Legendary U.K. animation studio Aardman Animations has greenlit a new preschool series, “The Very Small Creatures,” commissioned by Sky Kids and utilizing characters from the iconic Aardman “Morph” universe. The commission marks the first time in more than a decade that Aardman has created a series for the age group – since 2009’s popular “Timmy Time.”
Set to launch on Sky Kids and Sky’s Now streaming platform in November of this year, “The Very Small Creatures” will be delivered in 20, three-minute mini-episodes and feature Aardman’s signature stop-motion claymation stylings, supplemented by what the studio describes as an “occasional graphic flourish.”
“The Very Small Creatures” follows five, genderless clay creatures who pass their time exploring children’s play areas when no people are present. With a childlike sense of adventure, Pink, Blue, Orange, Yellow and Green learn how the world around them works through collaborative play.
As is typical for Aardman productions, “The Very Small Creatures” will have strong humor overtones. However, each of the series’ episodes will also relate the creatures’ experiences to those of real toddlers and will focus on important themes such as relationships, teamwork and empathy. A special emphasis will be placed on valuing and understanding one another’s differences.
Having first appeared in the original “Morph” shorts, the creatures returned for last year’s reboot “The Epic Adventures of Morph,” where animator Lucy Izzard realized the colorful quintet had the potential to break out on their own, inspiring her to develop the new series which will be her first in the director’s chair.
“I am thrilled to have developed with Aardman this brand new stop motion pre-school series,” she said via a release. “It’s a show driven by five very cute clay creatures that act and behave like toddlers, learning about their physical world, themselves and each other. The themes for each episode relate to some aspect of toddlers’ lives with the focus on comedy and kindness. My two pre-schoolers have given me plenty of material to work from! I can’t wait to sit down on the sofa and show them the world they’ve inspired.”
Working alongside Izzard, Aardman’s Sarah Cox will be executive creative director. Helen Argo will be the series’ executive producer, with Natalie McKay as development executive and Stephanie Owen as series producer.
Lucy Murphy, director of Kids Content, UK & ROI at Sky, added: “We are delighted to continue our collaboration with Aardman and commission ‘The Very Small Creatures’ for the youngest members of our audience. We know how much kids enjoy the gentle, giggly creatures in ‘Morph’ so we knew that they deserved a show of their very own and we are delighted with the warm, engaging world that Aardman have created for them.”