ABC animation heads West

ABC animation heads West

Last week ABC announced new kids animation Tales From Outer Suburbia and a third season for Kangaroo Beach.

Tales From Outer Suburbia

Adapted from the bestselling illustrated book Tales From Outer Suburbia, the 10 x 22-minute animated series is heading into production with leading Australian animation studio Flying Bark Productions in collaboration with Highly Spirited.

Director Noel Cleary will oversee cutting-edge CGI animation and its handcrafted stop-motion look and feel. Shaun Tan will oversee the series as Creative Director, with Sophie Byrne (Highly Spirited) and Alexia Gates-Foale (Flying Bark) as Producers.

Shaun Tan says: Sometimes it takes a truly strange event to reveal how we feel about our place in the world, and what things we care about most deeply. With Tales From Outer Suburbia, we hope to awaken that fantastic realisation that fiction and reality are never very far from one another, that there is really no such thing as ‘normal life’.”

Libbie Doherty, Head of ABC Children & Family said: “The minute Tales from Outer Suburbia was presented to us we knew we had to get on board with Shaun and this excellent team. Shaun’s unique take on Australian life, strikes a chord in all of us with evocative imagery and powerful storytelling. This adaptation will be iconic. A landmark TV series that will create long lasting memories for young audiences and their families. We are so thankful to all our partners – the ACTF, Screen Australia and Screenwest who continue to get behind Australian Children’s Content.”

Bernadette O’Mahony, ACTF Head of Content said: “We are excited to have Tales From Outer Suburbia go into production after extensive development. It takes a lot of committed, like-minded partners to turn such a visually stunning book into something just as special on screen. We can’t wait for the world to see Shaun Tan’s vision come to life with this talented team.”

Grainne Brunsdon, Screen Australia Head of Content said: “The rich and surreal world of Tales From Outer Suburbia, based on the hugely popular book by Shaun Tan, with scripts from Lally Katz and Sam Carroll, and hyper-real animation created by Flying Bark, is sure to delight viewers of all ages. Entertaining and thought-provoking, this series will remind us that fiction and reality are closer than we think.”

​Alexia Gates-Foale (Flying Bark) and Sophie Byrne (Highly Spirited) said: “Shaun Tan’s anthology stories have a unique way of portraying modern suburban existence in an enchanting and sophisticated way, and it will be a joy to reimagine them for a broader audience. From an enormous water buffalo in an empty lot, to humans with cat-like features, the true story of each episode is how ordinary people react to these extraordinary incidents. We are thrilled to see these stories realised on the ABC.”

​The series begins when ‘almost thirteen-year-old’ Klara and her six-year-old brother Pim move to Outer Suburbia with their newly single mother Lucy. The siblings’ summer holiday turns into a series of unexpected and surreal adventures. The family goes on a roller-coaster ride of emotion, encountering weird and miraculous phenomena as they adapt to their new reality.

The series was developed by the ACTF during COVID and is commencing production at Flying Bark in New South Wales and at Siamese in Western Australia.

Kangaroo Beach

After producing two seasons of Kangaroo Beach in NSW, Cheeky Little Media (Ginger & the Vegesaurs, Kazoops) have teamed up with Siamese to co-produce a new season. Season 3 will be produced across both states, with some key cast being played by WA voices and a new location inspired by the Western Australian landscape.

Libbie Doherty, Head of ABC Children & Family said: “The Kangaroo Beach cadets welcome Spyke the echidna into the team, who will stretch their boundaries with her daredevil antics. Summer is always full throttle on Kangaroo Beach and this season won’t disappoint. Thank you to Cheeky Little Media and Tim Bain for this quintessential Australian series. We’re also welcoming on board Siamese, bringing their animation expertise from WA. We are also grateful to our brilliant financing partners the ACTF, Screen Australia, Screen West and Create NSW for supporting this 100% Australian production.”

Christopher Sharp, Screen Australia Head of Scripted said: “We are thrilled to support the third season of Kangaroo Beach, a series that has captured the hearts of kids nationwide. With its fun, action-packed and educational storylines, Kangaroo Beach is testament to the creativity and talent within the Australian children’s television industry.”

​Celine Goetz, Producer, Cheeky Little Media said: “We can’t wait to dive into production on Season three. There is so much for the audience to get excited about with this new series, a stunning new lake location, a plucky new cadet in training and of course, all of the ingredients that we know our fans love – action, comedy and tonnes of heart.”

Since splashing onto screens across Australia in 2020, Kangaroo Beach became a smash hit with its young audience and families, securing itself as the second most-watched ABC Kids series on ABC iview. Season three will see the cadets returning for another summer stacked with fun, adventure and friendship. The cadets will spend more time under the sea, scuba diving around the beautiful reef, as well as up in the mountains in a spectacular new lake location that is surrounded by gum trees and connected via a long and bendy river through the bush to Kangaroo Beach. While our cadets are well versed in surf beach safety, they’re unfamiliar with inland waterways and have loads to learn, so there will be plenty of new adventure in store.

“It’s fantastic to see Season 3 of Kangaroo Beach and Tales From Outer Suburbia heading into production here in Perth. We are pleased to be partnering with the ABC, Australian Children’s Television Foundation and Screen Australia in bringing these iconic animated series to television screens and to see WA production company, Siamese teaming up with Cheeky Little Media and Flying Bark, creating lots of opportunities for WA cast and crew,” said Rikki Lea Bestall, Screenwest CEO.

“We’re excited to partner with Flying Bark and Highly Spirited for Tales from Outer Suburbia. To be part of the world-building process, that will breathe life into Shaun Tan’s inspired recollections of growing up in the northern suburbs of Perth, is an extraordinary opportunity for Siamese and all Western Australian creatives involved. We are also excited to be working with Sydney-based Cheeky Little on Season 3 of Kangaroo Beach. Already a favourite amongst the ABC Kids viewers and enjoyed by audiences worldwide, this production marks our first steps into the preschool space, with hopefully many more to follow.” said Francesca Hope, Siamese Executive Producer.

“The Kangaroo Beach cadets welcome Spyke the echidna into the team, who will stretch their boundaries with her daredevil antics. Summer is always full throttle on Kangaroo Beach and this season won’t disappoint. Thank you to Cheeky Little Media and Tim Bain for this quintessential Australian series. We’re also welcoming on board Siamese, bringing their animation expertise from WA. We are also grateful to our brilliant financing partners the ACTF, Screen Australia, Screenwest and Create NSW for supporting this 100% Australian production.

Production on Tales From Outer Suburbia and Kangaroo Beach kicks off this month and Siamese has a number of opportunities available for Western Australian crew on both series. Head to the Screenwest website here to express your interest.

Production credit: Tales from Outer Suburbia is a Highly Spirited and Flying Bark Productions production for the ABC. Major production investment from Screen Australia and the Australian Children’s Television Foundation in association with the ABC. Produced in New South Wales and Western Australia with Siamese and financed with support from Screenwest and Lotterywest. International sales by the Australian Children’s Television Foundation. Adapted from Shaun Tan’s multi-award-winning book Tales From Outer Suburbia. Directed by Noel Cleary. Creative Director: Shaun Tan. Writers: Sam Carroll and Lally Katz. Producers: Sophie Byrne and Alexia Gates-Foale. Executive Producers: Barbara Stephen, Bernadette O’Mahony, Julia Adams, Francesca Hope and ABC Executive Producers: Libbie Doherty, Jo Boag.

Production Credit: Kangaroo Beach Season 3 is a Cheeky Little Media production for the ABC, produced in association with Siamese. Major production investment from the ABC in association with Screen Australia and the Australian Children’s Television Foundation (ACTF). Financed with support from Screenwest and Lotterywest and Surf Life Saving Australia. International sales by the Australian Children’s Television Foundation (ACTF) and Infinite Frameworks. Post, digital and visual effects supported by Screen NSW. Developed with assistance of the ABC. Cheeky Little Commercial continues as the global brand manager.