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Toonhound presents...






British TV series

      Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings

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Simon in the
  Land of Chalk Drawings
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 producers: FilmFair for ITV
    animation: 2D cel animation
25 x 5 mins

   "Well you know my name is Simon,
    and the things I draw come true..."


    Adapted from the stories by Edward McLachlan, FilmFair's charming escapist
    cartoon series stars youg Simon, a lad with magic chalk. Whatever he draws
    with it on his special black board will appear in the magical realm of Chalk
    Land, which waits for him just over the fence, nearby...

    Only Simon knows about Chalk Land, which is akin to his own special retreat
    from the real world, and that's a common theme of many favourite 70's toons
    (witness Mr Benn, Jamie and the Magic Torch and The Magic Ball). Perhaps
    it was a reflection of the era in which the series were produced, with strikes,
    three-day weeks, a grim Far-East war coming to a painful end and a general
    malaise for the future to the fore. You'd want an escape route from all that,
    wouldn't you?

    Well, maybe. As for the series itself, it was narrated by FilmFair favourite
    Bernard Cribbins (see The Wombles and Moschops), and it was given a
    memorable singalong theme tune from Mike Batt. Simon is one of FimFair's
    few 2D animated series of the 1970s, and a rare example of Ivor Wood
    directing a 2D production

    The series proved very popular in, of all places, Canada, where it aired within
    the popular "Captain Kangaroo" show. And the Canadian connection continued
    when CINAR bought up FilmFair a decade ago. In 2002 they started rolling
out an all-new Canadianised version of Simon. The series of 36 x 30min
    episodes were a co-production between them and Shanghai Animation.

» Ed McLachlan returned to FilmFair in 1989, to bring us the chimp-tastic
        antics of Bangers and Mash

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    Other cartoon scribblers

    Simon's far from unique, you know. There are kids with magic pencils,
    chalks and crayons all over the place...

    Harold is a four-year old boy who owns a magic purple crayon.
    He was created by Crockett Johnson and his first Harold book "Harold
    and His Purple Crayon" was published in America in 1955. The book proved
    a big hit with readers and several popular sequels were published before
    young Harold himself leapt off the page and took to the screen. A short film
    was produced in 1959. He then starred in "A Picture for Harold's Room"
    (1971) and "Harold's Fairy Tale" (1974). These two films were directed 
    by the celebrated animator and illustrator Gene Deitch. In 1995, maverick
    director Spike Jonze came close to directing a live-action Harold
    feature film. Then, in 2002, Harold got his very own tv series. It was
    produced for HBO, with narration
by Sharon Stone and it won a
    Daytime Emmy for its "Main Title Design"...

    "The Enchanted Pencil" from Se-ma-for  "the Enchanted Pencil" from Se-ma-for

    "The Enchanted Pencil" ("Zaczarowany Olówek") is a Polish series brought
    to life by Se-ma-for between 1964 and 1976. Blonde-haired Piotr and his
    dog receive frequent visitations from a mysterious gnome, sporting
    - you guessed it - a magic pencil. Whatever Piotr draws with it comes
    to life to get them out of trouble, or help them solve a problem...

    Chipper Chalky is a Fleetway comic star who first appeared in the pages
    of "Cor!!", in 1970. He has a magic talent that means anything he draws
    can come to life to assist him. He strip continued in the pages of "Buster"
    after the two weekly titles merged in 1974, and he was still seen doodling 
    away in all those Fleetway comic reprints of the 1990's...
    In 1989 we welcomed Penny Crayon on to our teatime screens. Penny
    is a "Maddocks" cartoon creation who sports a nifty beret and glasses,
    and is never seen without her trusty magic crayons. Only her best
    friend Dennis knows about her special talent - and us, of course!...

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    Simon books by Edward McLachlan
    published by Hodder:

   1969 - Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings
   1971 - Simon and the Chalk Drawing Army
   1972 - Simon and the Moon Rocket
   1973 - Simon and the Dinosaur

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    episode titles

Simon meets Henry
   Simon meets the Teacher and the Children
   Simon and the Chalk Drawing Band
   Simon and the Moon Rocket (Part One)
   Simon and the Moon Rocket (Part Two)
   Simon and the Caveman
   Simon and the Sea
   Simon and the Chameleon
   Simon's Double
   Simon and the Elephant
   Simon and the Football Match
   Simon and the Return Match

   Simon and the Early Morning
   Simon and the Chalk Drawing Cars
   Simon and the Dinosaur
   Simon and the Knight
   Simon and the Rainbow
   Simon and the Pied Piper
   Simon and the Robot
   Simon and the Measles
   Simon and the Flags
   Simon and the Chalk Drawing Sports Day
   Simon and the Pop Singer
   Simon and the Detective

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    broadcast info

The series premiered on ITV on 29th March 1976...

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from the stories by Edward McLachlan

    director:          Ivor Wood

    script:             Glyn Frewler

    music:             Mike Batt

    animation:       Alain de Lannoy

   David Kellehar
    sound:            Peter Ronn
    editor:            Helen Kelsey
    as told by:       Bernard Cribbins

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     On the web

     Little Gems
     Here's a splendid Simon guide from those Gems...

     Ed McLachLan
     Ed's web space...

     Mike Batt
     The songmeister's home...

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© FilmFair / CINAR / F2011