Saturday, 19 November 2011

When Animation Goes AWOL: Cosgrove Hall

Mark Hall 1936 - 2011
First off, something that I only just found out last night - I regret to inform the death of Mark Hall, who lost his battle with cancer on Friday November 18th. The news really took me off-guard, especially as it seemed he and Brian Cosgrove were ready to provide a host of exciting new animation projects for a fresh young generation, while attracting the interest of the old following the opening of their new studio...

Though I fear of how this may affect Cosgrove Hall Fitzpatrick now, when so early in the game, my deepest sympathies and coincides go out to Mark's family, friends and colleagues in this difficult time. God Bless =(

However, I intend to carry on regardless by showcasing a few other shows that Cosgrove Hall Films were unable to complete before their company folded in 2010:

One of these was their first venture into CGI with a series entitled "Theodore". While little information is given on this particular pitch, Wikipedia states that it was to be set in a Nuclear Organisation called "Radioactive Science and Technology Station" (RSTS). When these may resurface again remains uncertain.
Another series that never passed the pilot stage was The Carrottry Kid, created by Andy Fanton (a comic artist for the recent Dandy Comic). The series would have featured the characters as anthropomorphic fruit / vegetable characters, the hero being a karate-chopping young carrot who, with help from his mentor Master Che-Ri, trains to be a true karate fighter in order to stop the evil forces of Count Cornelius Cob.
Unfortunately, due to ITV's absorbing of Cosgrove Hall, the series never really flourished. However, over the years it has found new life as a web comic, with the original pilot still available to view online:

To say that Mark passed away aged just 75 years old says a great deal for his legacy in the British Animation media. The talents he urged, the skills he shared and developed, the hands-on approach with every member of every series that he and long-time colleague Brian Cosgrove helped to create should be an example to us all - even in today's cynical media, half the shows in the world that are created are not as glorious as Danger Mouse, Count Duckula, the Wind in the Willows, Victor and Hugo and many, many, many more...

In fact, I received a second surprise the following morning when I was contacted by one Roger Stennett, who was a writer on several CHF shows, including Fantomcat, Avenger Penguins and Sooty's Amazing Adventures. He was "particularly pleased that I enjoyed the work of Cosgrove Hall Films so much", going by what I've posted about in the past, and went on to say:

"Both he (Brian Cosgrove) and Mark were such gently powerful influences at Cosgrove Hall Films, and whenever I think of my time working with them both, it always makes me smile.

Over my 20 years + of writing Animation, they were indeed 'the best of times' "

In short, Mr. Hall truly did leave his Mark.
Thank you, Sir. From all of us.

1 comment:

  1. Can't believe I'm the first to comment on this. He was too young!