Free Animation Pictures BiographyThe Animals of Farthing Wood is a children's animated series commissioned by the European Broadcasting Union between 1992 and 1995, and based on the series of books written by Colin Dann. It was produced by Telemagination, based in London, and La Fabrique, based in Montpellier in France, but also aired in other European countries. The first countries to air the series were Germany, Ireland and the United Kingdom, in January 1993.
The television series followed the basic plots of the series of books, although certain elements were changed. It followed the animals of Farthing Wood, who were forced to flee their homes after humans started destroying the wood in order to build houses. Led by Fox, and guided by Toad, the animals left Farthing Wood on a journey to White Deer Park, a nature reserve where they would be protected.
Unlike other children's series and films, The Animals of Farthing Wood did not feature much comedic content but rather relied on its strong storyline and plot, and multiple main characters are killed or die during the journey. The series contains mild gore in some episodes, which is one of its controversial points, like the 1978 film Watership Down.
Series 1 chronicled the journey to White Deer Park, Series 2 took place in White Deer Park and chronicled the feud between the Farthing Wood animals and the hostile blue foxes, the third, and final, series chronicled the invasion of the rats into White Deer Park and the animals' attempts to fight them off.
The episodes were made in both the UK and France. Because of this, in Series 1 the motorway's carriageways have traffic driving on the right hand carriageway of the motorway. However, they are briefly seen in Series 3 driving on the left hand side.
Three series of the show were produced, each based on one or more of the Farthing Wood books.
Series 1 (1992–1993)
The Animals of Farthing Wood
Series 2 (1994)
In the Grip of Winter
The Fox Cub Bold
Series 3 (1995)
In the Path of the Storm
Battle for the Park
The first two series were seen by fans as among the best animated shows on TV at the time due to its complex and intriguing plot, solid script and generally consistent animation, along with being likened for its darker and more dramatic themes for a children's show. However, the third series was seen[by whom?] as a disappointment. Fans claimed this was due its inferior story and script as opposed to the first two series', but the change in animation also did not help.. The change in animation style was also an attempt for the series to fit in with the 'cartoonish' appeal of other children's shows that were being aired at the time. In Series 3, the animals appear to take on more human movements, like folding their arms, or wings (though this occurred to a minor extent in the first series).
Main article: List of The Animals of Farthing Wood episodes
Main article: List of Animals of Farthing Wood characters
Jeremy Barrett: Mr. Rabbit, Mole, Bold, Friendly, Hollow, Mossy, Measley, Mr. Shrew, and others.
Rupert Farley: Fox, Hare, Mr. Pheasant, Plucky, Trey, and others.
Jon Glover: Scarface, Ranger, The Warden, and others.
Sally Grace: Owl, Weasel, Charmer, and others.
Stacy Jefferson: Vixen, Adder, Kestrel, Mrs. Hare, Mrs. Rabbit, and others.
Pamela Keevilkral: Dash, Cleo, Fido, Speedy, Whisper, Mrs. Squirrel, Mrs. Hedgehog, and others.
Ron Moody: Badger, Toad, Whistler, Bully, Spike, Rollo, Mr. Hedgehog, Mr. Vole, Mr. Mouse, Great White Stag, and others.
Maria Warburg: Whisper (Audiobook only)
Fox, the leader of the Animals of Farthing Wood, was voiced by Rupert Farley in the UK and Ireland version but in the U.S. version he was played by Ralph Macchio.
These are based upon the Characters in the Television series. Some parts had happened differently.
"Farewell to the Wood" (based upon The Wood in Danger)
"The Adventure Begins" (based upon The Journey Begins)
"Fire" (based upon Through the Fire and Water)
"A New Friend" (based upon Friend in Need)
"Heroes" (based upon Whistler's Quarry)
"The Silent Field" (based upon A Deathly Calm)
"The Storm Shelter" (based upon Pandemonium)
"Journey's End" (based upon So Near and Yet So Far)
"A New Home" (based upon A Hero's Welcome, Winter, and Survival)
"Badger in Danger" (based upon Winter, and Survival)
"Unwelcome Visitors" (based upon New Enemies)
"Spring Awakening" (based upon Home is Where the Heart Is)
"Bold" (based upon The Feud Begins)
"Trouble in the Park" (based upon Like Father, Like Son, Narrow Escapes, and Shadows)
"Showdown" (based upon Blood is Thicker Than Water)
"Peace" (based upon Reconciliation)
"Strangers in the Park" (based upon Comings and Goings)
"The Weasels' Adventure" (based upon The Missing Fox's Friend, Tiffs and Tempers, and The Long Tailed Visitor)
"To the Rescue" (based upon The Missing Fox's Friend', Adventure for the Birds,' and Scared by Silly Snakes)
"The Rat Spy" (based upon The Long Tailed Visitor and The Mole Game)
"What is Buzz Book 21 Called?" (based upon The Worst Kind of Hurricane, Homeward Bound, and Bully, Bully, Bully)
It also aired in Brazil (TV Cultura, Os animais do bosque dos vinténs), featuring Élcio Sodré (Fox), Vanessa Alves (Vixen), Maximira Figueiredo (Owl), Francisco Bretas (Toad), Neuza Azevedo (Mole and Adder), Eudes Carvalho (Badger), Zaíra Zordan (Lady Blue) and Fábio Tomazine (Scarface). The series was broadcast by the ABC in Australia where it also became popular. 26 episodes were also broadcast in Japan by Shizuoka Asahi Television.
Adventures of Fox
Comes last on the Greatest BBC Children's Video ever along with Fireman Sam, Pingu, Spider, William's Wish Wellingtons, Clangers, Nursery Rhyme Time, Noddy's Toyland Adventures, Funnybones, Hairy Jeremy and The Little Polar Bear. It has clips from the following episodes:
Beginning and end of The Wood in Danger (Loggers attack the Wood, Owl informed about the pond filled in, Assembly)
Beginning of The Journey Begins (Leaving the Wood)
End of Snare for the Unwary (Kestrel spots river, Animals cross River, Fox and Badger hit by driftwood)
Beginning of Who Shall Wear the Crown? (Badger found in reeds, Kestrel loses Fox, Animals move on)
Some beginning and Middle of New Friends, Old Enemies (Fox arrives at Town, Fox put onto truck, Fox meets Vixen)
Some parts of Friend in Need (parts with Hunting, Meeting Big Owl, Searching, Fox Hunt and the ending)
Apart from books and videos, there was also a Farthing Wood CD and in the mid-1990s, a 130-part magazine for children entitled "Farthing Wood Friends" was also developed. Audio tapes recapping the first two seasons were released, with the story being told to young fox cubs by several of the cast who would also debate the events and mimic some of the other characters.
There are also three TV tie-in books available, one to accompany each of the TV series:
The Animals of Farthing Wood links with Series 1.
The Further Adventures of The Animals of Farthing Wood links with Series 2.
The Animals of Farthing Wood - Spirit of Survival links with Series 3.
These follow the same storylines, but are presented in a comic-strip style.