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  Short British Films &  TV Specials  

     Percy the Park Keeper: The Secret Path


   
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Percy the Park Keeper:
  The Secret Path
     (1997)

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 producers:  Grand Slamm for HIT Entertainment
    animation:  2D animation
       run time:  25mins

 

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    "I've got a rather exciting job to do on the other
     side of the park..."

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    It's a lovely morning and the animals want their favourite park keeper to
    play games with them. But Percy is far too busy. He's got a job to do
    on the other side of the park. Before he sets off, however, he has to
    tend to Squirrel. The chap's got himself all worked up over some missing
    nuts, he's fallen on that prickly fool of a Hedgehog and he's hurt his arm.
    But that's actually good news, because once he's bandaged up, he can
    accompany Percy on that exciting job. They're going to the park's maze,
    which is in need of a trim.

    Clever Percy uses string tied to his barrow to stop himself from getting
    lost in the hedges. Meanwhile, his animal friends sneak into the heart of
    the maze to give them a big surprise. Only, Percy takes far too long to
    turn up, and as they idle and doze, so their pal is able to turn the tables
    and give them a rude awakening. But there's a surprise for Percy after
    all, because Squirrel then arrives with his ball of string. He's coiled it
    all back up for him, which means they're now stuck in the maze!

    Of course, everything turns out just fine when Hedgehog arrives. His
    annoying prickles actually prove to be most useful, and a round of toasted
    teacakes beckons for one and all. So Grand Slamm have produced another
    tip-top adaptation. It must be said again, Jim Broadbent's Percy voice is just
    so perfect; kind but firm, caring but always in control of his animal friends. 
    It's all terrific toddler fodder, but if there's a negative here, it's that this
    particular tale is a little flat when compared to its companion films.
    After the Storm, One Snowy Night and The Rescue Party are all poignant
    park tales. But here, there's a lack of drama, just episodic fun and games.
    And there are less of those little moments - the ones where Percy
    has a heart-to-heart with an animal pal, or simply busies himself at
    work or in his hut. It's those little details that have made the Percy
    films feel so very special...

    But who's worrying? This critique will be moot for most viewers. Percy's
    target audience will be hooked as soon as the first marching bars of
    his theme tune reach their ears. And if they're hooked and happy, then
    even us bigger viewers should be just as happy too!

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     See also

     Percy the Park Keeper: After the Storm
     Percy the Park Keeper: One Snowy Night
     Percy the Park Keeper: The Rescue Party
     Percy the Park Keeper

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     Further reading

    
Tales from Percy's Park: The Secret Path
     The 2003 softback edition...

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     Percy on DVD

     "The Secret Path" is available as part of a UK double-bill:

     UK DVD The Secret Path & The Rescue Party
                 
Region 2 / double-bill / HIT Ent. / April 2007


     
Then there's the tv series:

  
   UK DVD
Percy the Park Keeper: The Classic Collection
                Region 2 / ten episodes / HIT Ent. / January 2004


  
  UK DVD Children's Favourites

                Episodes from the series are also included on several
                compilation DVDs from HIT Entertainment...


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     a Grand Slamm Children's Film Production
      for HIT Entertainment PLC


      based on the book by Nick Butterworth


      produced & directed by Ginger Gibbons


     exec prods:     
Peter Orton (for HIT)
                           Kate Fawkes (for HIT)
     adaptation:
    Nick Butterworth, Kate Fawkes                      
      music:            Bob Heatlie

     Grand Slamm  
     prod man:       Margo Marchant
     storyboard:     Nobby Clarke
     backgrounds:   Mike Hill, John Millington, Gunther Herbst
     head of
      layouts:
         David Kenyon
     layout:           Jacques Gauthier, John Cooper,
                          Sue Butterworth

     Varga Studio
     series prod:    Andras Erkel, Jeno Vass
     anim dir:        Igor Lazin
     charac sup:    Istvan Zold
     prod mans:    Sandor Paulik, Petra Szabo
     spfx:             Sandor Toreky

     sound editor: Terry Brown
     asst editors:  Jamie Martin, Charlotte Evans
     sound
      post-prod:
    Magmasters, Billy Mahoney
     sound rec:     The Tape Gallery, Simon Capes
     post prod:     Dean Street Post
     music cons:   Jim Doyle    
     voices:          Jim Broadbent (Percy)

                         Enn Reitel (Squirrel / Badger)

                         Kate Harbour (Owl)

                         David Hart

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      On the web


      Grand Slamm Childrens Films
      Percy's here, together with Angelina, Kipper and the rest of
      Grand Slamms' animated productions...


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© Grand Slamm / HIT Entertainment PLC/ F2007