A joint-collaboration between Sydney-based production companies, Cheeky Little Media and Mighty Nice, sees the Australian children's book series -Bottersnikes & Gumbles' developed into a CGI animated TV series.
Considered a classic of Australian children's literature, Bottersnikes and Gumbles, created by S.A. Wakefield and Desmond Digby, was published between 1967 and 1989 in Australia and the U.K. The book series became widely known for its humour, absurdity, playful language and sense of the ridiculous – a combination that immediately captured the hearts and minds of children worldwide.
Author Sam Wakefield's series of four stories is set in the landscape of the Australian bush, where human junk has been dumped and left to rot, and recounts various conflicts between the lazy, destructive Bottersnikes who wallow in the rusting trash, and good-natured, hardworking Gumbles who prefer clean streams and the green of trees.
Celebrated artist Desmond Digby's unique and quirky illustrations brought the stories to life. Digby, who was 82, passed away in April this year. He was enthusiastic at about his characters' interpretation into animation and their introduction to a new generation of children.
The CGI-animated comedy TV series will comprise 52 x 11 minute episodes aimed at 6 to 9 year old boys and girls.
The producers read and loved the books as kids. Keeping the heart of Sam Wakefield's books alive through the adaptation to develop the characters and themes was crucial in creating the TV series for a modern audience.
With several generations of Australians growing up on the books it is anticipated there will be an enthusiastic and loyal following of the TV show, by Australians – both big and little-kids.
About Bottersnikes & Gumbles….
In a far away forgotten valley, heaped with long abandoned junk, a timeless battle rages between good and evil… and also between squashy and scaly, happy and grumpy, clever and wily… handsome and plain, old ugly. This is the land of Bottersnikes and Gumbles.
A fast paced community-comedy series that follows the adventures of three young Gumbles, Tink, Bounce and Willi, as they bounce about and play whilst avoiding getting tin-canned by their lazy and grumpy neighbours the Bottersnikes….
Bottersnikes have green wrinkly skin, cheese-grater noses and long, pointed ears that go red when they are angry, which is most of the time. They are perhaps the laziest creatures in the world. They eat mattress stuffing, rusty nails and bolts (preferably smoked). The Bottersnikes' biggest fear is water, because they shrink when they get wet which makes them very angry and bent on revenge. (Once they dry out they pop back into their normal size).
Gumbles, on the other hand, are friendly and generally optimistic creatures that live to -gumble.' Their favourite foods are wriggly little grubs. Gumbles can squash or stretch into any shape without being hurt, but can be trapped when squeezed into tight spaces, which is why the -snikes' like to squidge them into tin cans when they catch one.
Series 1 of Bottersnikes & Gumbles will premiere on the Seven Network in Australia from December 18 (7TWO 7.30am-8.00am, Yahoo7 and on demand via PLUS 7).
David Webster, Creative Director, Cheeky Little Media said: 'This is an incredible collaboration between inspired partners who are all highly motivated by the original source material to produce something very special. The world we are privileged to be creating here is truly original and is going to blow kids minds."
Patrick Egerton, Executive Producer, Cheeky Little Media said: 'The books contain such a rich, distinctive world and made an indelible mark on my mind as a kid. With the CG tools and skills now available, we knew the timing was right to develop the property for TV and really do it justice."
Darren Price, Exec. Creative Director, Mighty Nice said: 'When I met Sam Wakefield back in 1996 and I enthusiastically shared my love of his books, never would I have believed I'd later be directing an international TV series based on his characters. After Mighty Nice joined forces with Cheeky Little this project has really taken off. We can't wait to bounce, roll and stretch through these adventures!"
About Cheeky Little Media: Founded by David Webster and Patrick Egerton, Cheeky Little creates, produces and manages unique animated properties for kids and family. The Sydney based company has a passion for developing distinctive global animated content and collaborates with partners around the world to achieve its vision.
About Mighty Nice: Mighty Nice is a director led animation studio, co–founded by BAFTA award winning animator, Darren Price, and Nexus Productions, one of the most respected animation companies in the UK. Since 2008 the Sydney studio has grown steadily to become one of Australia's finest and most awarded animation studios covering TVCs, short films and other creative concepts.