Willo, willo (30.09.03)
Some news to put you in a good 'Moog' this week;
Willo The Wisp
is inching ever closer to our screens again!
Many of you will know that Bobbie Spargo and Tim
Hollier have been
endeavouring to get an all-new series of films
off the ground for a wee
while now (See: Willo
The Wisp). Well, this week C21-media
report that Target Entertainment have come onboard
the 52x5min series,
and that means the new show will now get the full razzle-dazzle
down at MIPCOM. And that, in turn, means that
some healthy presales
should be made, which - fingers crossed - will allow
the series proper
to get into production. Exciting, eh?
The new Willo show is being written by Jamie Rix
and produced by
Sarah Muller and Tim Hollier of Elephant Productions.
from 'Gimme Gimme Gimme' has been perfectly cast
as the new
narrator on the series.
Target have been making some interesting waves
in the toon world
of late, you know. 'Meg And Mog'
is distributed by them too...
Willo The Wisp
Comforting news (27.09.03)
Great to see Aardman's all-new 'Creature Comforts'
the full promo treatment on ITV1 over the last
week-or-so. As the
world and his wife must surely know by now, a
of animated animals have been filmed for this
And better yet, it's launching in a peak-time
slot here in the UK...
Back in August
Yours Truly mentioned it was launching in a Sunday
slot, but as all those promos and ads have been
telling us, the show is
actually premiering this Wednesday 1st October
at 8.00pm. A second
episode is screened later that same night at
9.45pm, before the show
commences a regular run at 7.20pm on Sunday
evening. So set your
videos now and tune in to a fab selection of seals,
pooches, rats, slugs,
cows, octopi, plankton, aliens, and more as they enthuse
the universe and everything inbetween!
Snowden do fine at FORUM (23.09.03)
Plenty of news from Cartoon FORUM this week. For folks
out there who
don't know, FORUM is an annual get-together for
houses, animators, distributors and broadcasters
from around the globe.
These fellows showcase new series, shorts, projects
and basically talk
toons for a week and many-a-deal is signed and
First to be congratulated here at Toonhound are
Alison Snowden and
Oscar-winning duo behind 'Bob
& Margaret' have had the
pilot for their new toon 'Ricky Sprocket Showbiz Boy'
picked up for
broadcast by Cartoon Network US (C21-Media)
and things are looking
healthy for their second new toon 'Simon Stimple'.
Ricky Sprocket is mega-succesful Hollywood teen star
trying to cope
with adolescence and normality in the very frantic
world of show business.
It's the duo's first attempt at a 'tween' driven toon.
Simon Stimple, meanwhile,
is all about the life of a 22 year old guy living
above his parent's apartment.
The 26x22min proposal is to be brought to MIPCOM
in the hunt for financiers.
This one is is being packaged by Studio B in Vancouver
and the channel
Teletoon, on which the show will premiere in 2004.
It's an adult skewed
toon, after the fashion of 'Bob And Margaret'.
Ricky and Simon look like very interesting
characters. Stay tooned for
more on these two soon!...
Four more from Forum (23.09.03)
Lots more news pouring out of this year's FORUM,
as one would
expect. Like what, says you? Well....
Animation have been showcasing their first all-CGI series
'Chop Socky Chooks'. This 52 x11min show focuses
on a band of
Kung-Fu fighting chickens, and already the likes
of Cartoon Network
Europe are on board. The series will take 18 months
with toon duties shared between the UK and a selection
partners. The budget is coming in at around £385k
Yes, yes, so it's Aardman and chickens again.
But hey, any Aardman
news is good news for us toon fans, right?
Those canny Scots' folk at Red
Kite Productions have scared up
Canadian interest in their 3D series called 'The
This 26 x 30min series focuses on a lad called
Helmut and his neurotic
Mother and Father. This one's budgeted at around
£285k per episode.
Sounds like a smart concept and definitely one
to sniff out info on.
Next up are Hat Trick Productions. Everyone knows Hat
Trick, of course,
from their numerous light entertainment and sitcom
credits. Well now
they're moving in to animated circles with 'Streatham
Hill'. This one's
been on the development slate a wee while and it focuses
trio of inner-city schoolgirls getting up to mayhem
and mischief in
and around their school and its environs ('South Park'
Trinian's' anyone?). The hip 13-part series is
in development with
Channel 4. Teletoon and Decode will be co-producing
which is being written by Sharat Sardana and Richard
'Goodness Gracious Me' fame, together with Richard
Finally in this ickle round-up, Tiger Aspect have
been receiving lots of
jolly interest in 'Charlie & Lola'. The series
is based on the children's
books by Lauren Child which feature Charlie and
his peculiar sister
Lola. The animation jumbles up 2D imagery with
fabrics and pictures
to make a scrapbook look to the production. The
series is sponsored
by BBC Worldwide and the project has proven most
Tiger Aspect's first toon outing, 'Mr
Bean: The Animated Series',
broke new ground in the UK when it was given a
slot by ITV1. 'Charlie & Lola' is a world
away in tone and design from
that one and suggest that Tiger are shaping up
into a rather dynamic
There's more from FORUM soon, including details
of the biggest,
FAB-est news of the week, month and year even...
Have you seen this Snowman? (23.09.03)
Just a brief follow-up here regarding the theft
of those TVC Snowman
cels, as reported at
the end of August. Apparently
the theft is to be
highlighted on this week's 'Crimewatch' programme
on BBC1 this
wednesday 24th Sept, although to be frank, The
Hound can't see
what good such a report will do. Indeed, there's
an argument that
it may draw even more unwelcome attention to the
of such material amongst the criminal fraternity,
thus putting other
studio archives at risk...
Still, it's interesting to see that the art theft
will be presented to the
public on the same show that will be highlighting
the theft of that
Leonardo da Vinci painting from Dumfries - Crikey,
The Snowman on the same billing, who'd have thunk
it? - Let's hope
someone watching can give the crime squad a lead
on both of
these depressing cases...
Nutwood comes home (19.09.03)
Back in April The Hound reported on a rights wrangle
that had brewed up over
Rupert The Bear (See: Everyone
wants his name). If you recall, the owner of
The Daily Express, Richard Desmond was seeking
commercial rights to
Rupert from Canada's Nelvana, citing mismanagement
of the brand. Well,
five months on, it seems that Mr Desmond has won
the fight because
UK publisher Northern & Shell - who own The
Daily Express - this week
announced that they have now won all image rights
and copyrights to the
chap, with Nelvana now retaining rights to only
the 65 x 5mins episodes
produced during their ownership period...
So what does this mean for Rupet fans? - Well,
plenty. A new Rupert tv
series is being mooted, alongside designs for
a plethora of associated
merchandise for us to get our paws on. Press
reports direct us to the
success of Chorion with their revitalised Noddy
franchise, and Ent Rights
ongoing success with Basil Brush, etc. Which all
sounds just fine and
dandy. But when the dust settles on the contracts
and the money-
spinning relaunch plans are all in place, please,
please can someone
at Northern & Shell take a moment to look
back down the years of
Rupert's stardom. Can we have some 'classic' Rupert
compliment the 'new' franchise. Better yet, can
someone wake up
and begin to exploit Mary Turner's still-fabulous
'Adventures Of Rupert'
tv series, with its extraordinarily popular theme and
Yes, I know, I've hounded folks about this before,
but it really would be
a crying shame to see that show sidelined yet again...
Meg and Mog swoop in (16.09.03)
Hold on to your broomsticks, 'cos Meg and Mog
have swooped on to
CITV this month. Meg is a cheery witch, and Mog
her feline muse.
They've been featuring in the popular picture
books by Helen Nicoll
and Jan Pienkowski since the mid-1970's, and indeed,
3million 'Meg And Mog' books have been sold over
Pienkowski's creations are always big and bright and
recognisable - perfect for an animated adaptation...
The duo have been brought into life by animator-turned-director
Mainwood. His extensive CV includes credits on numerous TVC
productions like 'The Snowman', 'The Bear', 'Granpa',
and several of their Beatrix Potter adaptations.
He also animated on
Illuminated Films' 'War Game', produced key character
layouts on 'Faeries'
and the forthcoming Telemagination series 'Metalheads'
(more on that
The animated 'Meg And Mog' consists of 52 x 5min
episodes and features
the voice talents of Fay Ripley, Alan Bennett,
and Phil Cornwell. The series
is a co-production between Absolutely Productions
in London, Happy Life
Studio in Stockholm, and Varga Studio in Budapest.
has worldwide broadcast and merchandising rights. Absoloutely
is of course the same production outfit who brought
us 'Stressed Eric'.
and who have a finger in the animated meringue
that is 'Natural Born
Kittens' (See the February
edition). But 'Meg And Mog' is a big bright
world away from those particular productions...
Check out 'Meg And Mog' ever Wednesday, 3.20pm
Meg And Mog Roger
Striker Comic wants you! (07.09.03)
Well, 'Striker Comic' is here and already swaggering
on to its second issue.
And you know what? - It's a very sassy publication.
The main 3D story is
smart, balances humour and hijinx very well, and is
to look at. The follow-up articles and 'Big Match'
strip maintain the myth of
Warbury FC and - heck - you get a lot of kicking
content for your £1.00.
What's more you don't even have to be a full-on
footy fan to get a
kick out of the comic. If there's any griping
to be had it's only that
Striker Comic isn't really a 'comic' as such,
more of a footy fanzine.
It's a topflight one, regardless...
But if you flip to the back of this week's issue
and you'll find a full-page
plea from the editorial team on this top-scoring title.
They need 3D graphics
artists, and they need 'em fast. They've got a content-hungry
'comic' to produce
and are looking for experienced Maya and Photoshop artists,
as well as retouch
artists and storyboard artists. The Striker 3D team
has dared to dream, and
have hit the ground running. It would be a crying shame
to see them relegated
from premierleague comics so early in to their run,
so if you're a talented
and experienced artist get in touch with them now. You
them via firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can write
to them, enclosing work
samples. Here's their address:
Striker 3D, 37 Avebury Avenue, Tonbridge, Kent, TN9
'Striker Comic' is out every Thursday in newsagents
up and down the UK,
and it muddy well deserves your support, especially
when facing off against
some seemingly underhand tactics by 'The Sun' - the
paper in which the
strip was formerly published. The folks there launched
a copycat 3D strip this
week to try and paper over the loss of Warbury FC -
a rather flaccid exercise
which looked and smelt like nothing more than sour grapes.
You'll find more
news about that, and more importantly, all the latest gossip
Warbury FC and Striker 3D over on their official
Ah yes, that old adage about
moving forward and backwards at the same
time. It's definitely applicable
to this here site. As Toonhound grows in size
and visitor numbers, so the hassles of operating
and maintaing the place
grow too. In the last month my mailbox, like countless
the globe, has been straining under a barrage of SoBig
viruses - 500+
per day at its peak. Filtering 'em out, even with
the aid of software like
Mailwasher, has proven to be a true blue headache.
And it's a head
that was already hung over from the hassles of
maintaing an XP-based
machine which has been downloading a never-ending
security patches and critical updates from microsoft
the summer - *sigh*
In the end, last week, it all got too much for
me. TheHound attempted to
upgrade certain drivers on his PC, got the system in
an awful muddle and left
himself little option but to reformat the hard drive.
And that, dearest visitor,
is why there hasn't been much going on here at the
site for a wee while.
Funnily enough, since I repaired the system all
those viruses have
melted back into cyberspace from whence they came.
But they'll be
back again soon, of that I have no doubt...
But - hey - TheHound is back on track again this
week and keen to
make amends. Stay tooned for more upgraded 'puppets'
month, as well as some wholly new additions to
the indexes. That
promised interview with artist Steve
Maher has finally arrived, plus
there are a few surprises, as and when they can
into the updates and revisions. Yes, it's a hassle
maintaing this site.
But hey, what else is a Hound to do...?
Till next time!