With global broadcast sales and licensing activity for its hit preschool property Paddles ramping up and production well under way on its newest preschool property, Ling Ling, state-of-the art animation and media company FuturumKids has announced development plans for a major new property based on the children’s book Charlie’s Ark.
The story centers on Charlie, a five-year-old boy, and the ark-shaped toybox in which he keeps his toy animals with their ark-inspired rainbow top-knots, manes and tails. But these are not just toys; they all come to life when Charlie whispers the magic ‘wordspell’, and together Charlie and the toys have many magical adventures.
The books are created and written by Mike Payne, who also lends his award-winning illustration talents to the stories alongside Adam Pescott. Payne is the creator and original artist of the globally popular grey, blue-nosed bear ‘Tatty Teddy’, which he drew for 17 years.
The 52 x 11′ animated series, which has already started production in Ireland and Las Palmas, aims to replicate the emotionally engaging style and charming storylines of the books to create cross-generational appeal. The concept received a very positive reception at MIPTV in April, FuturumKids reports.
Longer-term plans will include licensing and merchandising, building on Payne’s enormous success in commercial greeting card design, books and gift concepts that have sold hundreds of millions worldwide. Roy Smoothe, international strategic branding specialist, recently joined the Charlie’s Ark team in the role of Global Branding Licensing & Merchandising Director. Arthur Maxfield, former CEO of World of Books, is also a Board Member of the Charlie’s Ark team.
FuturumKids includes members of the team behind the seven-time Emmy Award-winning children’s series Jakers!, as well as senior figures from HIT Entertainment and its global franchises Bob the Builder, Barney and Thomas & Friends.
“With two children’s shows already broadcasting or in production we were keen to build on our success to date. However, we needed to find the right property to support our growing reputation as a producer of quality children’s entertainment,” said Eamon Mac Giolla Bhuí, CCO at FuturumKids. “Charlie’s Ark is just that property. Both visually and as a magical piece of storytelling it’s ideal for children’s TV. We’re looking forward enormously to developing Charlie’s delightful adventures for the screen.”