NOTHING ODD ABOUT RICHARD’S KIDS TV GLOBAL SMASH ODDBODS
Oddbods, the animated children’s TV series created by a ‘miserable and permanently grumpy’ former computer games designer from the UK looks set to be spawning one of the global toy spin-offs of the decade – after it received over 170 MILLION views on YouTube.
Oddbods is a sketch-based series aimed at 4-9 year olds, which follows the adventures of seven characters living in Oddsville who each have a distinct personality – from sleepy Zee to short tempered Fuse.
It was created by Richard Thomas for award winning studio One Animation. Richard has worked his way up the computer generated animation industry ladder since leaving The University of Bolton in the mid 90s – and describes himself as ‘miserable and grumpy’.
And now Oddbods is set to rival the likes of kids’ TV classics such as Thunderbirds, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and SpongeBob SquarePants, with a range of toys and licensed merchandise which hit the UK shops this month (July) before anywhere else in the world.
Since its TV debut last year, Oddbods has been picked up by channels around the world, including Boomerang across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, and Disney Channel in Asia, plus Cartoon Network and Disney XD.
In the UK it debuted on ITV’s dedicated kids’ channel CITV late last autumn, and is already one of its top five shows of 2016, racking up six million views to date – while the Oddbods YouTube channel has in the last week surpassed global pop megastar Taylor Swift’s official YouTube channel by several million views.
Trudi Hayward, SVP, head of global merchandising, ITV Studios Global Entertainment, said: “Every so often animated characters come along whom everyone just seems to fall in love with – in the past this has been iconic characters such as Tom and Jerry, or in more recent times the highly successful Minions. And now we have Oddbods!
“Characters and shows like these have a universal appeal because of their conceptual simplicity combined with good old-fashioned fun.
“Oddbods, which celebrates all the ‘oddness’ in everyday life, is one of these types of show not least because of the fantastic quality of storytelling and cinema-quality production. But also because the slapstick, dialogue free concept works so brilliantly for the multi-screen generation.”
Richard, the creator, said: “As a kid growing up in Northern England I loved Cosgrove Hall productions such as Danger Mouse, Count Duckula and Jamie and the Magic Torch, plus a tiny stop-motion animated series from the 80s called The Trap Door, narrated by Willie Rushton, which was inspired.
“The fact it was clearly hand crafted totally hooked me in, because like every kid I loved Plasticine, and from then on I was totally hooked.
“I admit to sometimes being miserable and grumpy, but behind the facade lies a plethora of rather cute and endearing ideas – one of which happened to be Oddbods, which was particularly inspired by two cartoons I grew up with: Tom and Jerry and Disney classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
“The non-dialogue approach for Oddbods was very deliberate – It was important that the animation conveyed the emotion – and the best way to enforce this was to place restrictions on the animators.
“Once you take the ‘spoken word’ out of the picture so to speak – it forces the animator to make very deliberate decisions with their acting choices. Every nuance counts, the eye-dart, the raised eyebrow, the posture…it’s the subtleties that really bring the characters to life.
“Comedy is universal and silent comedy even more so, as there is no language barrier to dilute the gag. It doesn’t matter if you’re five or 55, there’s normally something in the fabric of our writing that you can relate to either as a child or a grown up.
The Oddbods toy range, distributed by Golden Bear, launches this month in the UK with roll outin other regions to follow. It is available from a range of stores including Argos, Amazon, The Entertainer, Tesco, Toys ’R’ Us, and Smyths.
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Notes to editors:
Oddbods creator Richard Thomas studied Interdisciplinary Design at The University of Bolton for three years before leaving in 1995 to work in corporate events. In 2000 he moved into computer games development, working as an artist on the likes of Bob The Builder and Kung Fu Chaos, before joining games giants Sony Computer Entertainment Europe in 2004 as a senior artist on a range of projects.
After helping set up One Animation eight years ago, he worked on kids’ shows including Rob the Robot and Insectibles before coming up with the idea of Oddbods.
Oddbods is an award winning animated series that follow the comedic adventures of seven adorable characters. Each with their own distinct personality, the Oddbods appeal to both adults and children. Every one-minute short sketch celebrates the ‘odd’ in everything where seemingly ordinary situations are given a humourous twist and everyone has fun along the way.
Founded in 2008S, One Animation is a CG Animation studio based in Singapore. With an international team of award winning talent, the company has produced a vast portfolio of highly successful animation titles that are broadcast on global networks such as Disney Channel, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, Discovery Kids, ABC, Canal Plus and seen across more than 60 countries worldwide.
Dedicated to developing the highest quality, family-focused TV, film and new media content, the team continues to push the boundaries of production; building upon a unique pipeline that delivers the highest quality productions with shorter than average production schedules and a crew that is typically one-third the size of a traditional CGI animation production team.