Spread­ing Love in Fluffy­town

Pro­ducer Chap­man Mad­dox tells us all about the charm­ing new Bri­tish preschool show Love Mon­ster. By Ramin Za­hed

Animation Magazine - - CON­TENTS - Love Mon­ster airs at 4 p.m. week­days on CBee­bies and is avail­able on BBC iPlayer.

Pro­ducer Chap­man Mad­dox tells us all about the charm­ing new Bri­tish preschool show Love Mon­ster. By Ramin Za­hed

Aw­hole lot of peo­ple seem to have fallen for Love Mon­ster, a new an­i­mated se­ries that gen­er­ated one mil­lion re­quests on BBC’s iPlayer dur­ing its first three weeks. The 54 x 7-minute show, pro­duced by Boat Rocker Studios, BBC Chil­dren and China’s UYoung, fol­lows the ad­ven­tures of the only mon­ster in Fluffy­town as he learns im­por­tant lessons about kind­ness, love and em­pa­thy from his friends.

Exec pro­ducer Chap­man Mad

dox (Dan­ger Mouse, Dick Fig­ures: The Movie), Boat Rocker Studios’ VP of de­vel­op­ment and pro­duc­tion, first found out about the prop­erty from a lit­er­ary con­sul­tant who brought Rachel Bright’s books to his at­ten­tion. “From our first meet­ing with Rachel, she was in­cred­i­bly col­lab­o­ra­tive and pro­vided us so much back­ground to the world of Love Mon­ster. A cou­ple of pro­duc­ers from the BBC and I ended up go­ing down to Rachel’s fam­ily’s cab­ins (made by hand!) in Dorset for a few days and to­gether came up with all the char­ac­ters and de­vel­oped the world of Fluffy­town. We then brought on Sindy Boveda-Spack­man as the de­vel­op­ment writer to cre­ate the bi­ble based on our ideas and write the first two scripts. That’s how the se­ries was born.”

The pro­ducer says he was quite im­pressed by Bright’s il­lus­tra­tions and art style. “Her work is so dis­tinc­tive and unique within the chil­dren’s book world, it just im­me­di­ately at­tracts your eye when you see it,” he ex­plains. “When you read the Love Mon­ster books, you can’t help but fall in love with him as a char­ac­ter and the way his lit­tle mind works. Rachel has a tremen­dous skill of telling heart­felt sto­ries in a funny and quirky way, which also deeply res­onate emo­tion­ally for kids of all ages.”

The se­ries is an­i­mated in the U.K., where the work is shared be­tween Kar­rot An­i­ma­tion (Sarah & Duck) in London and A Pro­duc­tions in Bris­tol, with some pre-pro­duc­tion work done at UYoung. The pro­duc­tion uses the pop­u­lar an­i­ma­tion tool CelAc­tion to bring the im­ages to life. Ac­cord­ing to Mad­dox, about 80 peo­ple work on the se­ries all to­gether. “Love Mon­ster is the first show I have worked on that is re­ally for ev­ery­one, no mat­ter age, gen­der, na­tion­al­ity, etc.,” he adds. “He is such a uni­ver­sal char­ac­ter, be­cause at his core — and at the cen­ter of the se­ries — he is all about solv­ing prob­lems with love, which we all can re­late to. My sec­ond most-loved thing would be the un­be­liev­ably tal­ented peo­ple I have had the plea­sure of work­ing with across the en­tire pro­duc­tion. They are the best!”

How­ever, Mad­dox ad­mits that work­ing in the seven-minute for­mat was a bit of a chal­lenge for him. “Fit­ting a co­he­sive story and lots of com­edy into this time frame is al­ways a chal­lenge when you have such great char­ac­ters, but we pulled it off (I hope).”

When asked about the state of an­i­ma­tion in the U.K., Mad­dox re­sponds, “As a fan of an­i­ma­tion, we are ob­vi­ously in an ex­cit­ing time with so much an­i­ma­tion get­ting made and the larger en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try see­ing the im­por­tance of the chil­dren’s in­dus­try. How­ever, with an abun­dance of con­tent for au­di­ences to choose from, it’s even more com­pet­i­tive for new se­ries to gen­er­ate that con­nec­tion. I think we all have to be more cre­ative in the ways in which we pro­mote and en­gage au­di­ences with our shows to sus­tain in­ter­est and con­nec­tiv­ity.”

For now, Mad­dox is just happy that Love Mon­ster has cap­tured the at­ten­tion of so many view­ers in such a short time. “Hon­estly, I hope au­di­ences laugh and that it makes them smile dur­ing their day,” he adds. “Deeper than that, I hope it helps kids (big and small) grow a lit­tle more con­fi­dent in their own abil­ity to deal with life’s is­sues with love and hu­mor.” ◆

‘This is the first show I have worked on that is re­ally for ev­ery­one, no mat­ter age, gen­der, na­tion­al­ity, etc. He is all about solv­ing prob­lems with love, which we all can re­late to.’ — Exec pro­ducer Chap­man Mad­dox

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.