LEGO Media International(LMI), the new TV and film division of the world-renowned children'stoy brand, premiered its first ever program, LITTLE ROBOTS, at MIP TV2001. LITTLE ROBOTS is a new pre-school animated series based on thechildren's book by Mike Brownlow. The pilot was produced for LMI bythe U.K.'s Cosgrove Hall Films utilizing an unusual technique, whichcombines model animation with CGI backgrounds and effects. Theprogram also boasts top U.K. writing and voice (Lenny Henry, SuPollard, Darren Boyd and Jimmy Hibbert) talent. LMI aims to produce26 x 10' episodes for transmission in the autumn of 2002. The storyfocuses on Tiny Robot and his little friends, who are pioneers andarchitects of a brand new world. They have been abandoned by the"real" world, but, using the toolkit inside his head, Tiny sets aboutrepairing his friends and together they build a magical world oftheir own inside the scrapheap. Using their skills and imaginationthey turn what we throw out (nuts, bolts, metal and rubber) intohomes, trees and flowers. LITTLE ROBOTS has been executive producedfor LMI by Vanessa Chapman, controller of programming and strategy,and Michael Carrington, head of acquisitions and co-productions.Chapman is the former controller of children's programming at ITV andMichael joined LMI from the BBC's Children's Department, where he wasdeputy head of acquisitions and animation. Chapman stated, "When wesaw the book, Michael and I leapt upon it and knew that we just hadto turn it into LEGO Media's first TV programme. It looked sodifferent from anything else we'd ever seen in the market place forthis age group. It's cool and retro in design, the characters arequirky and fantastical and their world is weird and wonderful. OurLittle Robots are picking up from where THE MAGIC ROUNDABOUT and THECLANGERS left off."
Not only is LEGO breaking into TV but also ultra-cool next generationtoys. Read Eric Huelsman's "The Man Who Bought A Toy For His Kid andKept It For Himself."
Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.