2000 - 2006

Collingwood & Co.

Collingwood returned to the pre-school arena with the production of the half-hour special and 26-part series of Eddy & the Bear; based on Jez Alborough’s best-selling children’s book trilogy Where’s My Teddy?, It’s the Bear and My Friend the Bear. Set in a beautiful wood, during the perennial summer of childhood, Eddy & the Bear is the delightful story of a little boy’s first ever friendship – with a ten-foot tall bear! Bear is voiced by Robert Lindsay, with Frances de La Tour narrating.

The Eddy & the Bear special premiered on ITV on Christmas Day 2001. 26×11 minute episodes followed, airing in both April 2002 and Spring 2003. Walker Books published a series of tie-in books in the UK. The series is distributed by Foothill Entertainment.

The Eddy & the Bear series and special scooped two awards at Cartoons on the Bay 2001, for Best Series and Best Characters. The half hour special also received nominations in 2002 from both the RTS and the British Animation Awards. It won the BAFTA for Best Pre-School Series in 2002.

The company completed an original 75-minute television feature, The King’s Beard, for CiTV/Granada in 2001. The King’s Beard was a key fixture in ITV’s 2001 Christmas schedule, airing on Christmas Eve and repeated the following festive season 2002.

2003 saw the creation of their first Cel-action computer animated series: 52×5-minute episodes of Yoko! Jakamoko! Toto! for CiTV, animated entirely in house at Collingwood’s London studio. Yoko! Jakamoko! Toto! is a vibrant celebration of the friendship between Yoko (a bird), Jakamoko (an armadillo) and Toto (a monkey). The stories are told solely through music and action, with a look and sound inspired by traditional Spanish, Latin American and African art and music. Roger Jackson composed the inspirational score. The series was designed and co-directed by Andrea Tran. 26 × 1-minute ‘Fez Moment’ interstitials were also produced. The series and interstitials were subsequently re-sold to CBeebies in the UK.

Yoko! Jakamoko! Toto! has won numerous industry awards: ‘Best Pilot’ at the 26th Annecy International Festival of Animation and at Cartoons on the Bay 2000. Best TV Series for Children at The Bradford Animation Festival 2003. Best Writer award for Tony Collingwood at the British Animation Awards 2004 and two BAFTAs, including Best Writer for Tony Collingwood again, and Best Pre-School Animation 2004.

The company’s next major production was 52×10-minute episodes of Gordon the Garden Gnome for CBeebies/ZDF. Starring gardening guru Alan Titchmarsh as the voice of Gordon Gnome, the series takes a humorous look at gnome society, helping to raise awareness of nature and the environment amongst young children in a familiar garden setting.

The Gordon Gnome character made his public debut in 2002 at Eureka! the UK’s only dedicated children’s museum, in Halifax, as part of their new £2m interactive Global Garden installation. The TV series premiered on the BBC in 2005 and continues to enjoy regular transmissions on CBeebies. International Distributor Endemol distribute worldwide. Seasonal DVD Volumes, Spring, Summer and Back to School Adventures were released through Paramount Video.

Building on the company’s success in the pre-school market, 2004 also saw production commence on a major co-production with CCI Canada, in association with Silver Fox Films, for 52×10-minute episodes of Harry & His Bucket Full of Dinosaurs. (Channel 5/Playhouse Disney UK/Cartoon Network USA.) A second 52 episodes was produced through 2006/7.

This delightful series is a journey into the imagination of a 5-year old boy as he jumps into his bright blue bucket, crammed full of toy dinosaurs, and discovers magic and adventure in Dinoworld. The series was adapted for television by Tony Collingwood, from the best selling books by Ian Whybrow and Adrian Reynolds.

Harry continues to support a strong licensing programme and several DVD releases in 2006 and 2007.

Yoko! Jakamoko! Toto!, Gordon the Garden Gnome and Harry & His Bucket Full of Dinosaurs all received their US premiere on Cartoon Network USA’s pre-school initiative Tickle U.