US TV networks snap up hit animation series based on director’s schooldays in Portishead

October 13, 2021

A comedy animation show based on an 11 year old’s time at a secondary school near Bristol is to be screened in the US under a deal struck by city-based independent production company Wildseed Studios.

The 20-episode series, originally commissioned by Sky Kids and produced by BAFTA-winning Wildseed Studios, is to air next year on HBO Max and Cartoon Network – two of the US’s biggest networks. 

Dodo is the relatable and heart-warming portrayal of everyday school life as experienced by 11 year-old Joe Connolly, voiced by Dylan Llewellyn, (Derry Girls).

Narrated by Kaiser Chiefs frontman and The Voice UK judge Ricky Wilson, it is based on multi-award-winning film and YouTube hit Not The End of the World, by creator/director Jack Bennett, which he made while in his final year at UWE, where he was discovered by Wildseed.

Much of the inspiration for the series came from Jack’s time at Gordano School, Portishead, with a character even named after one of his favourite teachers.

In the series there are embarrassments around every corner for Joe as he navigates the dramas and pitfalls of his first year at secondary school – and small events mean big drama as he tries to fit in, make new friends, girlfriends and even loses his school trousers.

But Joe’s best friends Frisbo, Pete and Lily help him realise that each challenge is really not the end of the world as he triumphs over adversity and survives another school day. 

Wildseed managing director Miles Bullough, pictured, said: “We are thrilled to be able to share our much-loved new comedy animation series Dodo with new audiences in the US. Very British in both its humour and its hero, we are confident Jack’s characters and stories will resonate and amuse viewers in the US as it has done here in the UK.”

Dodo is produced by Helen Stern (Gumball) with the support of Ben Ward (Horrible Histories) on scripting and with executive guidance provided by Wildseed’s head of kids and animation Sarah Mattingley.

The series was commissioned by Lucy Murphy, director of kids content at Sky UK & Ireland, and exec produced for Sky by Estelle Hughes, commissioning editor, Sky Kids.

The licensing deal with WarnerMedia Kids & Family was brokered by kids’ and family entertainment distributor CAKE.

Multi award-winning Wildseed Studios was founded in 2013 by former Aardman Animations head of broadcast Miles Bullough and ex-BBC head of children’s co-production and acquisition Jesse Cleverly as a development and production studio for live action and animation, focused on working with new talent on scripted entertainment for kids, family and young adults.

Its submissions portal invites creators to submit a project in live action or animation and is open to receive submissions throughout October.

The team will review all ideas and successful will receive up to £10,000 each to develop their idea with the support of the team at Wildseed Studios.

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