Monday, October 21, 2019

Blue Zoo Opens New 2D Animation Studio in London; Commences Production on 'Pony'

Blue Zoo has announced the exciting news that the UK-based animation studio are opening a brand-new dedicated 2d animation studio to complement its existing cg animation studio, which has produced on-air presentation for Nick Jr. UK & Ireland, as well as series like Nick Jr.'s Digby Dragon and Olive the Ostrich, and shows such as Miffy’s Adventures Big and Small and Q Pootle 5.

Update (7/3/2019) - According to IP Owner, Nickelodeon may have changed the title of Pony to It's Pony!


The studio will be located across the street from Blue Zoo’s existing central London head office. Blue Zoo plans to have 60 people working in its 2d department. Combined with the current headcount of just under 200 people at its cg studio, this expansion makes Blue Zoo one of the largest independent studios operating in the U.K.

The studio aims to capitalize on the growing demand from broadcasters for a 2d technique, according to Blue Zoo co-founder Adam Shaw. “2D animation is making a big comeback and we’re seeing a greater demand for it more than ever, particularly for older kids.”

The division’s first project will be the previously announced 2d half-hour buddy comedy series Pony aimed at 8-10 year olds. Conceived by super-talent Ant Blades, the series follows the story of an average girl, Annie, her (almost) average family and her excitable, loveable pony who comes to live with them in their city apartment. Ant will be directing the 20 half-hour episodes, and the characters and stories are already coming to life in his unmistakable and charming animation style. Pony is based off a short of the same name from Nickelodeon’s 2015 International Animated Shorts Program.

“BZ is a great home for Annie and Pony and it’s incredibly exciting to see the show develop. There’s such a wealth of enthusiasm and talent surrounding the project it can only be fantastic,” said Ant Blades, the creator of Pony.

The studio will use a Toon Boom Harmony pipeline, and will focus on episodic service work as well as building its own IP catalog. Blue Zoo also hints that it would like to eventually combine its 2d and 3d pipelines to create hybrid shows.

The new 2d studio will start full operation in 2019, and there are loads of great roles up for grabs at different levels. Details of all opportunities can be found on Blue Zoo's jobs website at

“Our passion is for great storytelling with great characters, and it's been a long-term ambition to diversify into a fully fledged 2D studio. Blue Zoo is already internationally recognised for 3D animation and having even more freedom to animate in whichever medium is best suited suddenly creates many more exciting opportunities - for projects and for attracting the best and brightest 2D talent. We love the idea of combining our amazing pipelines to make a hybrid show playing to the strengths of 2D and 3D - so watch this space!”
Adam Shaw, Co-founder & Director.

Update (10/21/2019) - Storyboard artist and 2D animator Marcelo Perin has been sharing awesome ballpoint pen sketches inspired by It's Pony on Instagram!:

More Nick: 2019 on Nickelodeon USA | New Shows, Specials, Events, Movies, Episodes, and More!

Originally published: Tuesday, December 18, 2018.

Original source: Cartoon Brew.
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