Cardiff-based animation studio Siriol is turning the Scottish Maisie book series by Aileen
Paterson into a 26 x 10-minute, 2-D animated series for children up to age eight. Meeow centers around MaisieMac, ‘a rather cheeky and bumptious character who gets into trouble all the time,’ says Robin Lyons, Siriol managing director. Half the series is set in Scotland, where MaisieMac visits Loch Ness and sees the monster. MaisieMac is a typical kid, Lyons says: ‘She bites off more than she can chew.’ In one episode, she tries to rescue a football from a tree, falls, breaks her arm and winds up in the hospital.
The US$1.8-million series will air in January 2000 on CITV. Meeow is co-produced by Scottish Television and The Gaelic Committee. A Gaelic version of the series is also in development.
Siriol is also developing a new 26 x five-minute animated series based on Welsh children’s character Sali Mali (from the book written by Mary Vaughn Jones first published in 1969). The toon has been commissioned by Welsh public broadcaster S4C and its commercial arm S4C International.
At a cost of US$780,000 the series will star a host of furry forest animals that teach children about the experiences of growing up.
Sali Mali features 2-D animation, and each episode will be narrated by voice-overs for easy dubbing into other languages. Aimed at a preschool audience, the series is set to air on S4C in fall 2000. Siriol has produced a pilot for the series, and S4C International will retain worldwide distribution rights.