Blue Zoo has opened a new dedicated 2d animation studio to complement its existing cg animation studio, which has produced series like Q Pootle 5, Miffy’s Adventures Big and Small, and the upcoming Digby Dragon.

The studio will be located across the street from Blue Zoo’s existing central London head office. Blue Zoo plans to have 60 people working in its 2d department. Combined with the current headcount of just under 200 people at its cg studio, it makes Blue Zoo one of the largest independent studios operating in the U.K.

The studio aims to capitalize on the growing demand from broadcasters for a 2d technique, according to Blue Zoo co-founder Adam Shaw. “2D animation is making a big comeback and we’re seeing a greater demand for it more than ever, particularly for older kids.”

The division’s first project will be the previously announced 2d half-hour buddy comedy Pony aimed at 8-10 year olds. It’s created by Ant Blades, who will also direct the series. The show currently has an order for 20 half-hour episodes from Nickelodeon.

Nickelodeon's "Pony" will be the first series produced at Blue Zoo's new 2d studio.
Nickelodeon’s “Pony” will be the first series produced at Blue Zoo’s new 2d studio.

The studio will use a Toon Boom Harmony pipeline, and will focus on episodic service work as well as building its own IP catalog. Blue Zoo also hints that it would like to eventually combine its 2d and 3d pipelines to create hybrid shows.

The new 2d studio will start full operation in 2019.

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