Children's TV Creator Dies Unexpectedly
Created 05/28/2008 - 00:00
Pineapple Squared Ent's Creative Director David Mitton died from a sudden heart attack last week. At the time of his death Mitton was overseeing a number of Pineapple Squared's projects including the animated epic for boys, ADVENTURES ON ORSUM ISLAND.
Television industry stalwart Mitton worked for the THUNDERBIRDS creator Gerry Anderson in the 1960s as a special effects floor technician on THUNDERBIRDS. It was there that he met Pineapple Squared's Supervising Director David Lane.
In the 1980s Mitton started a film company with Ken Turner called Clearwater Films. Clearwater then set up a feature arm, which teamed up with Britt Allcroft to make THOMAS THE TANK ENGINE. Mitton went on to direct write more than 180 episodes of THOMAS THE TANK ENGINE.
Later, Mitton's imagination led to the creation of ORSUM ISLAND, a series for 7-11 year old children. With the benefit of all the experience he gained on THOMAS, TUGS and THUNDERBIRDS, Mitton was convinced that he had come up with a show that would deliver the sort of pace and variety he recognized today's young audiences are demanding. What's more, he viewed his work on ORSUM ISLAND and other upcoming Pineapple Squared productions as a vehicle by which to hand down his knowledge and experience to a new generation. Happy to be seen as something of an elder statesman, Mitton was keen to nurture the younger team members at Pineapple Squared.
Having been one of the main drivers behind several hugely successful shows, Mitton believed his work at Pineapple Squared would set a new tone for worldwide production focusing on story, plot and quality animation through a proprietary pipeline. The production facility was built as a robust feature of Pineapple Squared and is ideally placed to continue his work and provide the market with a fitting legacy for one of its great contributors.
The producers at Pineapple Squared, Michele Fabian-Jones and David Lane, have paid tribute to their partner, saying in a statement, "David Mitton was one of the greats of children's TV, his loss is a considerable one personally and professionally. The blow is cushioned only by the knowledge that he goes on through the continued success of Pineapple Squared Ent. and in particular of ORSUM ISLAND, about which he was so passionate."