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Thursday, 19 July 2007

Mark Baker "Peppa Pig" & "Jolly Roger"


“Peppa Pig” is undoubtedly my granddaughter's favourite animation series bar none. It is also just about the only cartoon she watches that I enjoy. Daddy Pig reminds me of me without the grunt. What I failed to realise is that it was directed by one of the UK's most distinquished animators, Mark Baker (in conjunction with Neville Astley, another to be featured here shortly and responsible for the wonderful "Trainspotter" as well as a clutch of high class animated commercials .) They have a flourishing London animation studio, Ashley Baker Davies Ltd. Mark produced the award laden “The Hill Farm” (British Academy Award 88 for Best Short Animation Film/American Academy Award Nomination 89 for Best Short Animation Film. This is available alongside his similarly successful 1993 The Village in a double DVD compilation of the British Animation Award Winners of 2004 available here. Both are studies of rural communities. "The Hill Farm" is a witty study of problems that beset countryside dwellers including a bear! "The Village" is a more serious study of the intrigues that takes place in a rather claustrophobic village. One very funny (and at the moment freely available on YouTube) animation is “Jolly Roger” from 1999. Once again this ridiculously talented man was Oscar nominated. "Jolly Roger" features a great parrot, inept pirates and lashes of action on the high seas, as well as a mission by a woman captive to obtain her revenge. As I said it is available freely here but crucially the ending is missing and the quality is not the best. However sadly I'm unable to find out where to buy the DVD. Content yourself with purchasing the whole series of “Peppa Pig”. It's great fun and keeps my granddaughter entertained whilst I can set my mind to higher things - and laugh with her at the Pig family's antics.

1 comment:

alan, Dublin said...

hey Ian, it was great to find your article about Mark Baker. I tried to get hold of The Hill Farm and The Village a while ago but they werent available on DVD yet so, very happy to find your link. Jolly Roger is also available on DVD from the same British Animation Awards website as his other two films which your link goes to. www.britishanimationawards.com
It is on the Best of British Animation Awards Vol.3 DVD
all the best