BBC unveils animation trio greenlit from Ignite development program

Captain Onion’s Buoyant Academy For Wayward Youth

UK pubcaster the BBC has unveiled three kids’ series it plans to take forward from its Ignite animation development program.

The Ignite program was launched in 2021 to uncover UK animation talent that could develop the next hit. The BBC called on talent from both established indies, in-house production and talented individuals looking for their first break, and ultimately received more than 1,000 ideas.

The three greenlit projects were chosen following an 18-month development process in which the BBC worked with the creators to attract key talent including writers, designers, script editors, consultants and development production partners to bring the ideas to life.

The ambition is to broadcast all three shows on the BBC once additional investment from third parties is secured alongside the BBC’s contribution.

Among the trio is Duck And Frog, a 50 x 7-minute slapstick comedy created by Sam Shaw and produced by Sun & Moon. Aimed at 7-12-year-olds, the series follows Duck, who is is just trying to make rent and accepts a new job each episode. However, his dreams of keeping a job for longer than a day inevitably crumble before him thanks to over-bearing Frog’s ‘help’ and interventions.

Also aimed at 7-12-year-olds is Captain Onion’s Buoyant Academy for Wayward Youth from ALT Animation. The 50 x 11-minute series follows fish out of water Marvin, who is transferred to Britain’s most fearsome boat-based boarding school and quickly learns that aboard the ominously named Unsinkable II all school dilemmas are better faced with friends – from classmates baring their teeth to strange adults forgotten by time.

The Underglow, meanwhile, is a 2D pre-school series created by Sam Morrison and Tanya Scott that features an inclusive and diverse community of characters, who seek to reinvent seemingly forgotten objects they encounter. This is no ordinary place – it’s somewhere that wakes up when the sun goes down as little creatures come out to play, explore and find themselves in the world.

BBC Children’s and Education Patricia Hidalgo said: “Ignite called for ideas from across the UK, the response was overwhelming and it has not been easy to decide which projects to take forward. The reason we chose these three is because they all have a clear sense of the audience they are trying to target and a strong creative vision. The ideas, stories and characters felt truly British and very original but they hold a sense of the familiar which is what usually makes a show successful amongst kids.”

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