RAYMOND BRIGGS' THE BEAR: Here's the delightful animated film based on the popular children's book about a young girl named Tilly who visits the zoo and accidentally drops her teddy bear into the bear exhibit. That night, Tilly cries herself to sleep, only to wake ad find a huge polar bear standing before her ... as he gently presents her with her beloved teddy bear. So begins a magical friendship with humorous complications ... This heartwarming, beautifully rendered tale from the creators of THE SNOWMAN -- and featuring the voice of Academy Award(R) winner Judi Dench (Best Supporting Actress, SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE, 1998) -- brings home the message of love, friendship, and giving. THE ANIMAL TRAIN: It's Ben's bedtime, but staying up with his parents to watch a TV show about endangered animals seems a lot more fun. Later that night, Ben awakens to discover that his stuffed dog, Jim Jam, has come to life, and so has his toy train! Bursting with excitement, they climb aboard for a magical tip around the world to save endangered animals. Based on the Parents' Choice Award-winning book, "Oi! Get Off Our Train," THE ANIMAL TRAIN delivers fun, laughter, and important reminders about our environment.
Raymond Briggs's popular children's book The Bear
is neither as famous nor as cherished as his popular tale The Snowman
. Both wintertime stories allow a child to go on a fantasy journey, and more importantly, both videos embrace a lost art: the wordless narrative. Tilly spies a new polar bear at a London zoo. That night she dreams the bear visits her house. Besides being a good snuggler, the bear presents many problems to Tilly--from leaving droppings around the house to being a challenge to bathe. Soon Tilly and the bear ride through the crisp Christmastime night, encountering another magical bear--Ursa Major, or the Big Dipper. Briggs's elegant message of friendship is beautifully brought to life in this 25-minute production featuring music by Howard Blake.
The Animal Train
Little Ben receives a gentle lesson about conservation in this 1999 BBC-Miramax co-production based on John Burlingham's book Oi! Get Off Our Train. After staying up a bit too late watching a TV show about endangered animals with his folks, Ben dreams of a magical place where he, and his trusty stuffed dog Jim Jam, are in charge of a train that winds though the earth's habitats. Young viewers Pre-K to elementary school age are introduced to clear-cutting, poachers, and other issues that are endangering animals around the world. Burlingham's wonderful color palette makes the 29-minute short wonderful to look at, while the talking animals have enough personality to insure that kids will demand repeated viewings. --Doug Thomas