independent

Friday 19 September 2014

'Hugglemonsters' go global on Disney

JOHN MANNING

Published 22/01/2013 | 15:15

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A CHILDREN'S author and illustrator from Skerries has a worldwide animation hit on her hands as a series based on her characters is set to premiere on Disney Junior channel in more than 150 countries.

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It has been more than a year since ' The Happy Hugglemonsters' was green-lit for the Disney television channel, based on Skerries author, Niamh Sharkey's cuddly yet monstrous characters. Produced by twice Oscar-nominated animation studio, Brown Bag Films in Dublin, Ireland, The Happy Hugglemonsters is the latest series being developed and produced by Disney's London based production hub. Led by Beth Gardiner, Vice President, Production, Disney Junior, the Disney team has worked with Brown Bag Films to deliver the 52 x 11 minute series - developed from a series of books created by Niamh Sharkey called 'I'm a Happy Hugglewug' and published by Walker Books. The illustration style of the books is retained in the series' CG animation. Each 11-minute story transports pre-schoolers into the world of Henry Hugglemonster as he guides the preschool audience through the ups and downs of being part of a loving, bustling monster family. The series is directed by Emmy Award winning director Norton Virgien (Rugrats, Doc McStuffins), the lead writer is Sascha Paladino ( Wonder Pets, Ni-Hao Kai-Lan) and the series is produced by Gillian Higgins (Doc McStuffins, The Octonauts). When the project was green-lit by Disney, the Skerries woman said: 'I am thrilled to be working with Brown Bag Films to bring my characters to life; the creativity, enthusiasm and care they bring to the project is mind blowing. Making this show for Disney Junior is a dream come true, and to be able to create this show in Ireland is the icing on the cake. I know my monster family is in safe hands.' Now, a year later, that dream is about to become reality as the series, now named after one of its characters, Henry Hugglemonster, is set to begin on February 8 on Disney Junior with a special preview programme airing on the channel on January 25.

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