Walker Productions has signed up its first two commissions with leading broadcasters.
Cbeebies will be the home of new pre-school series Tilly and Friends from 2012, which has been adapted from Polly Dunbar’s book series published by Walker Books. The TV production division of the company is working with Jam Media on the show.
“We are so pleased that Tilly and Friends will air on Cbeebies and look forward to delivering the popular book-based series to a whole new audience, as part of Walker Productions’ commitment to developing fantastic book-based properties for additional media platforms,” said Helen McAleer, MD of Walker Productions and Walker Books UK.
Meanwhile, CITV will broadcast new animation Fleabag Monkeyface. The show will be the first new animation commissioned from CITV since 2005.
The 52 x 11-minute episodes have been developed by Sparky Animation, Impossible Kids and Walker Productions and are due to launch on CITV, ITV1 and GMTV1 in September 2011.
Playhouse Disney (UK), TVO, Knowledge Network and SCN (Canada) have all acquired ‘Mr Moon’, The preschool show, which is produced by Singapore based Sparky Animation in association with Skaramoosh (London) and Title Entertainment (Ottawa) with support from the Media Development Authority of Singapore.
The distributors of the series, Sparky Animation, have announced that leading preschool channel, Playhouse Disney UK, will air ‘Mr Moon’ in 2010.
‘Mr Moon’ is adapted from a children’s book property of the same name, which was created by English writer illustrator Kate Veale. The series revolves around ‘Mr Moon’ and his friends – Sunny, Silva Star, Goldstar and his little red Supafast Rocket who will come to life in CGI with stunning digital painted backgrounds. In all of the stories in the series, ‘Mr Moon’ and his friends go on adventures all around the universe exploring planets, stars, constellations, black holes, nebulae and galaxies. Sometimes the friends lose track of time in these adventures but no matter what, they must always get back in time to take their rightful place in the night sky.
Jonathan Boseley, VP, Programming, Disney Channels UK & Ireland comments: “We are thrilled to be launching ‘Mr Moon’ on Playhouse Disney and we’re sure it will delight preschoolers and their parents. Following the channel’s continued success we’re looking to expand our UK acquisitions with hit shows like “‘Mr Moon'” that engage and inspire preschoolers with great storytelling and characters.”
Singapore-based Sparky Animation has sold broadcast rights of its CG-animated preschool show Mr. Moon to outlets in the United Kingdom and Canada.
Playhouse Disney U.K. will begin airing the program in 2010. In Canada, the rights have been picked up by regional broadcasters TVOntario, Knowledge Network in British Columbia and SCN in Saskatchewan.
Freej is the title of the upcoming Arabic 3D animated series to be aired on Dubai TV starting Ramadhan 2006. Freej means ‘Neighbourhood’ in the Khaleeji dialect and would tell the comic story of four old ladies living in a small traditional neighbourhood in the outskirts of the city of Dubai.
What makes Freej so special is the fact that it is the first 3D animated series to be created by an Emarati national and is now being supported by Dubai Media City and the Sheikh Mohammed Establishment for Young Entrepreneurs in terms of financial, business and strategic support.
The creator of Freej, Mohammed Harib majored in General Arts and Animation at North Eastern University in Boston, M.A, USA. He was employed at Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone until he took a one year leave earlier this year to dedicate all his time to the creation of Freej through his newly created production company Lammtara Pictures.
In addition to being the managing director of Lammtara Pictures and the director of Freej, Mohammed is also a professional photographer, web designer, cartoonist and had also made several attempts at writing poetry and literature in addition to modeling as well. His portfolio includes the creationg of the brand identity of Dubai International Film Festival.
The first season of Freej will air as 15 episodes over the holy month of Ramadhan, an extra 16th episode will be included as a bonus in the DVD release that is expected to come out after the conclusion of season one. Freej will feature more than 15 popular Arabic media personalities yet to be announced.
Mohammed is currently in constant travel between the UAE and India, as the audio is recorded in one country and the video is being created in another. Freej merchandise is already on sale in Dubai and several press releases have been held at several events to promote the upcoming series.
Freej would be a unique adventure to the audience as it brings forth the cultural national identity back to the screen, the success of Freej should also set an example to other artists and creators to take their little dreams more seriously as we now witness what we hope to be the rise of the Arabic animation industry.
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