Three of the most respected names in UK animation - boasting shows including Dangermouse, Wind in the Willows and Jakers between them - have formed a new venture to bring an original British animation pre-school series to market.
Brian Cosgrove and Mark Hall have come out of retirement to team with Jakers creator Francis Fitzpatrick on Pip.
Pip was originally the creation of Charlie Ward, a photographer who was inspired to write bedtime stories for his two young sons while on holiday in the coastal town of Salcombe in Devon.
Newly formed animation company, Cosgrove Hall Fitzpatrick Entertainment has already kicked off development on the series pilot, which will be launched at MIPCOM in October. The firm has made a commitment to produce 52 x ten-minute shows in just 104 weeks.
CHF is confident of signing a UK broadcasting deal by the end of the year, and will also be seeking global distribution.
A raft of merchandising opportunities are also being explored, with a master toy expected to be secured by December 2012. This will be followed by a number of different revenue streams such as publishing, gaming, internet, mobile content and music.
"There is no doubt about it, Pip has massive potential," said Simon Hall, MD and head of production. "One of the main attractions of Pip is that the beach and the seaside are universal concepts which have the rare ability to translate through numerous media and retail platforms on a global basis."
Brian Cosgrove added: "I can see Pip being a series of lovely gentle stories, sprinkled with laughter that will be enjoyed by all the family. It is very exciting to be back working on a children's programme that has so much potential."