The Hound says "Welcome to Toonhound!" TheHound - an irregular round up of toon news and chatter from the uk...cartoon news interviews and views from the UK!  Union Jack


  british toon
  news & chatter
  animated films
  & shorts

  animated series

  animation studios

  & people

  string, hand
  & finger puppets

  characters, strips
  & comic books

  British animators
  & illustrators


Toonhound presents...






      September 2006
 Extra! Extra! - Read all the Toon News!

    Dangerous figures!
 DangerMouse goodies
   are coming...

    A flush new poster
 Flushed Away's latest
   poster design...

    Kids TV - Ofcom says no

   Regulator blocks ITV proposals...

    Dougal's back - again!

   Return of the Magic Roundabout...

    The secret's out

   The Secret Show is finally here...

    A Little deal

   Little Kingdom is coming...

    Kids TV - Have your say 

   Time to join the debate...

    Ofcom's shame
   The Hound gets his tuppence...   more »

      news archive »     interviews »      giveaways »

   Kids TV - Ofcom says no  

    The UK's Kids TV debacle - er, debate - took a new turn yesterday when
    the regulator blocked ITV's moves to further reduce its committment to
    childrens television broadcasting on ITV1. As many will know, ITV have
    been seeking to reduce the amount of kids tv they tramsit, in the run up
    to the UK's digital switchover - and indeed, have slashed their committment
    to the genre dramatically already. But their rush for change is undermining
    a forty year heritage that's the envy of the world, and left many an
    independent producer biting their nails in fear of the future.

    ITV didn't reveal the contents of their most recent proposal, but given
    that ITV1currently only broadcasts one hour of childrens tv a day,
    including ad breaks and sponsor messages, it seemed likely that they
    wanted to do away with the slot altogether. So Ofcom's intervention
    is welcome news indeed. But the victory is presumably only temporary.
    With ad revenues plunging and digital tv channels growing like knotweed
    around their analogue forefathers, there is still much to discuss
    and deliberate...

    Like the fact that Ofcom can make such a sensible decision so soon
    after its Tom and Jerry fiasco!


BBC news


   Dougal's back - again!  (25.09.06)

    You can't keep a good dog down, they say, especially when that dog is
    Dougal, the sugarlumping, droll, dry star of The Magic Roundabout.
    Recently he and Florence and his Magic Garden pals returned to our
    screens in that much-trumpeted CGI movie, of course. But the film's
    fair-to-middling success left some folks suggesting this dog had had
    his day...

      CGI Magic Roundabout

    ...But they're about to be proved wrong, because Graham Ralph and
    the gang at Silver Fox Films are currently working with Action Synthese
    of France to bring us 52 brand new tv episodes, based upon the new-look
    characters from the film, and including Soldier Sam and Train who came
    to the fore in that production. The writing and story boarding are being done
    in the UK and the CGI is being produced in Marseilles for brodacast
    primarily by M6 TV France and Nickleodeon UK in 2007/2008.

    So our favourite teatime star returns once more, like some blue cat with
    nine lives. Presumably, the new show will stick to the softer formula
    of the recent film, rather than the acidic delights of its earlier incarnation.
    But there you go, Dougal's back -

Silver Fox Films


   The secret's out  

    It's no secret anymore. "The Secret Show" is all set to premier this
    Saturday on BBC2 and CBBC.

     Ssh! - Secret pictures this way!

    As many folks will know, "The Secret Show" is a Collingwood O'Hare
    production starring Victor Volt and Anita Knight - super agents at large
    on a series of impossible missions. The duo work for U.Z.Z protecting
    the world against the evil forces of T.H.E.M. Guided by their mentor
    whose name really is Changed Daily and abetted by a host of wild
    technogagdets, these two karate-kicking, crime-fighting heroes take
    on a range of super villains, ne'erdowells and miscreants...

    There's Mr. Atom (played by Eastender Mike Reid), the world’s smallest
    man with a big appetite for revenge. Robert Baron (Tom Baker) is billed
    a wildly overprotective father with a secret room and a secret plan.
    Nana-Poo-Poo (Penelope Keith) is the nanny leader of a crack squad of
    commando babies hellbent on taking over the world.  Lucy Woo
    (Felicity Kendall) is a dazzling former secret agent held prisoner by
    a chap known as Hamster Man. And let's not forget Lucky Leo
    (Stephen Fry) who starred in the series pilot...

    If the production has turned out anything like that pilot then this really
    will be a super series to savour!

    So pay attention, "The Secret Show" begins this Saturday 16th September
    within the new BBC2 show TMi, which runs from 9am till 11:45am on BBC2.
    It'll also be on CBBC....

  Some Secret images   Collingwood O'Hare


   A Little deal  (12.09.06)

 "Little Kingdom" is a big new series from Astley Baker Davies.
    The 52 x 10mins production has just been snapped up by Nick Jnr.
    who plan to air the show from September 2008.

     Little Kingdom from Astley Baker Davies

    The series stars Ben the Elf and a Fairy Princess called Holly
    who live in the titular kingdom. It's a miniature realm with huge
    flowers and grasses taller than the tallest trees - well, it looks
    that way to tiny faeryfolk, at least.

    Young Holly is still learning how to fly properly, and how to wield
    her fairy magic. But Ben's skills lie elsewhere. He's very good at
    making things - especially toys.

    Just like Peppa Pig, Ben and Holly's  voices will be provided by real
    children, as opposed to adults pretending to be children. That's a tricky
    thing to pull off, but Peppa's turned out oinkingly-well, didn't it?

    And again, just like Peppa, the advance buzz on "Little Kingdom"
    is very positive. Back in April, the pilot was nominated for the
    Best Pilot Pulcinella award at Cartoons On the Bay - which
    is prestigious praise indeed.

    2008 is still an age away, of course. But never fear. Whilst
    we're waiting we can catch up with the new second series of
    "Peppa Pig" which launches on Five and Nick Jnr this
    Autumn - *snort*....

                                                   More: Astley Baker Davies


   Kids TV - Have your say  

    Okay, so The Hound has been rambling on about the state of children's
    television in the UK, and the dramatic changes that are being implemented
    by ITV, and to a lesser extent by the BBC. But is it all just playground prattle,
    or should we be genuinely concerned?
    Well now you can have your say on the matter. BAFTA are hosting an
    open debate next Wednesday, 13th September, at the Princess Anne
    Theatre in Piccadilly, London.

    Here's the lowdown:

   Children's Television - Thrown Out of the Square Window?
   A debate on the future of children's media,
   chaired by Nigel Pickard

   BAFTA, 195 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9LN
   Princess Anne Theatre - 19:00

   2006 is a pivotal year for the future of children's media.
   OFCOM are on the verge of making recommendations to the
   government that will affect advertising revenue surrounding
   children's programmes, with potentially devastating results
   to our industry. This, at a time when ITV are already dropping
   the number of hours dedicated to children's television, plus
   the advent of new media is fracturing our audience across
   many new platforms.

   Is television simply reaching the end of its natural life cycle
   as the number one provider of entertainment for our kids?
   Or is there a battle to fight to protect a rich cultural heritage
   that is the envy of the world?

   The debate aims to analyse the present predicament and look
   to the future, hopefully discovering a happy ending before
   bed time.

   Panellists currently confirmed:
   John Whittingdale MP (Chairman of the Committee of
   Culture, Media and Sport), Anne Brogan (Granada Kids),
   Adam Minns (PACT), Lloyd Salmon (Outside Line)

   Also speaking from the floor:
   Tim Suter (OFCOM), Richard Deverel (CBBC),
   Steven Andrew (ITV), Finn Arnesen (Cartoon Network),
   Michael Carrington (Cbeebies), Greg Childs (Action for
   UK Children’s Media), Howard Litton (Nickelodeon),
   Ashley Cooksley (AOL), Jocelyn Hay (Viewers and
   Listeners Association)

   Booking:To reserve a place in advance, please email
     or call 020 7292 5806

   Academy Members: Free       Non Members: £10

    So there you go. If you've got something to say, for or against the
    situation, go to the meeting. It might cost you a tenner, but that's
    surely a small price to pay to get yourself heard at this
    crucial time!...

                                                                        More: BAFTA


   Dangerous figures!  (05.09.06)

 Well, hello. Someone's been reading this site. Reading and digesting,
    indeed. Why else would we have this week's exciting announcement from
    FremantleMedia? - Apparently, they've just signed several licensing deals
    for "DangerMouse". There's a women's clothing line forthcoming, but
    far bigger and brighter is the announcement that Concept 2 Creation
    are going to bring us a range of collectable DangerMouse figurines!

    The range is set to include Baron Greenback plotting behind his desk,
    DangerMouse and Penfold in their iconic yellow car, and the dynamic duo
    fleeing from an exploding bomb. The deals have been struck in run-up to
    DM's 25th anniversary. As you probably know now, the series has been
    sprung on us, in its entierty on DVD at last. But what you might not
    know is that the BBC are going to transmit the series on tv again, in the
    run up to that special jubilee.
    DangerrmOuse gooides from Golden Bear Toys and Blueprint Stationery
    So at last we're getting some figures - How long have we waited? - 25 years!
    Let's keep our fingers crossed for these goodies. We have waves of DM
    licensing before, of course. Most recently, Golden Bear produced some
    super talking toys for the new millenium, and Blueprint put out a fab
    range of stationery. But collectable figures are what we've alwatys wanted.
    Let's just hope and pray they meet our ridiculously-high expectations,
    and are not just kiddy toys. We want figures of the quality of McFarlane's
    new Hanna-Barbera range, or those extraordinary Muppets figures from
    the late-lamented Pallisades Toys. Make 'em for True Blue collectors,
    folks. And do us proud.

    And then... Why, then, Fremantle might offer up the rights to Chorlton
    and the Wheelies and The Hound can finally get his hands on a glorious
    Happiness Dragon of his very own - *sigh*

    Oh, we can all dream. But recently, it seems so many dreams really
    have come true!

                                                                        More: C21media


   A flush new poster  

    The latest poster for "Flushed Away" has escaped over the weekend,
    and it's a very colourful piece. Certainly a vast improvement on the teaser
    image. And it's also good to see that Aardman are finally getting
    equal billing with the DreamWorks brigade - just as they should have
    done from the start...

      "Flushed Away" - the latest poster...

    Isn't it funny how a single image can change your view on a film?
    This is an inventive poster, with Roddy and friends riding their blenders
    through the sewers, and more importantly, it makes you want to
    see the film - which is more than can be said for the teaser poster.
    That first image was so predictably bland... The Hound always has
    a problem with those lazy, white background poster designs.
    You know the ones. They usually feature a washed-up star 
    gooning for the camera, with a big chunky sequel logo. If the
    distributors can't be bothered with the movie, why should we?

    So fair play to this latest one-sheet. It's done its job admirably!...

                                                                     More: Flushed Away


   Ofcom's shame  

    Shame on you, Ofcom.
    Shame on you, Boomerang.
    Shame on you for allowing one viewer's complaint to reshape history.

    As you are probably aware, Ofcom have recently upheld a complaint
    against the Boomerang channel in which a viewer objected to having
    Tom and Jerry smoking in two of their classic cartoons. And thus, after
    debate with the Turner and Boomerang the following decision was reached:

    "The licensee has subsequently proposed editing any
     scenes or references in the series where smoking appeared
     to be condoned, acceptable, glamorised or where it might
     encourage imitation.."

    The report in the recent Ofcom bulletin states that Boomerang rightly
    argued about the historical context of the cartoons and how any editing
    might adversely affect the value of the animation. Even so, they have
    agreed to scour and edit any toon in their library that glamourises or
    condones smoking for children - That's not just Tom and Jerry, folks,
    but all the toons in the Hanna-Barbera  back catalogue too!

    In The Hound's book, even one cut is a cut too far. Smoking
    is not be condoned - we can all agree on that nowadays. But hacking
    into our animation history to satisfy an overprotective modern audience
    is wholly unacceptable. And poor Tom and Jerry have suffered for
    their sins in an earlier round of censorship too...

    Remember folks, this decision was made on the basis of just one complaint,
    with no external debate or discussion. One complaint and history gets
    rewritten. It's outrageous. Doctoring historical footage because it upsets
    current thinking is totally unjustifiable. And whilst many may think this
    is just about cartoons, it's just the tip of a ridiculous iceberg that's
    surfaced in recent years. After 9/11 movies and film posters were
    doctored to "protect us" from images of New York's Twin Towers.
    Heck, even DangerMouse was affected by the debacle.

    So where do we draw the line?

    In America, debate continues about the merits of "Song of the South",
    a film that Disney still keep under the counter, fearful of a backlash.
    Not showing the film is one thing. But what if they edited it. Can you
    imagine if they released a version that excised the offensive content?
    It's unthinkable. And yet in the same gasping breathe, that very same
    company is happy to edit the classic tale of "Pecos Bill", so that we're
    not encouraged by the scenes of cowboy smoking.

    Double-standards abound, it seems, whilst the debate rages on,
    on both sides of the Pond. How long will it be before someone takes
    offence at product placement in Button Moon, or Fenella's
    anti-Welsh accent?

    Well, there is no debate here. The choice is a plain as black and white.
    Either show the cartoon or film as it is, as history remembers it.
    Or don't show it at all.

    Till next time!

        Pooch says 'Stay tooned!'

      home »     news archive »    

all characters © their respective creators and licensees / F2006