More playtime for Magic Light Pictures’ preschool hit Pip and Posy

Pip and Posy, the hit pre-school series from multiple Oscar-nominated Magic Light Pictures, has been recommissioned for a second series of 52 x 7’ episodes to debut in early 2023 on Milkshake! on Channel 5 and Sky Kids and NOW in the UK and ROI.

Pip and Posy is the first joint co-production between Paramount and Sky and the show launched to acclaim in March 2021.

Series 2 will build on the success of the first series, which is one of the top rated shows on Milkshake! (3 million viewers since launch). Pip and Posy has also seen significant growth across its own social media platforms on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook.

Magic Light has sold the show worldwide, securing major international broadcast partners including ZDF (Germany), FTV (France), RAI Yoyo (Italy), ABC (Australia), SVT (Sweden), Hop! Channel (Israel), NPO Zapp (Netherlands), CTV (Czech Republic), Asiana (South Korea), PTS (Taiwan), DR (Denmark), YLE (Finland), SYN (Iceland), NRK (Norway), RTV (Slovenia) and TVO (Canada). It will also air on Nick Junior UK from this spring.

Pip and Posy are the best of friends whose lives revolve around a wonderful world of play. Packed with warmth and humour, the series is a joyful celebration of their great friendship with all its ups and downs, laughter and games.

Louise Bucknole, VP Programming Kids, Paramount, says: “We’re delighted that Pip and Posy has been such a hit with the audience. We are very happy to commission a second series of this endearing show which has quickly found its way into the hearts of our young viewers, where they can relate to the stories of friendship, creative play and being a preschooler.”

Lucy Murphy, Director of Kids at Sky UK & Ireland, says: “We aim to bring our youngest audience the very best entertainment and Pip and Posy has proved to be a show preschoolers and their families love. We’re hugely looking forward to seeing what further fun and games the lovable pair will be getting up to in series two!”

Pip and Posy is Magic Light’s first animated series and we’re thrilled that it’s got off to such a successful start,” says Michael Rose, co-founder of Magic Light. “We’re delighted that Milkshake!, Sky and ZDF share our passion for the show, and we’re looking forward to bringing more episodes to our young audience.”

Pip and Posy has been jointly commissioned by Louise Bucknole for Milkshake! on Channel 5 and Lucy Murphy for Sky Kids with the participation of ZDF, Germany. The series is executive produced by Michael Rose and produced by Vici King for Magic Light Pictures. The showrunner at Magic Light is Jeroen Jaspaert (Stick Man and The Highway Rat). Animation services are provided by Blue Zoo, where the director is Sean McCormack.

Magic Light Pictures holds the global distribution and merchandising rights to Pip and Posy (excluding publishing) and is planning a full consumer products programme to complement the property with the first products due at retail this year, whilst the online shop went live at the end of 2021. The Pip and Posy characters are also appearing in Milkshake! Live and will be touring nationwide from February 2022 through to 2023.

Winners announced for British Animation Awards

The winners have been announced for the British Animation Awards 2022 at a ceremony held last night at London’s BFI Southbank, presented by comedian Miles Jupp and sponsored by Hanna Barbera Studios Europe. 

Now in their 26th year, the British Animation Awards (BAAs) attract the great and the good from one of the nation’s most successful creative industries to this biennial celebration of their craft.

Gathering momentum ahead of the Academy Awards later this month, Britain’s two Oscar-nominated short films Affairs of the Art and Robin Robin were triumphant in their categories, with Affairs of the Art picking up three awards: Best Short Film, Writers Award and Best Voice Performance (for 86-year-old Little Britain star Menna Trussler as ‘Beryl’).

Created by film-making partners Joanna Quinn and Les Mills, Affairs of the Art continues the story of larger-than-life Welsh housewife Beryl who has artistic ambitions on a grand scale. Meanwhile Robin Robin, Aardman Animations’ Netflix Original film about an optimistic robin raised by a family of mice, won the award for Best Original Music for its score written by The Bookshop Band (Ben Please and Beth Porter).

London-based animation studio Magic Light Pictures was successful in two categories, with BBC One Christmas special Zog and the Flying Doctors winning for Best Use of Sound and Milkshake! and Sky Kids series Pip and Posy picking up the award for Best Children’s Pre-School.  Meanwhile, the Best Children’s category was won by Fourth Wall’s feline-focused series Milo, also shown on Channel 5’s Milkshake!

One of the closest-fought categories of the night was the prestigious Best Long Form category, which saw victory for Locksmith Animation’s debut feature Ron’s Gone Wrong. Directed by Jean-Phillipe Vine, Sarah Smith and Octavio E Rodriguez, the film tells the story of a socially awkward middle-schooler who befriends a defective robot.

Best Animation in a Commercial category was won by Airwick for its Breath of Nature campaign, directed by Peter Szewczyk of Nerd Productions, while animator Ged Haney took home the Best Music Video Award for Rocket Freudental’s ‘Der Stuhlkreis’.

 A hard-hitting film featuring the voices of some of Hollywood’s hottest stars picked up the award for Best Factual award. Save Ralph, an animated short film about the cruelty of testing on animals, produced for the Humane Society International, was written and directed by Spencer Susser and features the voices of Taika Waititi, Ricky Gervais, Zac Efron and Oliver Munn.

Meanwhile, the Social Good category was won by Typically, a film aiming to remove the taboo surrounding periods, produced for period poverty charity Bloody Good Period and directed by Anna Ginsburg and Caitlin McCarthy.

In two of the new categories for 2022, the Best Immersive Animation award was picked up by Grant Berry and Dane Winn’s The Beast, while the Wildcard category was won by Osbert Parker’s Timeline.

Continuing to challenge the status quo, the Cutting-Edge award was won by Jamie Jay Johnson and Asa Movshovitz’s E4 series about a role-playing fantasy game, Dead Pixels. And this year’s Design Award was won by Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey, a Netflix Original directed by Ian Spendloff, with VFX by Lucy Hare.

Some of the leading British animation courses were represented in the Best Undergraduate and Best Postgraduate Student film categories, including nominees from Falmouth University School of Film and Television, University of Creative Arts in Farnham, Arts University Bournemouth, Royal College of Arts London and National Film & Television School. The winners were Renee Zahn’s (NFTS) O Black Hotel! for Best Postgraduate Student Film and Miles Jezuita’s (Arts University Bournemouth) Suburb for Best Undergraduate Student Film.

Introduced in 2020, The Lamb Award bridges the gap between current categories which recognise student achievements and general best-in-class awards, and is open to any young professionals working in the animation and VFX industry. The winner of the 2022 Lamb Award is Production Coordinator Hodan Abdi, who was nominated by Illuminated Films.

Three awards on the night were decided by members of the public, voting for their favourites in a special online poll.  The winners of these audience awards were:  Tony Comley’s Time to Recover for Best Music Video, Uri Lotan’s Black Slide for Best Short Film and Sky Kids’ hit children’s series The Brilliant World of Tom Gates for the Children’s Choice Award.

The awards themselves (the BAAs) are unique artworks, featuring sheep, created especially for the occasion by a range of leading international and UK animation artists. This year’s awards include designs by author/illustrators Liz Pichon and Rachel Bright and legendary film-maker Terry Gilliam.

BAA Director Helen Brunsdon and Producer Kieran Argo said: “We have been amazed at the quality of the entrants for this year’s British Animation Awards and would like to offer our heartfelt congratulations to all the winners and nominees.  After a particularly tough couple of years animation continues to be one of the most productive and creative industries in the UK”.

The BAAs are the only awards to recognise all forms of animation and reward the work of both new and established animators across all aspects of the UK Animation scene, from student work to commercials, children’s entertainment, short and experiential films, music videos and new technologies.


Magic Light Pictures’ Pip and Posy sponsors this year’s Playday event with communities across the UK

Magic Light Pictures’ new preschool series, Pip and Posy, has joined forces with Play England, Play Scotland, Play Wales, and PlayBoard Northern Ireland to sponsor this year’s Playday event.

Recognising the fundamental need for play among children and their health, wellbeing, and development, Playday is a national day for play in the UK and an annual celebration that aims to highlight the importance of play in children’s lives. This year’s event will take place on Wednesday, August 4th.

Under its new partnership, characters from Pip and Posy, the hit new preschool series about a mouse and a rabbit whose live revolve around play, will feature in a resource pack designed with Playday that will be available online at  The pack will feature tips and downloadable activities to help families, carers, and communities create their own Playday event.

Michael Rose, executive producer and co-founder, Magic Light Pictures, said: “Play is central to the world of Pip and Posy so we are delighted to team up with Playday, a fantastic initiative that promotes the importance of play. Both our series and this wonderful event celebrate the joy of play and Pip and Posy are looking forward to helping many more friends have fun throughout the summer.”

Anita Grant, chair of trustees Play England, said: “With their love of play and understanding of how it can help to forge friendships and solve problems as well as being huge fun, Pip and Posy are the perfect Playday partners. The past year has been very challenging and play can greatly help children and young people cope with stress and anxiety.

“We are proud that not only is Playday continuing across all four nations of the UK but we are also encouraging a whole Summer of Play. We can’t wait to see the creative ways that families and carers will be celebrating on Playday and beyond with the help of a little Pip and Posy magic.”

Magic Light Pictures names Marc Ollington its new marketing director

Magic Light Pictures has appointed Marc Ollington as its new marketing director, a major new role created to build on the significant and continued growth of the BAFTA-winning and Oscar-nominated production company.

An experienced marketing professional, Ollington joins the firm from Sky where he was marketing director of entertainment, responsible for the brand marketing function for Sky’s entertainment channels, and original and acquired shows. Prior to that, he spent over 15 years with 21st Century Fox.

In his career, Ollington has worked across diverse brands including Sky Atlantic, National Geographic, Fox Sports, The Bundesliga and FX, and on iconic, award-winning TV shows including The Undoing, The Walking Dead, I Hate Suzie, Roald and Beatrix, The X-Files, True Blood and Free Solo.

At Magic Light, Ollington will drive marketing across the business, supporting growth and maximising awareness of the company and its brands and content to both audiences and broadcast and digital partners. He will sit on Magic Light Picture’s Executive Group along with Daryl Shute, brand director; Clare Swain, finance director; and Muriel Thomas, international distribution director.

Magic Light has just launched its first-ever preschool series, Pip and Posy. The animated series celebrates the friendship of a mouse and rabbit, whose lives revolve around a wonderful world of play. The series premiered on Channel 5’s Milkshake! in March and launches on Sky Kids on demand service in May.

The company continues to produce the magical animated specials it’s renowned for and is currently in production on Superworm to premiere on BBC1 at Christmas. Magic Light has been building the much- loved Gruffalo licensing brand over the past decade. Already well established in the UK, the brand is now showing significant growth in Germany among other international territories.

The company is also in development on new pre-school property Mr Panda based on the successful books by Steve Antony, as well as a slate of live action family dramas.

Martin Pope and Michael Rose, joint managing directors, Magic Light Pictures, said: “We are delighted to welcome Marc to the Magic Light family at this exciting time of growth for us. He has an impressive and distinguished track record, and his experience, knowledge, insight and flair will be hugely valuable to our expansion both in the UK and internationally.”

Ollington said: “I’m a huge fan of Magic Light’s fantastic content, reputation and commercial prowess. I have spent many happy hours watching their incredible award-winning specials with my daughters. With the recent launch of the wonderful new preschool series Pip and Posy.

“I am delighted to be joining the company at such a pivotal time. Magic Light’s future plans are big and inspiring, and will be a great challenge. I want to help with the growth and continued innovation of such a creative and forward-thinking company.”

Magic Light, ViacomCBS, and Sky in production on new pre-school series Pip and Posy

The multiple Oscar-nominated Magic Light Pictures is to produce a new CG animated series called Pip and Posy, based on the Nosy Crow story book series from author Camilla Reid and illustrator, Axel Scheffler.

The series will have the added weight of a first time co-production partnership between ViacomCBS and Sky behind it and will premiere exclusively on Channel 5’s Milkshake and Sky’s on-demand service Sky Kids. Animation services on the series will be provided by Blue Zoo.

Pip and Posy follows a mouse and a rabbit whose lives revolve around a world of play. Packed with warmth and humour, the series is a celebration of friendship, laughter and games, as well as life’s ups and downs. The series deals with emotions, resilience and feelings in a relatable way for pre-schoolers to learn about themselves.

Currently in production, the series is based on characters from Nosy Crow’s popular collection of story books by Axel Scheffler and author Camilla Reid. Pip and Posy is Magic Light’s first pre-school series and sees the continuation of the production company’s 13 year association with Scheffler, which has produced seven high-profile animated specials based on his successful book collaborations with author Julia Donaldson.

Pip and Posy is a delightful series that captures the essence of how young children play, think and feel and fits perfectly with our portfolio of educational and fun programming, teaching pre-schoolers the importance of friendship and understanding their emotional and social wellbeing through imaginative storytelling and creative play,” said Louise Bucknole, VP programming kids, ViacomCBS Networks UK.

“We have a long-running and close relationship with Sky, so it’s very exciting to have commissioned our first co-production together, enabling us to bring the very best of British animation to Milkshake! from world class producers Magic Light Pictures.”

 Lucy Murphy, director of kids at Sky UK & Ireland, added:”Pip and Posy is a playful series that will be loved by young children and their families.  This addition to Sky Kids, plus our recent raft of original commissions, demonstrates our ambition to feature a range of premium British programming for under 12s.

“We bring our customers the very best kids TV alongside our partner channels and this co-production with Milkshake! evolves our close relationship with ViacomCBS.”

 Michael Rose, co-founder of Magic Light, said: “We’re really excited to be producing our first-ever pre-school series and proud to be working with Milkshake! and Sky. Axel Scheffler creates truly enchanting worlds and we can’t wait for viewers to join  Pip and Posy for their fun and adventures.”

Magic Light Pictures holds the global distribution and merchandising rights to Pip and Posy (excluding publishing) and is developing a full licensing programme to complement the new series.

Last year Milkshake! pledged to double its content investment, which will lead to 50 new UK originated hours per year from 2021.