Household favourites including Rolf Harris and Richard E Grant are backing animated television programmes for children despite the lack of government support for the UK animation industry. Creation Studio Productions, an Essex based animation studio, are currently working on three animated television series aimed at British youngsters, bucking a trend which has seen the production of many animation series, including Noddy and Thomas the Tank Engine, move to overseas animation houses.
“UK animators have been responsible for international favourites including Bob the Builder, Wallace and Gromit and Thomas the Tank Engine yet the industry has halved in the last five years due to incentives and tax breaks being removed by parliament and the closure of Iconic studios like Cosgrove Hall” says Tony Nottage, Managing Director of Creations Studio Productions. “Due to the great tax incentives and support offered by their governments, It is more cost effective to have animations produced in France, Canada and the Far East, even the Olympic mascots were produced in China! We are continuing to fight and produce our animations within the UK.”
The animation industry worldwide is worth around Â£200bn, whereas the UK industry is only worth around Â£120 million.Â Creation Studio Productions believes the government needs to look at ways to enhance the animation industry within the UK.Â Approximately Â 50% of the people working within the animation industry are under 35 and now a lot of this skilled labour is having to move away from the UK to work on projects overseas.
Canada, for example, provides tax incentives which cover over 45% of the budget of a production. Not only does this strengthen the industry by bringing in work and employment, but the percentage is based on labour being produced within Canada which in turn provides money back to the government strengthening the economy, the industry and providing massive support in employment of skilled labour.Â Canada is now grabbing an ever increasing share of this Â£200 billion industry.
Current Creation Studio Productions animations include (1)Madrigal the Secret Witch (stories about a school dinner lady with secret magical powers), based on the books by Elizabeth Webb and featuring the voice of Richard E Grant, (2) The Fruit Cases (fruit characters led by Captain Straw who help to keep the town of Fruitville safe from sweets) written by Adrian Warwick and featuring the voice of Rolf Harris as Captain Straw and (3) The Piddletons (with the traditional humour of Fawlty Towers and Open all hours aimed at the Simpsons market) written by Tony Nottage.Â They have also produced several major TV adverts and the Rocket the Reindeer stereoscopic animations which have had tremendous success in Westfield Shopping Centre in London with over 100,000 visitors.
“We are exhibiting with the UK Trade and Industry at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival in France in June, the animation industries equivalent to the Cannes film festival, and look forward to speaking with a host of television networks and distributors” says Tony. “We pride ourselves in being one of the only UK animation studios representing the UK”
With over 1 million hits on their You Tube channel Creation Studio Productions is aiming to create a brighter future for children’s TV animation in the UK.