Kid Show Creator David Mitton Dies

We’re saddened to hear of the sudden passing of children’s television veteran David Mitton, who wrote and directed more than 180 episodes of Thomas the Tank Engine. At the time of his death, he was working as creative director at London-based Pineapple Squared Ent., where he was overseeing a number of projects including the animated boys’ series Adventures on Orsum Island. Mitton died from a heart attack last week.

Mitton met Pineapple Squared’s supervising director David Lane while working with famed puppet master Gerry Anderson as a special effects floor technician on the classic 1960s television series Thunderbirds. In the 1980s, Mitton started Clearwater Films with Ken Turner. They then set up a feature arm which teamed up with Britt Allcroft to make Thomas the Tank Engine.

Pineapple Squared producers Michele Fabian-Jones and David Lane issued a joint statement saying, ‘David Mitton was one of the greats of children’s TV. His loss is a considerable one personally and professionally, we will miss the laughs. The blow is cushioned only by the knowledge that he goes on through the continued success of Pineapple Squared Ent. and in particular of Orsum Island, about which he was so passionate.’

Orsum Island is a series for kids 7-11. The show employs mo-cap CG animation composited with real photographic backgrounds to chronicle the battle for control of Orsum Island. As wise master Ming and evil mutation Zarkan duke it out, a new arrival named Kodi shows up with a special power that will decide the matter once and for all. In addition, Kodi must use his talents to get off the Island and find his way home. He is joined in his quest by new friends Divine Flower, Ming’s daughter, and comedic duo Monty and Fidget.

According to his colleagues, Mitton viewed his work on Orsum Island and other upcoming Pineapple Squared productions as a vehicle by which to hand down his knowledge and experience to a new generation. He saw the company set up a proprietary animation pipeline which will insure that his work is continued.