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  Short British Films &  TV Specials
Poppy Dogwood and child in Brambly Hedge: Poppy's Babies (HIT Entertainment)

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Brambly Hedge:
  Poppy's Babies

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   producers:  HOT Animation for HIT Entertainment
                      in association with the BBC
   animation:  stop-motion animation
      run time:  25mins

    "I wish we could help Poppy!"

    Dusty and Poppy Dogwood are having a tough time of things within the old
    mill. They have three mousling babies to look after, but the mill is constantly
    on the go, there are great clouds of flour blooming everywhichway and the
    incessant grinding machinery leaves them with very little family time
    or space or pause in which to think. Rose, Buttercup and Pipkin's Naming
    Day is almost upon them, how on earth is Poppy going to manage things?

    Their mouse friends are here to help, but even so, with two days to go to the
    Big Day, Poppy is at her wit's end and Dusty's all-too aware of how noisy,
    dusty and damp it is for them. The youngsters, Primrose Woodmouse
    and Wilfred Toadflax, feel sorry for the family too and Wilfred announces a plan
    to cheer them up with a gift. Something carved out of wood, perhaps. Mr Apple
    offers to fetch him a suitable branch, and that's when he introduces them
    to Mayblossom Cottage, a hedgerow home that's been standing empty for
    years. Mr Apple's been using the place as a wood store. Once upon a time,
    when his Aunt lived there, it was very cozy. And there's quite a lot of space,
    it has rooms going up and up. He's never really thought about it before, but
    Wilfred and Primrose are inspired...

    And that's a good thing for us, because we wouldn't otherwise have had
    this lovely "Brambly Hedge" finale to watch. If you're keeping a tally, you'll
    be aware that this is the eighth and last of HIT Entertainment's stop-motion
    stories adapted from the books by Jill Barklem. And this one keeps its
    little paws tight to the hedgerow as Wilfred, Poppy, Dusty, Mr Apple and the
    mouse community set to work in secret, renovating Mayblossom Cottage
    top to bottom as a Naming Day surprise for Poppy. But it's mighty tricky
    keeping it quiet, when everyone is bustling around daubed and dirtied
    and spattered with paint.

    There's not a lot to the tale, this time around, but we've been rambling abroad
    for the last two stories (see The High Hills and Sea Story) and this one brings
    us home to celebrate the small and simple joys of life back within that magical
    hedgerow. It'ss lovely to return to the Dogwoods and to see how far they've
    come since their marriage in "Summer Story". And the mice are given a rousing
    send-off. The new nursery and the cottage kitchen are stuffed to the gills
    with mousey adornments, utensils, tools, belongings and apparel. Each set
    is framed with still more lush decoupage foliage and every twitching conversation
    is minutely timed and observed, just as it's been throughout the preceding films.
    There's an effortless air about this film that belies the hard labour behind the
    scenes. It's got class. The finale features the Naming Ceremony conducted
    against a beautiful peach-stained sky and the mice duck for cover as a soft
    Summer shower breaks upon them. Oh, yes, this a production crew working at
    the top of their game. And as we close on the mice celebrating in the Dogwood's
    new cottage, this viewer must raise a glass with them and toast all the folks
    who worked so hard to bring Jill Barklem's timeless hedgerow world to life.
    Truly, these eight films are a stop-motion masterclass...

    Dusty Dogwood in Brambly Hedge: Poppy's Babies (HIT Entertainment)


     Broadcast info

     "Poppy's Babies" premiered on BBC1, on 3rd January 2000...


    See also

    Series overview

    Brambly Hedge: Winter Story
    Brambly Hedge: Spring Story

    Brambly Hedge: The Secret Staircase
    Brambly Hedge: The High Hills
    Brambly Hedge: Sea Story

     Further reading

    Brambly Hedge books at


     Brambly Hedge on DVD

     "Poppy's Babies" is included in this four film compilation:

Brambly Hedge: The Classic Collection
                Region 2 / "The Secret Staircase", "The High Hills", "Sea Story"
                and "Poppy's Babies"
/ HIT Entertainment / January 2004

    Then there are these two releases:

     UK DVD Brambly Hedge: Spring Story
Region 2 / HIT Entertainment
/ April 2007

Christmas Children's Favourites
                This compilation DVD includes "Winter Story"
                Region 2 / HIT Entertainment / December 2005


    a HOT Animation production for HIT Entertainment PLC
     in association with the BBC

    based on the books by Jill Barklem

exec producers:

supervising director:




sets, decoupage
& miniatures:

art direction:
editorial consultant:
prod assistants:
prod co-ordinator
for HOT:

production manager
for HIT:
model lighting
assistant camera:

dubbing mixer:
generated images:

post production:

Theresa Plummer-Andrews (for the BBC)
Kate Fawkes, Peter Orton (for HIT)
Brian Little

Jackie Cockle
Jocelyn Stevenson
Ernie Wood

Paul Couvela
George Laban, Jud Walton,
Jacky Howson
Mackinnon and Saunders
Georgina Hayns, Bethan Jones,
Allison Lloyd, Darren Marshall,
Michelle Scattergood, Bridget Smith,

Stuart Sutcliffe, Mark Thompson,
Caroline Wallace
Geraldine Corrigan, Karen Betty
Jon Fletcher, Lucy Beckett

Richard Sykes,
Jeff Spain, Rick Kent,
Samantha Hanks, Simon Walmsley,
Lucy Burscough
Barbara Biddulph
Jane Fior
Macushla Carney, Donna Holdsworth

Bella Reekie

Karen Davidsen

Joe Dembinski, Peter Murphy
Shirlaine Forrest
Zyggy Markiewicz

Aad Wirtz

Colin Ralph
Shane Warden, Alan Bishop

    Robert Lindsay (narrator)
    Neil Morrisey (Wilfred Toadflax / Dusty)
    Charlotte Coleman (Primrose Woodmouse / Poppy)
    Jim Broadbent (Basil / Old Vole)

    June Whitfield (Mrs Apple)

    Michael Williams (Mr Appple)
    Rosemary Leach (Lady Daisy Woodmouse / Old Mrs Eyebright)
    Anton Rodgers (Lord Woodmouse)
    Alun Lewis (Mr Toadflax)
    Noreen Kershaw (Mrs Toadflax)
    Kate Harbour (additional voices)
    David Holt (additional voices)


     On the web

     The World of Brambly Hedge 
     The official site including some handy details on the
     development of the films...

       HOT Animation
     The studio behind the hedgerow...

 Mackinnon & Saunders
     They made the mousey models and props...

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© HIT Entertainment Ltd & Jill Barklem / F2013