ViacomCBS and Sky today announced their first co-production partnership, for pre-school CG animated series Pip and Posy, premiering exclusively on Channel 5’s free-to-air strand Milkshake! and Sky’s on-demand service Sky Kids.
The 52 x 7-minute series will be produced by multiple Oscar® nominated Magic Light Pictures (The Gruffalo, Room on the Broom, Revolting Rhymes and recent hit The Snail and The Whale) with animation services provided by Blue Zoo. Pip and Posy follows a mouse and a rabbit whose lives revolve around a wonderful world of play. Packed with warmth and humour, the series is a joyful celebration of their great friendship, its laughter and games, its ups and downs. The series deals with emotions, resilience and feelings in a relatable way for pre-schoolers to learn about themselves, all centred on creative play from a child’s point of view.
Currently in production, the series is based on characters from Nosy Crow’s popular collection of story books by multi award-winning illustrator Axel Scheffler and author Camilla Reid. Pip and Posy is Magic Light’s first ever pre-school series and sees the continuation of the production company’s 13 year association with Axel, which has produced seven high profile animated specials based on his hugely successful book collaborations with author Julia Donaldson. Pip and Posy will premiere on Milkshake! and be available on demand on Sky Kids in early 2021. It will then also air on Nick Jr. a year later.
“Pip and Posy is a delightful animation series that captures the essence of how young children play, think and feel, and fits perfectly with our portfolio of educational and fun programming. The series teaches pre-schoolers the importance of friendship and societal wellbeing through imaginative storytelling and creative play.” Louise Bucknole, VP Programming Kids, ViacomCBS Networks UK, said. “We have a long-running and close relationship with Sky, so it’s very exciting to have commissioned our first co-production together, enabling us to bring the very best of British animation to Milkshake! from world class producers Magic Light Pictures.”
Lucy Murphy, Director of Kids at Sky UK & Ireland, said: “Pip and Posy is a playful series that will be loved by young children and their families. This addition to Sky Kids, plus our recent raft of original commissions, demonstrates our ambition to feature a range of premium British programming for under 12s. We bring our customers the very best kids TV alongside our partner channels and this co-production with Milkshake! evolves our close relationship with ViacomCBS.”
Michael Rose, co-founder of Magic Light, said: “We’re really excited to be producing our first-ever pre-school series and proud to be working with Milkshake! and Sky. Axel Scheffler creates truly enchanting worlds and we can’t wait for viewers to join Pip and Posy for their fun and adventures.”
Kate Wilson, managing director of Nosy Crow, said: “We are so proud and pleased to be working with Magic Light on Pip and Posy. We’ve known the team there for many years, and their integrity and respect for the books they use as the basis of their animation work for children is superlative. All eight of the current Pip and Posy books – and there are more to come – are about the real ways in which children interact and feel, and it was Magic Light’s immediate grasp of the importance of this that will, we believe, make this series stand out.”
Pip and Posy has been jointly commissioned by Bucknole for Milkshake! and Murphy for Sky Kids with the participation of ZDF, Germany. The series is executive produced by Michael Rose and Martin Pope and produced by Vici King for Magic Light Pictures. The showrunner at Magic Light is Jeroen Jaspaert (Stick Man and The Highway Rat) and Blue Zoo’s director is Matthew Tea.
Magic Light Pictures holds the global distribution and merchandising rights to Pip and Posy (excluding publishing) and is developing a full licensing programme to complement the new series.