Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Juniper Junction

Near the end of last year, I just happened across this charming-looking film on YouTube. It hasn't the zap-powie modern stuff that appeals to today's hyperactive audience amongst the toilet humour, the vulgarity, the reality shows and the unnecessary "gay" appeal that bombards most celebrities and chat shows.

It is, simply, charming. Nothing else. Just that =)

Juniper Junction is set at a country railway station 100 years ago, told at a gentle pace in a gentle manner with a dignified air in its inhabitants - from the station staff to the frequent supporting animal casts - and light humour out of a simple yet wonderful storyline.

Best of all, the only CGI within this 40-minute movie are the smoke effects. The rest is 100% stop-motion animation by use of vintage Gauge 1 model trains and sets and model puppets.

It is the effort of four years worth of work by Peter Strange and Paul Rhodes, and having bought the DVD to see for myself, I appreciate every minute and every second that went into its making. It has a very reminiscent air of Cosgrove Hall's glory years, drawing my mind back to the first time I saw their adaptation of the Wind in the Willows and how much the detail and animation grabbed my attention. I had the very same feeling in the first few minutes of Juniper Junction, and I still do.

It takes you back to a wonderful age: where steam engines still rode British Rails, where wives manage the roles of their husbands when indisposed, where "not all angels have wings" manage to charm even the most indignant of Kings, and where (in case of this film) everything was done by hand through hard work and for the fun of it.

Full of distinctive characters, the love of Cricket and railway practices, this film is ideal for all retired Railwaymen to relive the days of their younger years, and for parents looking to find something safe to sit and enjoy with their children. You'll laugh and simper through every moment.

It is fantastic, and I cannot stress enough how much this film appeals to me. The crew who made this possible maybe small, but they deliver with promising results. The voice actors, the animators, the composer, and of course Peter and Paul.

Check out the trailer below and be sure to visit their official website for more information and to buy your copy of their DVD today - it might prompt a sequel with any luck!


  1. I've seen the clip late last year and I have to say it has a charm of nostalgia about a little British country railway station. I might get the DVD one day and the animation looks fine.

  2. I've actually ordered this film from Amazon and I have to agree, it IS absolutely charming.

    To anyone else interested in this film, buy it, I'd recomend it