BBC selects three projects from its inaugural children’s animation talent search

BBC Children’s and Education has announced three projects that will be taken forward from its Ignite initiative: “Duck and Frog,” “The Underglow,” and “Captain Onion’s Buoyant Academy for Wayward Youth.”

4 JUL 2023

"Duck and Frog"

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BBC Children’s and Education has announced three projects that will be taken forward from Ignite, the first-of-its-kind initiative to find the UK’s next animation hit. The projects chosen are “Duck and Frog,” created by Sam Shaw, a slapstick comedy with a modern British setting and an energetic anarchic sense of humour; “The Underglow,” a 2D pre-school series created by Tanya Scott and Sam Morrison full of little creatures and characters that come out to play when the sun goes down; and “Captain Onion’s Buoyant Academy for Wayward Youth,” a comedy created by Matthew Bradley at ALT Animation that follows Marvin and his friends on their boat-based boarding school, the Unsinkable II.

The projects were discovered after submitting ideas to the BBC and have been chosen following an 18-month development process. The BBC worked with the creators to attract key talent including writers, designers, script editors, consultants and development production partners to bring the ideas to life. The ambition of the group is to broadcast all three on the BBC in the future once additional investment from third parties is secured alongside the BBC’s contribution.

“Ignite called for ideas from across the UK, the response was overwhelming and it has not been easy to decide which projects to take forward. The reason we chose these three is because they all have a clear sense of the audience they are trying to target and a strong creative vision. The ideas, stories and characters felt truly British and very original but they hold a sense of the familiar which is what usually makes a show successful amongst kids,”  said Patricia Hidalgo, Director of BBC Children’s and Education.

Ignite was launched in 2021 as an unprecedented initiative to uncover UK animation talent to develop the next hit. The BBC called on talent from both established independent production companies, BBC in-house production and talented individuals looking for their first break, and received over 1000 ideas.