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Toonhound presents...






British TV series

  Vernon & Toaster - The Tube Mice

   Tube Mice  (1988)

producers: Honeycomb Animation for TSW
    animation: 2D animation

      episodes: 26 x 5mins

     "We never steal - that's what we say
      We only use what's thrown away!"
                                                     - The Mouse Code

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     The Tube Mice live in London's ever-busy Underground system, at Oxford Circus,
     from where they spend their days travelling the network in the hunt for fun and
     frolics. They get around alongside the humans, via miniature doors and carriages
     in the tube trains, and their tunnel homes and rooms are constructed of old bits of
     Underground trash and litter, seconded under the terms of their oft-quoted
     Mouse Code.

     The principal mice are a Bubble, Squeak, Vernon and Toaster and this jolly
     gang are introduced en masse in the very first episode "We are the Tube Mice".
     In the next four episodes we learn more about each mouse, and we meet their
     other mouse friends Mickelmouse, Derby, Bo Heemy and Rapper. Stories take
     us to Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, London Zoo and even a strange
     Underground Laboratory.

      Squeak   Bubble

     "Tube Mice" reached our screens around the same time as those Ratties.
     The series features wild watercoloured background angles and perspectives.
     akin to some crazy childrens' drawing. The scenery is littered with old drinks
     cans, sweet wrappers and rubbish, as well as inumerable disembodied human
     legs which step through frame, over and past the mice stars as they progress
     on to trains, or up and down escalators and tunnels. The mouse tunnels
     incorporate old drinks straws for piping, cotton reels and suchlike, in a
     Wombling kind-of-way. Meanwhile, the mice stars themselves have noses
     that are constantly twitching - or "boiling", if you want to use the proper
     animation term. It's the same technique employed by Bob Godfrey for
     Roobarb, and it's used to give extra life to the characters.

     "Tube Mice" boasts the voices of Dennis Waterman and George Cole in the
     roles of Toaster and Vernon, and the characters are an unashamed copy of
     the roles they played in "Minder", which was a big hit series for ITV back then.

     This spritely series was obviously super-cheap to produce and many sequences
     are repeated en masse: Hence we regularly witness Squeak having a jolly notion,
     mice businessmen heading down the escalators, Bubble and Squeak going up,
     the mice on the same blustery tube platform, and the mice entering their tube
     train via the same door, with the very same nougat box seat on display.
     The tight budget may also have extended to the scripts, with at least two stories
     featuring an escape from a high fall by means of a hankerchief parachute!

     "Tube Mice" was a very early production from Simon and Sara Bor and
     Honeycomb Animation, who are currently having great success with their
     BAA winning series Grizzly Tales for Gruesome Kids, and the tales of
     Binka the black and white cat...

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     The Mice

     He's a posh Field Mouse who gets lost in the system whilst searching
     for his Great Uncle Pipsqueak's inheritance. He enjoys his adventures
     so much he decides to stay.

     She harks from the 31st floor of a tower block. But an encounter with
     Vernon and Toaster sees her and them being chased by a cat in to
     the Tube system.

     A scavenger mouse in Teddy-Boy gear, he's always on the scrounge
     for hooky goods and deals.

     Bug-eyed Toaster follows his nose and his stomach, and Vernon,
     slap-bang in to trouble all the time.

     He's a pin-striped mouse MP at the Mouse of Parliament.

     This uniformed atrtendant looks after the platforms, when he's awake!

     Bo Heemy
     She thinks she's an artist. She was freed from a lab cage by
     the gang in episode four, "Escape".

     He's a street-wise mouse who "talks" in rapping riddles. 

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    Tube Mice episodes
(partial list)

    We are the Tube Mice

     Escape From the 31st Floor
    The Riddle
    Mouses of Parliament
    Take Away
    High Fliers
    Computer Confusion

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    broadcast info

     The series first aired on ITV, on 5th September 1988...

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     created, designed and directed by Simon and Sara Bor
     written by Simon and Sara Bor and Dave Moran

    exec producer:    Paul Stewart-Laing
    music:                "Tube Mice theme" by

                              Dave Moran and Simon Bor
                              opening theme "Mousa" by Mike Amatt
                              incidental music by Dave moran
    animation:          Simon Bor, Sara Bor, Sarah Vincent,
                             Stephen Roberts, Martin Collis,
                              David Osbourn, Clive Dawson
    artwork:             Lind Marmont, Judy Beake, Hester Smith,
                              Deborah Crow, Pauline DeWitt,
                             Jane Croft, Caroline Cole
    backgrounds:      Alison Rivers
    rec enginer:        Simon Capes
    dub engineer:     Trevor Barber
    camera:             Chris Williams, Matthew Ferris
    editor:                Peter Weekes
    voices:               Rupert Farley (Squeak)
Sheila Hyde (Bubble)
                                    George Cole (Vernon)
                                    Dennis Waterman (Toaster)

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     On the web

     Honeycomb Animation
     The producer's web site...

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© Simon and Sara Bor / F2010