Aardman makes pre-school move

Cbeebies picks up stop-motion animated series Timmy at Mipcom.
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Aardman is making its first foray into the pre-school market with Timmy, a character which made its first appearance in hit show Shaun the Sheep.

The 52x10-minute stop-motion animated series has already been pre-bought by Cbeebies in the UK and Aardman is now looking to secure further worldwide pre-sale deals at Mipcom this week.

Currently in pre-production, Timmy is scheduled for transmission in 2009. The character designs are based on sketches by Nick Park.

Timmy made his TV appearance in Shaun the Sheep, which has notched up television sales and licensing deals in over 150 territories, as well as winning several accolades including the Cristal Award for Best TV Production at the Annecy Animated Film Festival earlier this year.

Aimed at boys and girls, the series will be non-dialogue, but will feature a variety of animal noises, comedy, fun and strong character animation. Each episode will follow a day in the life of Timmy in nursery as he learns something about himself and his friends.

"The BBC has a long standing relationship with Aardman, so we are delighted that Cbeebies will be home to Timmy in the UK," said Kay Benbow, head of Cbeebies production, animation and acquisitions. "The designs are adorable and the first class scripts ooze the warmth and wit the viewers have come to expect from Aardman."

Jackie Cockle, creative producer of the show, added: "Pre-schoolers around the world will be able to identify with Timmy as he learns universal lessons about himself, his friends and the world around him. We're delighted that Cbeebies has already acquired Timmy and we are hopeful that other broadcasters will soon be on board."

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