Tiddle toddle! Moon and Me joins CBeebies Bedtime
The magical world of play and discovery created by Andrew is both timeless and captivating, and embodies CBeebies’ mission to light up little learners.Cheryl Taylor
Moon and Me, launching as part of the newly re-vamped CBeebies Bedtime from 4 February, is a 50x22’ magical new series for pre-school, created, written, composed and produced by Andrew Davenport (Teletubbies, In the Night Garden) and told by Nina Sosanya (Good Omens, W1A, Last Tango in Halifax, Killing Eve, Love Actually).
Moon and Me is a classic series of gentle and emotive tales about a magical toy, Pepi Nana, who lives in a Toy House with a “family” of comical toy friends. Together they welcome a special visitor from the Moon, Moon Baby, who opens a magical way into Storyland, where they share the wonderful stories waiting for them.
Inspired by well-loved tales of toys that come to life when nobody is looking, every enchanting episode of Moon and Me begins with a child gently putting a selection of favourite toys - Pepi Nana, Colly Wobble, Little Nana, Lambkin, Mr. Onion, Sleepy Dibillo and Lily Plant - to bed in their Toy House. But Pepi Nana is a very special toy - at night when the Moon shines, she comes to life, then sits down at her desk to write a letter to the Moon. Moon Baby, who lives there, receives the letter and visits the Toy House for tea. By playing magical music on his kalimba, he wakes up the other toy friends so they can all join in a new story together.
With friendship at its heart, and inspired by pre-school children’s toy-house play, Moon and Me explores the special bonds between the characters, and how they demonstrate kindness, empathy and consideration to each other - and to their newest friend, Moon Baby.
Through its comical characters and stories, Moon and Me celebrates reading, writing, drawing and making - children’s imaginative play with real objects.
Andrew Davenport is renowned for creating premium quality television for young children, built on a special regard for play. Moon and Me’s narrative and structure has, in part, developed out of Foundling Bird’s own Toy House Play Observation Project, conducted in partnership with the University of Sheffield, which looked at the way children engage with toy houses in contemporary play.
The show breaks new ground in its technical, visual and conceptual ambition and combines the latest production methods, using a combination of sophisticated puppetry and stop-motion to bring the colourful Moon and Me world to life. The Toy House alone features over 500 incredibly detailed, individually designed, hand-built and hand-painted miniature props and furnishings, with hidden messages for children to discover in many of the patterns and decorations.
Andrew Davenport says: “Through its comical characters and stories, Moon and Me celebrates the way we express the special bonds we share with the children we know and love, through magical stories and flights of fancy. In that respect it is a show that wears its emotional heart on its sleeve. Pepi Nana and her friends share books, write letters to each other, draw pictures, make things, invent things and go in search of adventure together. By deliberately eschewing any form of CGI in favour of filming with beautifully-realised real objects, Moon and Me celebrates children’s imaginative play with ‘real stuff’, - ironically perhaps - play that happens away from screens.”
Nina Sosanya says of her experience of working on Moon and Me: “The process itself is hugely detailed and incredibly particular, but the result is completely universal. From the moment the child begins to put the toys to bed in the Toy House, you're somewhere so recognisable, it’s like time travel. It's completely charming - I fell for the characters instantly. There are some rocking songs too.”
Cheryl Taylor, Head of Content for BBC Children’s, says: “Andrew Davenport is blessed with an uncanny and proven ability to tap into the imaginations of children the world over and commissioning Moon and Me was simply too good an opportunity to miss. The magical world of play and discovery created by Andrew is both timeless and captivating, and embodies CBeebies’ mission to light up little learners. We are so proud to have this programme on our platforms and feel certain that our audience will treasure it as much as we do.”
Commissioned by BBC Children’s and airing on CBeebies from 4 February 2019, Moon and Me is produced by Andrew Davenport’s Foundling Bird, in association with Sutikki, the kids and family division of Bento Box Entertainment. The Commissioning Editor for CBeebies is Michael Towner.
The majority of the programme is created using real sets and animatronic puppets, produced at Pinewood Studios, Atlanta. The stop-motion puppets and animation sections are shot at Mackinnon and Saunders in Altrincham, Manchester UK.