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Award-Winning Blue Zoo Animation Studio Turns 20

Founded in 2000 by Tom Box, Oli Hyatt, and Adam Shaw, the animation studio is now 300+ strong; Hyatt was instrumental in helping create Animation UK in 2008, a collective that incentivizes and bolsters the fast-growing UK animation industry.

Award-winning Blue Zoo animation studio has turned 20! Founded in 2000 by a group of young British university graduates with a vision of creating high quality visual stories, the studio now has a staff of over 300, has won five BAFTAs, and boasts a notable client-list with the likes of the BBC, Disney, and Nickelodeon. With their large team of animators, the company has become one of the most prolific UK animation studios, able to produce large amounts of high-quality content every year.

Bournemouth University graduates Tom Box, Oli Hyatt, and Adam Shaw established the company to work for themselves. They set up shop in their investor’s garage and immediately secured their first contract with CBeebies; since then the studio has grown and now develops both short form content and series such as BAFTA-winning Numberblocks for the BBC.

In 2008, co-founder Hyatt helped create Animation UK, a collective that champions the cultural and economic significance of animation. Their work has led to some game-changing feats including the establishment of an animation tax relief scheme, for which Hyatt was awarded an MBE.

“Animation UK, the tax reliefs and the BFI YAC Fund has ignited the UK animation industry,” commented Hyatt. “This is currently one of the fastest-growing industries in the country, with new shows being commissioned by channels like Nickelodeon, Netflix and more which will be written, animated and produced in the UK.”

Blue Zoo has twice won the BAFTA for Independent Production Company of The Year, as well as the 2019 and 2020 award for Broadcast Best Places to Work in TV.

Because of their ongoing success, the studio is looking to hire a significant amount of new talent. Despite the pandemic, the animation sector is thriving; CG animation continues to work business as usual and almost entirely remotely for Blue Zoo.

“At Blue Zoo, we pride ourselves on the highest quality of animation and storytelling. Now in our 20th year, we are more ambitious than ever,” noted Box. “It is our intention to bring new business to the UK film industry by making our first feature animated film.”

Now that Blue Zoo has certified itself as a fully-fledged animation studio, it will continue to pave the way for the next generation of animated British storytelling.

Source: Blue Zoo