CBeebies is to broadcast a new TV adaptation of Beatrix Potter classic Peter Rabbit.
The series will preview with a special one-off Christmas episode in December 2012 with 52x11-minute episodes following in Spring 2013.
The new CGI animated series is co-produced by Penguin, Silvergate Media and Nickelodeon US. CBeebies has acquired the show for the UK.
Silvergate and Penguin released the first image from the show today (pictured above) of Peter Rabbit and his friends Benjamin Bouncer and Lily Bobtail, a brand new character.
The animation’s broadcast later this year coincides with the 110th anniversary of the first publication in 1902 of Beatrix Potter’s classic The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Frederick Warne, now an imprint of Penguin Children’s Books. Since publication, 150 million Peter Rabbit books have been sold worldwide in more than 35 languages.
Set in the Lake District, the animation follows brave, mischievous Peter and his two friends - loyal and comical Benjamin and inquisitive, independent Lily - as they embark on adventures in the big wide world outdoors.
Kay Benbow, Controller, CBeebies said: “I grew up with these books and so I am delighted to welcome this heritage brand to CBeebies. This witty, exciting and action packed realisation is true to the original work of Beatrix Potter and we believe it will have a huge appeal for the older end of our audience.”
The producers say that they are committed to the “authenticity and heritage of Peter Rabbit.“
To build the 3D sets and backgrounds that make up Peter Rabbit’s world, the creative team behind the TV series took over three and a half thousand photographs of the Lake District’s forests, grassy hilltops, farmyards and woodland lanes. These images were then compiled into artistic worlds that reference Beatrix Potter’s watercolour painting style.
Waheed Alli, chairman of Silvergate Media, said: “We are thrilled with the incredible support the BBC has shown for this production, right from the very earliest stages of development. We are absolutely confident that the combination of heritage British storytelling and cutting-edge CGI animation will be completely at home with the BBC. We look forward to seeing the audience reaction over the months and years ahead.”
Penguin will be supporting the animation in 2013 with a full publishing programme with other licensed merchandise to follow.