It seems quite rare these days for the UK animation scene to be reporting on good news, but recently out of all of the the doom and gloom it was announced that Cosgrove Hall, creators of beloved childrens classics such as “Wind in the Willows” and “Dangermouse” were to re-open after closing it’s doors two years previously, with the welcome news that over 70 jobs were to be created in Manchester.
Reborn as Cosgrove Hall Fitzpatrick the additional name is that of Francis Fitzpatrick, co-creator of “Jakers” the universally popular award winning kids TV show. But you cannot have a television production company without a TV show (well, you can but it might get a bit boring) and the combined creative forces promise big things for both “Pip!” and “Hero-gliffix”.
“Pip!” focuses on the adventures of a young pup and his life in the seaside town of Salty Cove and aims to delight pre-school children with it’s delightful whimsical charm. The series is the brainchild of photographer Charlie Ward who writes the young mutts adventures based on his own childhood adventures by the sea in Devon. “Hero-gliffix” features the adventures of another canine although set in space and fighting crime!
We caught up with Francis Fitzpatrick to talk about the past present and future of Cosgrove Hall Fitzpatrick.
Q. You are a Lawyer by trade, how did you come into the world of animation?
My wife and I created “Jakers!” 7 Time Emmy award winning pre-school series, I am still a lawyer but work in Animation which is a business that I really enjoy.
Q. It was a huge shame when Cosgrove Hall closed its doors two years ago for both the people involved and the industry as a whole. How did you manage to re-open them?
Simon who is son of Mark Hall, and a major success in the business met me about 2 years ago – we stayed in touch and jointly decided that Cosgrove Hall Fitzpatrick could be a global player in the industry, due to Cosgrove Hall’s strong reputation in UK/Europe and my success with Jakers! in the USA.
Q. What can you tell us about the new creations ‘Pip’ and HeroGliffix?
Pip! is a beautiful story about a young enthusiastic dog “Pip!” which is set on a beach that is primarily based on Salcombe in Dorset but could be Cape Cod USA, Bondi Beach in Australia or indeed anywhere. The series is pre-school. “Herogliffix” is a fast paced, comedy series for 7-10 year olds – with an evil Canine creature battling against four friends who are dogs. See www.chfentertainment.com website for more details. Both bear the hallmarks of the Cosgrove Hall Fitzpatrick aim “to craft endearing and engaging stories”.
Our Pip! series will be entirely made in the UK, thanks to the Gov’s excellent “EIS scheme”. Of course it would be great to have some more tax breaks for animation in the UK, however we have to give government credit for what they are doing.
Q. In future do you plan to create animation in all its forms such as Stop Motion as well as CGI and 2D?
Yes we will use all forms
Q. Cosgrove Hall has a fantastic back catalogue of stars that each generation over the past 40+ years can remember fondly, including ‘Chorlton and the Wheelies’, ‘Danger Mouse’, ‘Count Duckula’ and later ‘Engie Benjy’ . Most of the characters are still very much in the national consciousness and merchandise still sells. Would you plan to re-visit any of these classics?
We never say never and are aware of the wonderful legacy left by Cosgrove Hall – for the moment we are planning on new series, in the future we might well revisit but not now.
For further information and videos related to Pip! and HeroGliffix, visit http://www.chfentertainment.com/