London -- CBeebies will be the UK broadcast partner for Peter Rabbit, a brand new CGI animated series from Penguin, Silvergate Media and Nickelodeon US, the show’s lead broadcaster and co-producer. The series will preview with a special one-off Christmas episode in December 2012 with 52x11-minute episodes following in Spring 2013.
To mark the announcement, Silvergate and Penguin have revealed an image from the show of Peter Rabbit and his friends Benjamin Bouncer and Lily Bobtail, a brand new character.
The animation’s broadcast later this year coincides with the 110th anniversary of the first publication in 1902 of Beatrix Potter’s classic The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Frederick Warne, now an imprint of Penguin Children’s Books. Since publication the book has become one of the best known and loved children’s classics of all time. Over 150 million Peter Rabbit™ books have been sold worldwide in more than 35 languages.
The new animation is a re-imagining of the classic children’s tales. The brand new storylines will bring the wit, humour and magic of Beatrix Potter’s original world to a new generation of children. Set in the Lake District, the animation follows brave, mischievous Peter and his two friends - loyal and comical Benjamin and inquisitive, independent Lily - as they embark on adventures in the big wide world outdoors.
Kay Benbow, Controller, CBeebies said: “I grew up with these books and so I am delighted to welcome this heritage brand to CBeebies. This witty, exciting and action packed realisation is true to the original work of Beatrix Potter and we believe it will have a huge appeal for the older end of our audience.”
A commitment to the authenticity and heritage of Peter Rabbit has been a key part of the animation’s development process.
In order to build the 3D sets and backgrounds that make up Peter Rabbit’s world, the creative team behind the TV series took over three and a half thousand photographs of the Lake District’s forests, grassy hilltops, farmyards and woodland lanes. These images were then compiled into rich artistic worlds that reference Beatrix Potter’s watercolour painting style. The result is a strikingly accurate representation of Sawrey and Esthwaite Water, where the animation is set: the entrance to Peter’s burrow is a real tree near Sawrey, and the homes of the other characters are real buildings and farms from the area.
Waheed Alli, Chairman of Silvergate Media, comments: “We are thrilled with the incredible support the BBC has shown for this production, right from the very earliest stages of development. We are absolutely confident that the combination of heritage British storytelling and cutting-edge CGI animation will be completely at home with the BBC. We look forward to seeing the audience reaction over the months and years ahead.”
Penguin will be supporting the animation in 2013 with a full publishing programme with other licensed merchandise to follow.
Francesca Dow, Managing Director of Penguin Children’s, comments: “This is a really exciting time for Peter Rabbit, one of our most enduring and loved characters. Peter Rabbit is a British icon - celebrating 110 years this year and yet still as fresh and appealing as the day he was created. The new series has been developed with all the care and attention of the original tales, and we know it will bring the mischievous, quick-witted Peter and the world of Beatrix Potter to a whole new generation of children, giving them a sense of adventure, a love of playing outdoors, and an insight into Beatrix Potter's natural world.
As Beatrix Potter’s publisher, Penguin is immensely proud of the original tales and this new series will complement the classic publishing. Beatrix Potter was a wonderful storyteller and the animation will inspire a brand new audience to discover the unique world of Beatrix Potter and her marvelous stories and characters.”
Source: Silvergate Media