Animation Industry Experts on ‘HOW TO TELL A TIMELESS STORY’ at BLE

Member News  |  05 October 2019

Animation industry representatives from Animation UK members Aardman Animations, Blue-Zoo, Magic Light Pictures, and Acamar Films, joined the panel at Brand Licensing Europe for an insightful discussion on storytelling.

BLE Animation Panel Keynote – Image Source: Licence Global

This month at Brand Licensing Europe (BLE) in London a keynote session entitled ‘Storyboard: The Best of British Animation’ took place at the convention, spotlighting the inspirational and aspirational creativity and success of UK Animation companies.

Speaking to delegates at BLE, key members of Animation UK talked about the clear link between content, characters, and storytelling in relation to informing brands and licensing and products. Each discussed the importance of characters’ integrity coupled with authentic storytelling, and how this influences all story developments, underpinned by a deep respect and the link to audience.

Michael Rose, joint MD of Magic Light Productions stressed the importance of “developing, nurturing, and protecting your character, keeping  the integrity trying to exceed audience on every front”. Acamar CEO Mikael Shields CEO stressed the importance of being “creative and imaginative with products and the need to apply the same priorities to product development as you do to creative content and characters”.

Many panellists, including Oli Hyatt co-founder of Blue Zoo, credited the respected brand of British animation to the a tradition of developing IP from existing published property, and to talent from a strong UK art school background. Sean Clarke, MD of Aardman, named British Animation the “kite mark of quality”.

“With the new investment from the UK and a international high profile, the key issue for animation producers is retaining rights and ensuring that we keep all value in the county. This continues to be a central objective for Animation UK.”

Kate O’Connor. Executive Chair, Animation UK

License Global have published a summary of the session online available to read now, featuring the insightful advice given by Animation thought leaders from around the U.K. when discussing ‘the power of storytelling done right’.

Read Extract from License Global:

“British stories have a habit of being re-created and re-created and that really speaks to something working at the core.”

Oli Hyatt, Co-founder & Managing Director, Blue-Zoo Productions.

As Hyatt detailed on the panel, many of the greatest animated stories in U.K. history have been retold countless times. Going back to “Peter Rabbit” and “The Snowman,” classic stories have been retold in new shapes and styles through the years. That ability to be re-formatted into something new for generation after generation speaks to the successful heart of every story in the British Animation catalogue.

“You need to tell a story that resonates with a global audience right away in a way unlike any time before.”

Sean Clarke, Managing Director, Aardman Animations.

That ability of the classic stories to be rejiggered also speaks to why the brands themselves succeed. At their core, each tale is just a simple, focused story that can transcend time, space, and even nations. That last part is especially important in an era where streaming giants like Netflix and Hulu run the world. Successful storytelling never goes out of style. It is why Clarke and Aardman Animations have been able to continue to succeed as an independent story maker year-after-year. They’ve identified stories that speak to people across the world.

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