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Film believed to be only true Thelwell animation found on eBay

A short film believed to be the only official Thelwell animation, which was found for sale on eBay, has been remastered and released to the public.

Charles Sainsbury-Plaice, of Countryside Greetings, spotted the film for sale in the spring. As the Thelwell estate’s main licensee, who supplies Thelwell merchandise to shops, he snapped it up.

It has now been edited and set to music, and was released on social media this evening (27 November).

Mr Sainsbury-Plaice told H&H he always keeps an eye out for Thelwell merchandise on eBay.

“I saw this while I was sitting in bed!” he said. “I bought it from a lovely old lady, and it came on the original 35mm film, in a canister, like those in the BBC archives.”

Mr Sainsbury-Plaice explained that the film, The Perils of Penelope starring Thelwell’s much-loved Penelope and Kipper, was made as a pilot by Thelwell and Nick Spargo, of Willo the Wisp fame, for the BBC in 1982.

It has been edited, thanks to a friend at Mayfield Studios, and set to new song Believe in Me, by the Mayfield Records House Band and singer Decosta Boyce, as there was no voiceover, and the original music had been lost.

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“I believe this is the only true animation made by Thelwell,” Mr Sainsbury-Plaice said, adding that there are videos made using various still images.

“I don’t think anyone has seen this before, and I thought now was a good time to release it, to cheer everyone up.

“I think people will love it; at the moment, we all need nostalgia, and this takes us back to a happy place. I think it will be good for all of us.”

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