The Bellflower Bunnies (season 1)
|The Bellflower Bunnies - Season 1|
The 2003 PAL VHS/Region 2 cover of the original French episodes. From left to right: Pirouette,[Note 1] Periwinkle, Dandelion, Poppy, and Papa Bramble.
|Country of origin|| France
|No. of episodes||4|
|Original run||24 December 2001
28 December 2001
|Home video release|
|DVD release date|| 23 January 2003
1 October 2003
2005 March - 2006 July
The first season of The Bellflower Bunnies, a children's animated series based on the Beechwood Bunny Tales books by Geneviève Huriet and Loïc Jouannigot, aired on France's TF1 network during the week of 24 December 2001, at 7:00 a.m. Central European Time. Consisting of four episodes, it was directed by French animator Moran Caouissin, produced by Patricia Robert, and written by Valérie Baranski. The music was composed by Baranski and Daniel Scott. A handful of crew members from this season would be carried over for future episodes.
The episodes follow the adventures of the Bellflowers, a family of seven rabbits who live in the community of Beechwood Grove. The two adults, Papa Bramble and Aunt Zinnia, take care of their five children: Periwinkle, Poppy, Mistletoe, Dandelion and Violette.[Note 1] "Room to Move", the first episode in the official production order, deals with the family's move to their new house at Blueberry Hill.[Note 2]
The first season has been broadcast on TF! Jeunesse, the children's service of TF1, as well as South Korea's Educational Broadcasting System (EBS), CBBC in the United Kingdom, and Germany's Kinderkanal (KI.KA) and ZDF among others. Since early 2003, it has been made available on DVD in the United States, France, Germany and South Korea.
The season was a co-production of France's TF1, its subsidiaries Protécréa and Banco Production, and Canada's TVA International. It was produced in association with France's Sofica Valor 6 and Luxembourg's Melusine, and with the participation of the Centre National de la Cinématographie (CNC). Production began in late 2000 at a cost of €380,000 (C$610,000) per episode. Graphics and Animation of Antwerp, Belgium,[Note 3] a sudsidiary of Luxembourg's Studio 352, designed the layouts for these episodes, and North Korea's SEK Studio handled overseas animation duties. Premium Sound, based in Montreal, was responsible for the sound effects, design, dialogue editing, foley and mix. Early during the show's production, the crew created a one-minute promotional pilot, in which a little mouse tells of the show's premise and introduces its main characters.
This season represented TF1 International at the conferences of the National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE) in early 2001 and 2002, and MIPTV Media Market in April 2001. For both events, the four episodes were promoted as "specials".
Cast and crew
|This article is missing information about this season's French voice crew. (November 2008)|
The first season's English voice cast included Rhonda Millar (who played two characters, Periwinkle and Pirouette), as well as Tom Clarke Hill, Tom Eastwood, Regine Candler and Joanna Ruiz Rodriguez. Their voices were recorded at Ten Pin Alley, a company based in Gloucestershire, England.
The director of this season, Moran Caouissin, was previously involved in DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp as an animator. Character designer Josette Zagar previously worked in the trace and paint department for The Twelve Tasks of Asterix. Co-producer Louis Fournier once served Cinar as Vice President of Sales & Co-productions; during this season's production, he was President of TVA International's Youth and Animation Unit. Fournier's partner, Dominique Mendel, became Vice President of Montreal's Spectra Animation in November 2004. Daniel Scott, a Canadian composer who created the theme for Wimzie's House, teamed up with Valérie Baranski to write the score and songs. Several more would return for the next season: screenwriter Baranski, producer Patricia Robert, and story editor Fabrice Ziolkowski to name a few.
José Evrard of France's DVDcritiques.com wrote of The Bellflower Bunnies' first season: "[It] combines quality entertainment with a charming style that can be found in children's books. The stories, full of tenderness, emotion and humour, develop in a magical world where everything is done to give the young viewer true moments of joy! Every event with our little heroes—so mischievous and affectionate—is a delight." In the United States, Dove Foundation reviewer Linda Eagle praised the episodes as "an adorable piece of animation", and gave both Region 1 DVDs four stars out of five.
This season, based entirely on books in the Beechwood Bunny Tales series, is about 92 minutes long. In each episode, the Bellflower children perform a song whose title does not appear in the credits.
|O[Note 4]||B[Note 5]||Title (French) / (English)||Original Beechwood Bunny Tale||Song||Air date (France)|
"Room to Move"
|Family Moving Day (La famille Passiflore déménage)||"Bunnies on the Move"||25 December 2001|
|The Bellflower children suspect their father, Bramble, is keeping something secret from them. Bramble reveals they will move to a house called Blueberry Cottage. Everyone is excited, except Periwinkle, who misses the house already. A magpie named Magda tries to scare the bunnies out of the house but fails. After the family decorates the house, Periwinkle runs away. Bramble finds Periwinkle in a small tent and he accepts his new house when Bramble invites him to help build a workshop there. Bramble and Periwinkle warm up to their new neighbours and invite them to an enjoyable party.|
|Carnaval chez les Passiflore||"Carnival Time Is Here"||27 December 2001|
|The Bellflower family prepare for the Venicette Annual Carnival but Dandelion is a bit young to join in, so the other children take full responsibility and Bramble agrees. The children drive in Bramble's "Super Carrot Mobile". At the carnival, two sneaky foxes Roderick and Marmaduke kidnap Dandelion for their dinner. The siblings follow a trail of radishes left by the foxes. After a tricking encounter with the foxes, the children find Dandelion and meet up with Bramble and Zinia and they all join in the parade.|
|3||1||"Vive la glisse"
|Vive la glisse!||"Sliding On, Having Fun"||24 December 2001|
|The Bellflower children are going on vacation to stay with Grandfather Theo and his dog Grumps. Mistletoe has an accident down the stairs and breaks his arm. Grumps and Mistletoe both feeling left out go on a journey to find the rare and legendary Snow Rose on Three Pine Hill. When Mistletoe realises he took his siblings' racing sled, he forgets the Snow Rose and joins his siblings in time for the race.|
|En ballon, les Passiflore!||"Up, Up and Away"||28 December 2001|
|Poppy's new flying invention is put to the test and Poppy reluctantly lets Violette be his co-pilot, but the glider gets wrecked. The Bellflower family rescues two guinea fowls Lizzi and Loti (the aviation contest judges) from their hot air balloon. As the children play in the ballon, Poppy inflates it and the rope breaks causing them to go airborne. Eventually they crash land into Darkwood Forest. After Poppy and Violette make up, all the siblings build a boat to and down the river they unite with their family and rebuild the glider.|
Region 2 (Europe)
The first season was also released by TF1 Vidéo on 23 January 2003 and again on 19 February 2004. Its only special features were a collection of songs from the episodes and a DVD-ROM weblink to the distributor's site.
On 22 February 2008, in time for Easter, edelkids released the German-dubbed version as Die Häschenbande, Folge 1. This came about as a result of the show's success on local television. The extras were colouring pages and previews of other edelkids products.
|German title||English title|
|"Ein neues Zuhause"||"Room to Move"|
|"Peppino in Gefahr"||"Carnival"|
|"Rackies Schneeabenteuer"||"Slide On"|
|"Ein gefährlicher Flug"||"Balloonatic Bunnies"|
Under the series title De Knuffel Konijntjes, Dutch FilmWorks B.V. released the first four episodes individually in the mid-2000s; all of these were put together in a box set on 21 March 2006. The third volume in this version, "Hoog in de Lucht" ("Balloonatic Bunnies"), was released several months before #2, "Carnaval" ("Carnival").
|Dutch title||English title||Release date|
|"Verhuizing"||"Room to Move"||8 March 2005|
|"Hoog in de Lucht"||"Ballonatic Bunnies"||30 August 2005|
|"Carnaval"||"Carnival"||13 January 2006|
|"Winterpret"||"Slide On"||20 July 2006|
Region 1 (North America)
As part of a marketing deal with TVA, the English version of Season 1 was distributed on VHS by the Utah-based Feature Films for Families (FFF) in 2001; the Region 1 DVD versions came out on 1 October 2003. Extras on both discs included trailers for other FFF releases and special messages from the distributor's staff.
|The Bellflower Bunnies, Vol. 1||"Room to Move" / "Carnival"|
|The Bellflower Bunnies, Vol. 2||"Balloonatic Bunnies" / "Slide On"|
Region 3 (Asia)
The first season was released on DVD and VHS by South Korea's C4U Entertainment in February 2005 as 까르르 토끼 친구들. There, they are titled "이사가는 날" ("Room to Move"), "축제는 즐거워" ("Carnival"), "열기구 대소동" ("Balloonatic Bunnies") and "달려라, 썰매야!" ("Slide On").
- For the English version of season 2, Pirouette was renamed Violette (as she was called in Gareth Stevens' translations).
- In the Beechwood Bunny Tale, Family Moving Day, the house was called The Berries.
- The company has since been renamed DeFamilieJanssen (DFJ).
- O = Corresponds to the official order as listed by Institut National de l'Audiovisuel (INA) and AnimezVous.com.
- B = Corresponds to TF1's broadcast schedule.
- "La Famille Passiflore episode list" (in French). AnimezVous.com. Retrieved 2008-09-26.
- "Episode list for The Bellflower Bunnies (Die Häschenbande)" (in German). KI.KA (kika.de). Retrieved 2008-10-08.
- "Films d'animation" (Subscription required). Le Monde (in French) (Paris). 2001-12-23. Retrieved 2008-09-26.
- Moran Caouissin, director (2001-12-27). "Carnival". The Bellflower Bunnies. Season 1. Episode 2. TF1.
- "까르르 토끼 친구들" (in Korean). C4U Media. Retrieved 2008-09-26.[dead link]
- "CBBC schedule" (Subscription required). Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire: The Sentinel (accessed via Google News Search). 2002-05-04. Retrieved 2008-10-05.
- "Episode list for The Bellflower Bunnies (Die Häschenbande)" (in German). KI.KA (kika.de). Retrieved 2008-10-05.
- "Die Häschenbande: Sendetermine der TV-Serie (ZDF, 2006)" (in German). imfernsehen GmbH & Co. KG. Retrieved 2008-10-05.
- Evrard, José (2003-01-23). "Review of La Famille Passiflore" (in French). DVDcritiques.com. Retrieved 2008-09-26.
- "Bunnies bent on broadcast (Up Next: What's developing in kids production)". KidScreen Magazine. Brunico Communications. 2001-05-01. Retrieved 2008-09-26.[dead link]
- Staff (2001-04-01). "Canada at the market - animation". Playback. Brunico Communications. Retrieved 2008-09-26.
- "Visual development - About". Sylvie Lacroix (fourmi.info). 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-08.
- "Contact information". Premium Sound. 2007. Retrieved 2008-10-17.
- "Television credits". Premium Sound. 2007. p. 2. Retrieved 2008-10-17.
- "Promo clip of The Bellflower Bunnies" (RealPlayer required) (in English (video), German (site)). ZDF.de. 1999. Retrieved 2008-10-08.
- "Programme 2000: List of the projects". TV France International. 2001. Archived from the original on 2001-02-10. Retrieved 2008-10-08. "The Bellflower Bunnies (Protecrea [sic])"
- "TF1 International. (NATPE 2001 Profiles)" (Suscription required). Television Europe (accessed via Business Library at BNET's FindArticles). January 2001. Retrieved 2008-10-08.[dead link]
- "Natpe 2002. (National Association of Television Program Executives)" (Free registration required with library card). Television Asia (accessed via AccessMyLibrary). 2002-01-02. Retrieved 2008-10-08.
- "TF1 International. (MIP-TV 2001 Profiles)" (Subscription required). Television Europe (accessed via Business Library at BNET's FindArticles). April 2001. Retrieved 2008-10-08.[dead link]
- "Product information for En ballon, les Passiflore!" (in French). alapage.com. Retrieved 2008-10-08. "Pour mémoire, les deux premiers dessins animés de 26 minutes des aventures de la famille Passiflore seront diffusés fin novembre sur TF1. Deux autres suivront fin décembre."
- "Profile for Rhonda Millar". Yakety Yak All Mouth Ltd. Retrieved 2008-10-17.[dead link]
- "Ten Pin Alley Ltd. business information". My Local Services/Lowi Ltd. 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-05.
- Beck, Jerry (2005). "DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp". The Animated Movie Guide. Chicago, Ill.: Chicago Reader Press. p. 68. ISBN 1-55652-591-5.
- René Goscinny, Henri Gruel, Albert Uderzo and Pierre Watrin (directors) (1976). The Twelve Tasks of Asterix (Animated film). Dargaud Films / Les Film René Goscinny / Studios Idéfix. Retrieved 2008-10-06.
- Business Editors (2002-01-10). "CINAR Continues Restructuring Program, Louis Fournier Rejoins Company as Head of Distribution". Business Wire. Retrieved 2008-10-08.
- "Profile of Dominique Mendel". Spectra Animation. Retrieved 2008-10-08.
- "History of Spectra". L’Équipe Spectra. 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-02.
- "Information on composer Daniel Scott (under "Credits")" (Flash required) (in English/French). danielscott.net. Retrieved 2008-10-08.
- "Film and Series". danielscott.net. c. 2001. Archived from the original on 2001-09-21. Retrieved 2008-10-08.
- Eagle, Linda (2003). "Review of The Bellflower Bunnies, Vol. 1". Dove Foundation. Retrieved 2008-09-26.
- Eagle, Linda (2003). "Review of The Bellflower Bunnies, Vol. 2". Dove Foundation. Retrieved 2008-09-26.
- "Broadcast information for "Le déménagement"" (in French). Institut National de l'Audiovisuel. 2007. Retrieved 2008-09-26.
- "Broadcast information for "Carnaval"" (in French). Institut National de l'Audiovisuel. 2007. Retrieved 2008-09-26.
- "Broadcast information for "Vive la glisse"" (in French). Institut National de l'Audiovisuel. 2007. Retrieved 2008-09-26.
- "Broadcast information for "En ballon"" (in French). Institut National de l'Audiovisuel. 2007. Retrieved 2008-09-26.
- "La Famille Passiflore (2001) product information". DVDfr.com. Retrieved 2008-10-08.
- "Die Häschenbande, Folge 1 DVD information" (in German). Brandora AG. Retrieved 2008-09-26.
- "edelkids: Unterhaltungsspaß mit Pettersson und Findus und der Häschenbande" (in German). Brandora AG. 2008-01-17. Retrieved 2008-09-26. "DAS „Osterei“ für Kids zum Fest: Die Häschenbande – Folge 1 und Folge 2 brandneu auf DVD!"
- "Die Häschenbande, Folge 1 product information". Amazon.de. Retrieved 2008-10-23.
- ""Knuffel Konijntjes Avonturenbox" product information" (in Dutch). beslist.nl. Retrieved 2008-09-26.
- ""Knuffel Konijntjes 1 - Verhuizing" product information" (in Dutch). beslist.nl. Retrieved 2008-09-26.
- ""Knuffel Konijntjes 3" product information" (in Dutch). beslist.nl. Retrieved 2008-09-26.
- ""Knuffel Konijntjes - Carnaval" product information" (in Dutch). beslist.nl. Retrieved 2008-09-26.
- ""Knuffel Konijntjes 4" product listing" (in Dutch). VelvetMusic.nl. Retrieved 2008-09-26.
- "까르르 토끼 친구들 product description" (in Korean). Internaru (인터나루). Retrieved 2008-09-26.
- (French) The Bellflower Bunnies at TF1.fr
- The Bellflower Bunnies at the Internet Movie Database
- Official sites for this season's distributors:
- Trailers for the first two Region 1 volumes at YouTube:
- (German) 2-minute clip of "Room to Move" at KI.KA site
- (French) Moran Caouissin's page at MotionGraphic, with backgrounds, sketches and illustrations by the animator and Loïc Jouannigot