Alix Harwood, Helen Rench
   sets:                   Graeme Owen
   props:                 Pippa Randolph
   prod asst:           Jilly Clarke
   video editor:       Nick Follows
   narration:           Anton Rodgers

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    On the web

    Ealing Animation
    Info here on all of Ealing's work...

    Paul Castle / PDC Music
    Paul's a very busy musician, and here he guides through his
    various acoustic productions, and more...

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© Optomen Television /Ealing Animation / Carlton tv / F2011