The 52 x 11’ stop-motion animation is expected to launch in the UK in Spring 2015. It is a contemporary version of the iconic British classic television show, which first aired on the BBC in 1969. The Clangers marks the multi-award winning entertainer’s first foray into children’s animation, having previously authored a collection of children’s books.
Palin takes over from the late Oliver Postgate, creator and narrator of the original series, who is often cited alongside original Clangers’ co-creator, Peter Firmin, as one of the founding fathers of UK animation.
Kay Benbow, controller of CBeebies, said: “It’s incredibly exciting to be bringing the Clangers back onto the screen for our young audience to enjoy, and to have Michael Palin involved really is the icing on the cake. He’s such an iconic entertainer and will bring a wonderful warmth to the Clangers stories as he takes CBeebies viewers on out-of-this-world adventures. We’re really excited that he’s agreed to be involved.”
Jeremy Banks, CEO, Coolabi Group, added: “Michael Palin is a wonderful entertainer and someone who is part of the fabric of British television. The narrator is such a crucial element of the show and we know he will be an engaging and insightful observer of the Clangers – the perfect companion to audiences watching from Earth.”
The £5m production is already underway with stop-motion specialist Factory Transmedia and award-winning puppet maker Mackinnon and Saunders. Peter Firmin is also part of the design process and Daniel Postgate is writing storylines and scripts. BBC Worldwide is the international distributor.
Coolabi has already inked licensing deals with Character Options as the master toy partner and Penguin has signed a publishing agreement. Other licensees include MV Sports & Leisure, Gemma International, Trade Mark Collections, Rainbow Productions, Immediate Media and C&M Licensing.
Clangers costume characters will be revealed for the first time at Brand Licensing Europe on 7th October, with previews available of the new product concepts on the Coolabi stand (D060).