Guitarist Slava Grigoryan won the Award for Best Classical Album, for Bach Cello Suites Volume I.
Big Balloon toy line to be released later this year
Coolabi Productions today announced its award-winning TV show Clangers will be made available in Australia and New Zealand on DVD, digital and subscription video on demand (SVOD) through ABC Commercial’s Video Entertainment & Distribution division. A toy line will also be released in October 2016 through Big Balloon. Clangers launched in Australia on ABC KIDS in February and airs daily at 7.45am AEDT.
The DVD, digital and SVOD release of Clangers will feature content from the first season of the pre-school series, and will be available first on DVD and digital from September 2016, with the program becoming available on SVOD platforms early next year.
Clangers, which originally debuted more than 40 years ago, was remade in 2015 to wide acclaim and features a family of loveable, pink, woolly mouse-like creatures who live on their own little blue planet. Major, Mother, Granny, Small and Tiny communicate in whistles, eat soup from their planet’s soup wells, and have memorable interactions with their friends the Soup Dragon, Baby Soup Dragon and the Iron Chicken.
Narrated by Michael Palin, the new series has all the magical, surreal, gentle, melodic elements of the original show and transforms it into an even more vivid, vibrant production. It uses the same stop motion animation techniques as the original creators, Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin, but with modern day technology. These magical elements of the show saw the series take home a Children’s British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) award at the recent prestigious ceremony, in the category of Best Children’s Pre-School Animation.
“ABC Commercial is pleased to partner with Coolabi, the show’s co-producers, to distribute this adorable children’s series to our digital and retail partners in Australia and New Zealand,” says Jessica Ellis, Head of ABC Video Entertainment & Distribution. “With our proven track record of success, along with the incredible reception the series has already received in the UK, I am confident Clangers will be a home entertainment hit in our territory for many years to come.”
Character Options has created a range of toys based on the new series which will be distributed in Australia and New Zealand by Big Balloon. Valerie Fry, Director of Licensing at Coolabi, says, "Big Balloon is the ideal toy partner to be working with on our exciting new project”.
In addition, Penguin will publish a variety of formats including story books, board books, novelty books, sticker and activity books, sound books, puppet books, annuals, audio books and eBooks.
Great storytelling remains at the core of Clangers. Each episode centres on members of the Clanger family solving a problem, making a discovery, inventing something or greeting a new visitor. There are all manner of weird and wonderful objects and creatures that visit. At the heart of the stories are themes of community, caring and resourcefulness with the aim of encouraging and nurturing a sense of wonder and curiosity.
Peter Firmin and Oliver Postgate’s son, Daniel, are both actively involved in the new series as executive producers. Monty Python legend Michael Palin serves as the series’ narrator and brings his very British brand of humour to the show.
The original Clangers were knitted by Peter’s wife Joan. Today the Clangers are still handmade by specialist knitters. Everyday materials and objects that are familiar to children such as felt and cotton wool continue to be used and are transformed into flowers and trees. Music also remains a crucial element to the series, with the blue planet’s native ‘Music Trees’ producing musical notes which once picked for tunes, immediately grow back.
Vincent Jones, Licensing Director at The Fusion Agency, says the Clangers has an enduring magic that still resonates with children today. “Clangers was always a good-hearted show, the characters are thoughtful, kind and full of joy,” he says. “This new series retains that good heart. Like the original, it is made with wool and a lot of love.”
Jeremy Banks, CEO of Coolabi adds, “When we started this journey with Peter and Dan, it was our vision to pay tribute to the classic Clangers brand, whilst creating a new show with appeal for today’s pre-school fans and families. We’re delighted with the result and could not be more pleased."
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