More on Fauna

June 5, 2007

Well now I’ve gone and done it.

Working on another fluffy animals movie, this time less Peter Cottontail, and more Hammy Hamster.

Yes, it’s true – there’s going to be a film where the Henson animators are pushing around hamsters on sticks, in the feature-length return of Tales of the Riverbank, where Hammy and his cheesy friends battle the fat cats at the WMD factory. No, seriously!

It’s all terribly British, of course, and simple, and quaint, not least for the fact that the plot involves some basically useless but plucky rodents getting their new-found American chums out of a sticky spot (more a marmalade than a jam.)

And speaking of fluffy animals, our current hit on tv is the difficult-to-repress Bill Oddy’s show, Springwatch (or at least I think that’s what it’s called.) With the evenings failing to get fully dark until 10pm now, he and a few other presenters have a real-time show of an evening before the twilight draws in too much with the vespertine wildlife – last night we were going to see some golden eagle chicks on Islay, but it had only just stopped raining a lot and the camera was steamed up. Bill is just as fun and lively as ever, and the British do seem to adore their wildlife (even though, despite the fox episode, I still think of large chunks of it as vermin).



  1. Having been subscribed to the Goodies-AUS newsletter I see several references to Bill Oddie’s shows, as the fanclub obsess over every little movement of the Tim, Bill or Graeme. It’s nice to know that their enthusiasm isn’t just fan-wank in this case.

  2. I can’t express how much Tales of the Riverbank meant to me as a kid… in one episode GP [Guinea Pig, boffin-type] built a freakin’ hovercraft!
    Its resemblance to Wind in the Willows was a huge plus for me too… if you combined equal parts Toad and GP… you may get someone not a million miles from me.

    Speaking of terribly British – I just saw Bill Bryson’s “Notes from a Small Island”… made in 1999… it’s like mug of warm Horlicks that lasts 3 hours…

    as a side note – wasn’t Tales of the Riverbank Canadian? Isn’t everything that’s good and decent?

    • Likwise Richard.. It really stuck with me too.

      I’ve been trying to track down the vid. None of my friends remembered Hammy’s Adventures though. Sad eh!

  3. You’re absolutely right, the original was Canadian, but I suspect that the version we grew up with was the English one (maybe that was the original revoiced, but Wikipedia says something about it being shot in Ayrshire, so who knows.)
    I’m glad you liked it, it gives me an excellent reason to care if this version comes out good or not.
    There’s plenty of hardware in this one – a speedboat, a jeep, a couple of planes, a hot air balloon, a helicopter, but none invented by GP, unfortunately. He’s a lot less boffiny this time ’round.
    I had no idea they’d done a fillum of Notes from a Small Island – I read the book a couple of years ago, and I heard they were doing his A Walk in the Woods, with Paul Newman and Robert Redford(!), but it’s all talk, I think.

  4. Apparently the good weather is back, so you should get a much better view of the Eagles on Islay now.

    While I haven’t seen the Eagle chicks I have seen Eagles on Islay earlier this year. Very majestic birds!

  5. Yep, the camera de-fogged, so we saw the chicks last night. V cool.

  6. I too saw the hovercraft, and began having dreams about them – partly fuelled by the ads you would find on the back of comics for hovercraft kits (next to the sea monkeys). I fantasised about arriving at school on my own personal cushion of air…

  7. It’s a funny view we have of “feral”. I have a “lovely” flowering basket of Lantana hanging by the kitchen window. The hummingbirds love it. My neighbour across the street has their nature strip filled with prickly pear. And the Jacarandas flower in June, it’s all out of whack. Koyanisquatsi I tells ya!!

  8. Ah yes the hovercraft episode! GP at his very best and it seems its rubbed off on more than just one of us. Hey where could I find the hovercraft vid? Go GP!

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