CCTV preps ‘significant’ UK kids series

February 2015

Chinese state broadcaster CCTV is on board an animated series billed as one of the first significant collaborations between the UK and China on a children’s series. 3D animated fantasy adventure series Shudan (26×23′) is expected to air on CCTV in 2015 and follows a team of superheroes who possess the ability to transform into different animals from the Chinese zodiac. The series, aimed at children aged 8-12, is produced by British duo Stephen Salam (Byker Grove) and Robert Hartshorne (Thomas and Friends) of UK-based firm 12 Guardians, while Martyn Pick (Ultramarines: A Warhammer 40,000 Movie) is on board to direct. The series is being made in China by Vasoon Animation, with Wang Xiao Li exec producing out of Beijing. Its London-based distributor, High Point, said the series “looks set to be one of the first significant collaborations between the UK and China on an animated children’s series.” Nine further seasons are planned, while feature films and a live action TV series are also in the pipeline for the franchise, High Point added. In related news, High Point is in the process of building up a library of children’s content and is set to launch another two projects through its kids label, Junior. 2D animation The Mad Cows (15×12′) is produced by Dublin-based Keg Kartoonz for Irish pubcaster RTÉ and follows a group of cattle exploring the human world after a mysterious bolt of lightning gives them special powers. Targeting 6-12s, it comes from veteran animation producer Michael Algar (Mutant Ninja Turtles) and writer/director Noel Kelly. Meanwhile, Behind the Couch (13×4′), is a preschool series about a dog called Scamp whose dreams take him to a fantastic world full of play and discovery in the company of a few mischievous elephants. It is produced by Lesley Manning for Fifteen and a Half Productions, and the first season has already been completed.


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