Production, Distribution and Programming: News Briefs

HIT launches animation arm...
April 1, 1998

HIT launches animation arm

HIT Entertainment, the U.K.-based distributor of model animation programming and creator of Brambly Hedge, has opened an animation studio dubbed HOT Animation, in order to produce original model animation product. Three leading model animation specialists formerly from Cosgrove Hall Films-producer Jackie Cockle, director Brian Little and lighting cameraman Joe Dembinski-will head the enterprise.

HOT Animation will immediately undertake production of a new season of Brambly Hedge and an additional preschool series still in development.

The new studio will also take on third-party model animation work for television, feature film, title sequences and commercial production.

Big Bag packs for a second season

Big Bag, the educational series for preschoolers produced by Children’s Television Workshop (CTW), will begin stripping its second season on April 6, airing Monday through Friday on Cartoon Network in the U.S.

For this 26-episode second season, a new female Muppet called Sofie, created by The Jim Henson Company, will be introduced. ‘She’s the perfect addition to the series-a feisty, fuchsia-haired ball of fire,’ says Nina Elias Bamberger, executive producer and creator of the show at CTW. The new character provides a counterpart for the Muppet character Chelli, who ‘worries about things a little more,’ says Bamberger.

The upcoming season also features a new animated short segment, Ace & Avery, created by award-winning producer and director John Dilworth.

Big Bag continues to emphasize participation by inviting viewers to assemble their own ‘big bag’ using common household items.

Dargaud acquires share of Millésime

PARIS: Children’s book and video publisher Dargaud recently acquired a majority interest in Millésime Productions, headed by Gaspard de Chavagnac. This investment by Dargaud follows on the heels of its purchase last year of Claude Berthier’s Marina Productions, producer of Mr. Men.

While Marina and Millésime will continue their production projects independently, the administrative functions of the two companies will be combined. De Chavagnac steps in as head of both companies and Berthier will continue on at Marina as an artistic and production consultant.

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