Wednesday 24 Sep 2014
In a landmark occasion for the channel, CBBC is to unveil its first ever in-house long-form animation series, Muddle Earth.
The 13x11 minute series follows the adventures of Randalf the wizard and his human apprentice Newt as they attempt to thwart the devious attempts of Dr Cuddles, an evil blue teddy bear, from taking over the land.
Aimed at six to nine year olds, the comedy-fantasy series features the vocal magic of Sir David Jason (Randalf), and music performed by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra – another first for the Channel.
Muddle Earth is based on Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell's much-loved children's novel of the same name. An affectionate nod to Lord Of The Rings, it takes the heart of the eponymous world and runs with it in a series of hilarious epic adventures.
Complete with inept wizards, goblins, talking clocks, elves, sarcastic budgies and scheming fairies, the upside down world of Muddle Earth will transport the audience to an astonishing fantasy world they won't want to come back from.
Sarah Muller, Head of CBBC Animation Development, says: "We are thrilled to have been able to produce a world-class animated series entirely in the UK, which is testament to the extraordinary talent that we've been able to gather together.
"CBBC has a strong commitment to support the British animation industry and I hope that Muddle Earth is just the first of many great local successes for us."
Sir David Jason says: "I am delighted to be back doing one of the jobs I enjoy most for such a wonderfully entertaining new children's series."
The 2-D digitally animated series was produced entirely in the UK using British animation talent.
Muddle Earth is directed by Vincent James and Tim Harper, and produced by Phil Chalk. The lead writers across the series are Rob Sprackling and John Smith.
Muddle Earth starts on Monday 15 March, 3.50pm, on BBC One.
The series will be broadcast Monday to Friday, 3.50pm, BBC One until March 31.
A second 13x11 minute series is in production for broadcast in September 2010.
CBBC won the Children's Channel of the Year Award at the Children's BAFTAs in November 2008 and was named Children's Channel of the Year at the Broadcast Digital Awards in June 2009. Figures show that CBBC is one of the most loved channels for children, reaching more six- to 12-year-olds than any other children's channel (in digital homes).
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