CBBC Commissions New Toons

U.K.’s CBBC channel announced that it’s expanding its online Cartoon Works portal and has commissioned a new animated series called Muddle Earth (based on the books by Paul Steward and Chris Riddell) and picked up a second season of Aardman’s Shaun the Sheep.

Steven Andrew, CBBC’s head of drama, animation and acquisition, said, ‘CBBC is commissioning Muddle Earth, a mysterious and epic animated tale as well as returning to the adventures of Shaun in a new series. We are also very excited by cartoon works which we hope will act as a creative cartoon playground for the U.K. animation industry. These new commissions are testament to the talented and creative community working in U.K. animation today, and the wonderful content that is being produced across the country.’

This fall, CBBC’s online animation portal, Cartoon Works, will showcase brand new animation from budding under 18 amateurs through to established professionals. Animators are encouraged to submit their projects, the best of which will be selected and showcased on www.bbc.co.uk/cbbc and then air on the CBBC Channel in spring 2010. Further information will be available soon for animators interested in submitting projects. Project managed by CBBC producer Helen Brunsdon, Cartoon Works was commissioned by former CBBC controller, Anne Gilchrist and is run by the CBBC interactive team, the executive producer is Rachel Bardill.

Muddle Earth (26 x 11) is based on Steward and Riddell’s tales about ‘a magical land that time forgot, remembered and then forgot again!’ It’s set in a mystical land with three moons, a floating lake and a perfumed bogfull of pink stinky hogs and exploding gas frogs. Exec produced by the BBC’s Sarah Muller, the show features a fantastic collection of creatures including inept wizards, warrior-heroes, goblins, talking-clocks, elves, sarcastic budgerigars, not-very-bright ogres and scheming fairies! The show is commissioned by former CBBC Controller Anne Gilchrist. Muddle Earth is a CBBC production, with animation by Hullabaloo Studio in Greater Manchester, and is slated to air in the spring of 2010.

Shaun the Sheep

Season Two of Aardman Animation’s Shaun the Sheep (20×7) will also air this November on CBBC. The show will follow the adventures of Shaun and the rest of his flock as they join in his latest madcap schemes and attempts to out-fleece the Farmer. CBBC Executive Producer is Nikki Chaplin, and Aardman Animations series producer is Gareth Owen.

Almost a third of all six to 12 year olds in digital homes in the U.K. tune into CBBC on a weekly basis.