Moon and Me, the brand-new series by Teletubbies co-creator and In The Night Garden creator Andrew Davenport, made its World Premiere TV Screening at MIPJunior this evening.
Inspired by beloved tales of toys that come to life when nobody is looking, the show combines new production methods with traditional storytelling, comedy, and music to create a beautifully constructed picture-book world intended for pre-schoolers.
It is produced by Davenport’s Foundling Bird, and Sutikki, the kids and family division of Bento Box Entertainment, co-founded in October 2016 by Irene Weibel and Andrew Kerr. Sutikki will oversee global distribution and merchandise licensing, including previously-announced global licensing partnerships with Hasbro and Scholastic, and a partnership with UYoung, which will bring the property to China in 2019.
To get this show launched proper, moderator Sarah Baynes, CEO, The Creative Garden, welcomed Andrew Kerr, Co-Founder, Executive Producer, Sutikki; Michael Towner, Senior Commissioning Editor, 0 to 6, Independents, BBC Children; Irene Weibel, Co-Founder, Executive Producer, Sutikki; and, later, Natalie Osborne, President and CEO, 9 Story Media Group.
Davenport could not join, as he’s shooting new episodes on location, but he did record a charming message that sums Moon and Me up well.
Creator Andrew Davenport not here, but he recorded a lovely intro describing Moon and Me. As @BBC Children’s Michael Towner said, “When somebody of his caliber rings you up and says 'I’ve got an idea', you jolly well listen.” #MIPJunior pic.twitter.com/AWH5NpJQYw
— MIP Markets (@mip) October 14, 2018
“We are beyond excited to be able to do this, and so proud that Moon & Me represents Sutikki’s first show,” Weibel said before the première began.
To this, Kerr added that Moon and Me reimagines “puppetry and animatronics at the smallest scale.”
A trailer isn’t yet available for the show; indeed, the première remains a work in progress, even if it’s quite complete.
“I think it’s so rare when somebody comes in with a pitch and the hair stands up on the back of your neck. If that happens, you just have got to do it. I’m so glad we did,” Towner said when it ended.
“It’s absolutely a landmark show,” he went on. “On the CBeebies schedule, morning is get up and go, discover and do in the middle of the day… The jewel of their linear schedule crown is the bedtime hour, between 6-7pm, where we play programmes that calm children down before the end of the day. The U.K. audience really use that hour to set the routine for their kids…. Moon and Me will form the anchor of the bedtime hour slot; it will be the bedtime show.”
Osborne revealed, “We had been tracking the show for some time. What drew us was the pedigree, the partners involved. But as we got to know the property and did a bit of a deeper dive, we realised what an impact, how unique it is in terms of what’s on offer for kids right now.” She added, “Every time I watched a clip I would find that my anxiety level, my blood pressure would go down.”
The calming effects of Moon and Me are perhaps a direct result of the artistry that went into it. Kerr observed that Davenport knows how to talk to children of a certain age. But more than that, “in a show like this, there is no background. Every single thing you see onscreen will have its moment in the foreground… the consideration and work that goes into creating this visual tapestry is immense.”
BBC pre-school channel CBeebies will premiere the Moon and Me later this year in the U.K., along with Universal Kids in the U.S.