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Mercury Filmworks and Mukpuddy Teaming on ‘Badjelly the Witch’

Studios to co-produce Spike Mulligan’s modern, irreverent fairy tale as a 2D animated series; adaptation promises madcaps adventures with quirky characters, matter-of-fact magic, and weird and wonderful surprises – and of course, good triumphing over evil.

Mercury Filmworks and Mukpuddy are teaming up to co-produce Badjelly the Witch, an irreverent modern fairy tale authored and illustrated by British comedian, poet, playwright and actor, Spike Milligan. The 13 x 22’ 2D animated series will be aimed at kids 6-11-years-old. The announcement was made by Mercury Filmworks chief content officer Heath Kenny, Media Tech Productions’ Roger Shakes, and Mukpuddy co-founders Ryan Cooper, Alex Leighton, and Tim Evans.

As co-creator of The Goon Show, Milligan has touched much of British comedy with his comedic influence, including legendary comedy troupe Monty Python. Originally created as a fairy-tale for his two young children, “Badjelly the Witch” is full of weird and wonderful surprises with good triumphing over evil. The story was later turned into an audio play featuring Milligan and was subsequently remade with a full orchestra and released by Polydor Records.  The property was acquired by Mukpuddy from Milligan’s children.

“There’s no shortage of fun to be had in this madcap story full of quirky characters and matter-of-fact magic from the wild imagination of Milligan, whose work influenced generations of kids,” commented Kenny.  “We are excited to be co-producing the series and specially with Mukpuddy—their work ethic, culture, and creativity, are values that connect our two studios. We look forward to working together to build on the original short story and expand the world Milligan created to bring this classic property to life.”

"Like many creative Kiwis, we were hugely inspired by Spike Milligan growing up, and Badjelly is a story we are incredibly passionate about," shared Cooper. "We’re honored that the Milligan family are letting us play in Spike’s fantastical world of teeny-weeny tree goblins and ‘horridible’ witches and getting to do it alongside Mercury Filmworks is an absolute dream come true. They are a studio we have admired for a long time and feel that our collaboration is a match made in Milligan madness."

The fairy tale Badjelly the Witch follows the adventures of Tim and Rose as they search for Lucy, their cow. Their search takes them into the great black forest that lies at the edge of their sleepy village. The duo soon find that the forest is inhabited by weird and wonderful characters (Badjelly!), each struggling with a dark energy. Convinced that the valley is being overrun by these dark mysterious characters, Tim and Rose set out to assemble a small team of friends which includes Binklebonk, the timid Tree Goblin, and his grasshopper pet, Silly Sausage; Mudwiggle, a worm that claims extraordinary strength; and the Tin Lion, a loyal but sometimes a little moany metal lion. With their friends at their side, Tim and Rose travel the valley, helping people discover the true source of their Badjelly issues and learning more about the magical world they have become part of.

Source: Mercury Filmworks