Magic Light Pictures co-founder Michael Rose has been awarded the OBE for ‘services to animation’ in the King’s birthday honours announced Saturday 17th June. Michael’s long career in the British animation industry began in the 1980s when he ran the cinemas at the Watershed Media Centre and Arnolfini Gallery in Bristol. There he helped stage the British Animation Festivals of 1987 and 1989, and was Deputy Chair of the Festival until 1995.
After working at Channel Four Television, Michael joined leading UK studio Aardman Animations in 1994 as Head of Development, a key member of the senior management team which grew the studio and built the "Wallace and Gromit" brand. He jointly produced Nick Park’s Oscar winning Wallace and Gromit film, "A Close Shave", along with other shorts and series, winning two BAFTAs.
In 2003 Michael co-founded Magic Light Pictures with producer Martin Pope and this year their company is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Together Michael and Martin have built one of the UK’s most successful family entertainment companies. Their films have been nominated for four Oscars and won three Baftas, three International Emmys, two RTS awards and countless other prizes.
Starting with Oscar nominated "The Gruffalo", adapted from the classic book by authors Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, their annual animated specials have become a leading feature of Christmas on BBC1, and delight family audiences on BBC and around the world. Their other productions include Oscar nominated animated feature film, "Chico & Rita"; "Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes" and pre-school series hit "Pip & Posy". The company has also built the Gruffalo brand with trails, experiences and wonderful products.