Tuesday, 24 September 2013

She's a Little Princess!

As mentioned in a previous blog post, next to David McKee, Tony Ross is one of Britain's top children's authors and illustrators. Tony's art style is easily recognisable as he's most famous (in this generation at least) for illustrating Francesca Simon's Horrid Henry series, as Quentin Blake has been for Roald Dahl and Nick Sharatt for Jacqueline Wilson. In fact, Tony has illustrated literally thousands of children's stories - even the semi-forgotten Story Teller series back in the 80's.

As for his writing, his own stories are just as colourful and whimsical, full of witty characters and mad (but clever) storylines. The maddest and funniest of all has to be Towser, but that's another story...

Some of his books were adapted, along with a few of David McKee's, for the wonderfully underrated Anytime Tales - which saw the animated debut of one of his best-loved characters, the Little Princess.

As with a great number of children's characters, the Little Princess started out as a series of books, which saw the Royal Miss eager to explore everything...and often than not, having to learn things as well. It came as no surprise that the character was brought to animation again in 2006 as an animated series, courtesy of Illuminated Films (who also brought to life The Very Hungry Caterpillar and the brilliant Prince Cinders). And thanks to script editor Rachel Murrell, she more or less ensured that the animation style was as faithful to Tony Ross's illustrations as possible when pitching the character for television.
Featuring the voices of squeaky Jane Horricks and Julian Clary as the Narrator, the series has been a rousing success for both Channel 5 and Tony Ross - and with the birth of the Royal Baby, there'll be no fear of this Little Princess being forgotten yet!


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