1995 - 2000

Collingwood & Co.

At around the same time, the company fully created, developed and produced the international music-based animation series Oscar’s Orchestra for the BBC and Warner Music. This original and innovative series, starring (the late) Dudley Moore as Oscar the Piano, went into US syndication. A special edition DVD of the first 26 episodes was released for Christmas 2010.

In 1997 Tony Collingwood adapted The Beano’s classic comic character, Dennis the Menace for the small screen, with 26 half-hour episodes of Dennis & Gnasher for BBC, Hit and right-owner DC Thomson. Dennis & Gnasher was nominated for a BAFTA for Best Children’s Animation in 1998.

Collingwood’s next original production was the charming Animal Stories, a series of 52×5-minute animated poems for CiTV and The Disney Channel USA. The series, affectionately narrated by (the late) Oscar nominated actor Sir Nigel Hawthorne follows the life, loves and problems of different members of the animal kingdom. It was created by Trevor Ricketts and Christopher O’Hare and developed for television by Tony Collingwood. Animal Stories won the 2001 Children’s BAFTA for Best Pre-School Animation.

Sixteen Animal Stories book titles were published by Harper Collins in the UK, with a 2-book tie-in deal in the US with Random House and a 26 title anthology with plush collectibles in France by Atlas. Animal Stories was originally released on Video on the Hit label with two DVD volumes released in the US through Blast Films. The entire series was re-released on DVD in the USA in 2010. Animal Stories continues to sell well around the world via international distributor Foothill Entertainment, and was recently sold back into the UK on Cartoon Network’s Cartoonito. Animal Stories also featured on a Collingwood Classics DVD, alongside RARG and Eddy & the Bear in the US in 2013.

The Magic Key a 26×15-minute series for HIT Entertainment, CBBC and BBC Education, based on the phenomenally successful Oxford Reading Tree reading scheme, was produced by Collingwood’s throughout 1999 and 2000.

Also produced at this time was the second series of Candy Guard’s acclaimed adult animation sit-com Pond Life, for Channel 4. The series had its first run in the USA on Oxygen in Spring 2001.