Free-to-air Irish broadcaster RTÉjr has given prodco Ink and Light Films the go-ahead to break out the tinsel and prepare for the holiday season, with a new commission for a half-hour animated special called Hopscotch and the Christmas Tree.
Based on the same-name children’s book published by the UK’s Tiny Tree, this one-off tells the story of a little horse named Hopscotch, who sets out with her animal friends to find the perfect Christmas tree.
Both the book and TV special were created and written by Katy Segrove and illustrated by Katerina Vykodtseva.
The project will be followed up by a TV series created as a Lithuanian/Irish co-pro between Kino Mind Films and Ink and Light. Meta Media is handling distribution and has already closed a raft of sales to broadcasters including Czech TV, YLE (Finland), V-Me (US Hispanic), HRT (Croatia), RTV (Slovakia), ERR (Estonia), Latvian TV and LTV (Lithuania). The special has also been picked up by French distributor KMBO Films for theatrical, video, TV and VOD in French-speaking Europe.
Aimed at preschoolers, Hopscotch and the Christmas Tree is financed with support from Screen Ireland and the Lithuanian Film Centre. The special will air in December and the series will follow in 2020.