Langford Toons came about due to a lack of anything to actually go out and film. As my main hobby had always been drawing cartoons it made sense to try and make a complete video using just drawings and the computer. The results aren’t ever going to give the Disney studios a run for their money, but doing them all by myself still takes a lot of work and many, many hours.

The first video was “Applejack”, with a soundtrack consisting of the song by Dolly Parton. There wasn’t a huge amount of animation involved in this one, and the cartoon Dolly herself manages to sing the whole song without moving her lips!

Getting the cartoons to start moving their mouths and actually start singing came later, with a small section of lip-synching at the beginning of “Frosty the Snowman” right up to the complete song being sung by the flamenco dancer in “Y Viva Espana”.


A snowman is not the most difficult thing in the world to animate - particularly this Frosty as he basically consists of three balls and two

sticks - but the animation in the second Langford Toon has come on in leaps and bounds since that seen in “Applejack”.


I think after having completed quite a few Toons now, this one is still my favourite. It just seems to… work! There’s only one teensy

little thing I would change, but I won’t say what that is as I’m sure most people would not notice and it’s probably just me being a

bit on the fussy side.


I think the part I most like in this video is Where Frosty is hopping over the letter blocks. I can’t remember precisely how long that bit

took to draw out but, looking back now I can guess that that’s the part where I made the most effort.

Applejack is a bit rough around the edges, but it was my first attempt at a toon. The drawings were basically scanned and coloured - no redrawing for smooth edges here. But I love this song and I may try remaking the video one day - possibly without so much of the band towards the end as that tends to drag a bit.

Y Viva España was an old stalwart of many a good seventies Knees-up! I’m not sure what led me to start work on this one, only that I had a few videos on the go at the time and they seemed to be getting nowhere. I particularly enjoyed drawing the planes for this video - not sure why, it just made a change from drawing little people! The parts that I found most difficult were those involving the Matador and the bull. I’ve never been the best at drawing animals and to draw a reasonable-looking bull and have it moving across the screen was a challenge. I think the bull in the final video was the fourth or fifth

attempt. All the other characters I think I was particularly pleased with, notably the male flamenco dancer (rattling his maracas), Rudi (pictured right) and the main singer herself.


Between this video and The Museum Song I’d finally sorted out a way to get the singers in the videos to move their lips and various body parts without involving a ridiculous amount of drawing. The next step, and hopefully seen in the next video will be to improve the animation of the faces altogether.


Just in case you were wondering, the photos used for the backgrounds were taken in Marbella (the scenes by the swimming pool) and Frigiliana (where Rudi is standing in the rain).

The Museum Song is taken from the London Cast recording of the West End musical “Barnum”. It’s one of those songs that I’d been thinking about making a video to ever since I completed work on “Applejack” - mainly because of the content of the song and the fact that there’s a huge amount of different scenes that I could run riot with. The only problem was how to fill the instrumental section in the middle of the song, which I eventually decided to do with scenes from the video of the actual show. The second half of the video was easy, as it was just a repeat of the first half only faster!

THE MUSEUM SONG

It was pretty much a no-brainer that sooner or later I would make a cartoon video to a Spike Jones song - the songs are just crying out to be ‘tooned’. The first videos I ever made were of a friend and I miming along and performing all sorts of daft nonsense to Spike Jones songs, and that friend is back now as the
star of this video. This is my first attempt
at using green-screen for a cartoon
enabling Lee to mime to the
song and all the cartoon
folk to do their thing
around him. I was very
pleased with how this
turned out, and there are
many more Spike Jones
numbers so watch this
space!