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Tails of adventure

CRICKET: England batsmen unable to maintain interest on cloying surface that bowler DeFreitas belatedly finds is to his liking Choice
Stressed-out parents over the past 20 years have had cause to be extremely grateful to the animation house of Cosgrove Hall. In that time, the company has been responsible for some of the finest animation ever to have soothed fractious children. Danger Mouse, The Pied Piper of Hamelin, Wind in the Willows, Count Duckula, The BFG and Noddy all feature on the CV of founders Brian Cosgrove and Mark Hall, who met as young graphic artists at Manchester Art School in 1956. Animation has the reputation for being one of the most laborious processes known to man, but in recent years technology has helped them no end. Cosgrove Hall's 1989 version of Roald Dahl's BFG took three years to make as animators coloured in 750,000 drawings by hand. Much of that work can now be done by computer animation systems. Cosgrove Hall's first 20 years are celebrated in "Danger Mouse and Friends", a free exhibition of sets and cels at the Lyttleton Theatre foyer, National Theatre, South Bank, London, SE1, which runs from tomorrow until 3 February.


Children between the ages of 8 and 12 can participate in workshops with Cosgrove Hall animators from 11am to 3.30pm on 16, 19, 20, 22, 28, 29 Dec and 4, 6 Jan. Tickets cost pounds 3 and must be pre-booked at the NT box-office on 0171-928 2252