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UK indie revives 80s classic toon Willo the Wisp

Continuing the revival of vintage toons, 1980s animated children's classic Willo the Wisp is to return and will be launched at next month's MipTV by UK indie Elephant Productions.

The original series, voiced by Carry On star Kenneth Williams, was one of the highest rating children's shows in the early 1980s with UK viewing figures up to 8.2m on BBC1.

The new-look (26×5') 2D series is aimed at four to eight-year-olds. It is coproduced by animator-illustrator Bobbie Spargo, daughter of original Willo the Wisp creator Nick Spargo.

Notting Hill and Gimme Gimme Gimme star James Dreyfus will replace Williams, who died in 1988.

Elephant Productions managing director Sarah Muller said: {There are only a handful of truly classic British animated shows, and Elephant has been given the opportunity to work on one of them.{

The new run will feature all the characters from the original, including Evil Edna the grumpy TV witch (pictured), Arthur the know-it-all caterpillar, bungling fairy Mavis Cruet, and the dog and cat duo Moog and Carwash.

Also on Elephant's slate at Mip will be comedy animation series Johnny Casanova – The Unstoppable Sex Machine, featuring the voice of Secrets & Lies star Alison Steadman.

The (26×22') series, developed in association with London-based Universal Visual Programming, is aimed at teens and young adults and centres around teenage angst, dysfunctional families and sex. Elephant has also completed a second five-minute webtoon to launch in advance of the series.

Elephant was founded in 1990 by former Young Ones star Nigel Planer and producer, director and children's author Jamie Rix.


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