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Storyland wraps ITV Christmas toon

New Scottish animation outfit Storyland is in post with its first toon, an animated special for the ITV Network, featuring the voice of comedian and impressionist Rory Bremner.

Music & Moonlight is a half-hour special that was commissioned by Nigel Pickard while he was head of CiTV. The Yule-themed show will form a central part of ITV1's Christmas output.

The stop-frame model animation is set in an enchanted shop that sells things like vanishing cream and other magic, alongside its keeper George, a fluffy dog. The show features music, dancing and a cute monster. Bremner supplies all voices. It is created, produced and directed by toon veteran Joe Austen.

Austen set up Storyland back in May 2001 with the backing of various private investors. This helped him to supply some 75% of Music & Moonlight's budget, with ITV supplying the remainder. Consequently, Storyland retains all international distribution and merchandising rights to the toon.

The Dundee-based outfit also has rights to some of Austen's previous work, such as the ITV series Story Store (13×10'), upon which the special is based. The earlier series, which aired in 1995, was voiced by Alan Bennett.

Further up Storyland's sleeve is a futuristic cgi series AtoZ, set in a 2D fantasy world. Austen's previous efforts include the 1970s show for BBC and SMG, Magic House (55×10').


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