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Chuggington
Country of origin United Kingdom
Language(s) English (dubbed into German, French, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Cantonese, Norwegian)
Production
Running time 10 min
Production company(s) Ludorum
Broadcast
Original channel BBC Two
Original airing 22 September 2008
External links
Official website
Production website

Chuggington is a British computer-animated television series for children produced by Ludorum plc and broadcast in 137 territories throughout the world including the BBC children's channel CBeebies. The series is set in the fictional town of Chuggington, and follows the adventures of three young trainee locomotives (or "chuggers" as they are called in the show). Two are diesels and one (Koko) is electric. Other engine characters also appear in the episodes. These energetic and humorous stories are meant to entertain, but also to help equip children from three to six with the practical social and emotional skills required to get along in today's challenging society.

Unlike in Jay Jay the Jet Plane, the backgrounds and scenery are all CGI, and there are turning-camera and moving-camera shots.

Chuggington is shown as a town with a central area of large modern buildings; some of the scenes go out into countryside and a rocky canyon. There are at least 3 railway tunnels under the town centre. Two or more episodes show an abandoned old-town area overgrown with wild vegetation near the new town centre.

Contents

Production

Ludorum plc was founded in 2006 by Dick Rothkopf, Charlie Caminada and Rob Lawes. Rothkopf had previously been the chairman of Learning Curve International, a company which designed and manufactured educational toys. Caminada and Lawes had previously been executives for HiT Entertainment, the distribution company behind Bob the Builder and Thomas and Friends. The core creative team behind Chuggington consisted of Sarah Ball, a producer/director who had worked on Bob the Builder, and Don Toht who designed the characters and sets.[1]

The computer animation was produced using Autodesk Maya software.[2]

In December 2009, the website http://www.chuggington.com/ announced that in 2010 there would be American voices and in clips gave a preview of the American voices. The new voices will be on Playhouse Disney US and will soon be on Treehouse (Canada).

Broadcast details

The first series of 52 episodes was sold to broadcasters including the BBC, ABC (Australia), TF1 (France) and Super RTL (Germany) in a deal announced in February 2008.[3] A second series of 26 episodes has been purchased by the BBC. Aimed at children between the ages of 3 and 6, the programme debuted on CBeebies in January 2009 in the "Big Fun Time" strand, following an earlier run on BBC2. The show airs on Treehouse TV in Canada, and will debut in the US on Playhouse Disney. Chuggington made its UK debut as a "soft launch" on BBC Two on 22 September 2008. In January 2009 it was moved to CBeebies, the BBC's children's television channel.

In the Polish version Chuggington town is called Stacyjkowo.

Characters

The main characters are the "chugger trainees": Koko, Wilson and Brewster, who are learning how to help themselves and the people of Chuggington.

Merchandise

In January 2009 it was announced that RC2 would be producing Chuggington Toys under their Learning Curve brand; these are due to be on the market in 2010.[4] RC2 contributed to half of the series' production budget in exchange for long-term global toy licencing rights.[1]

D. C. Thomson & Co., publishers of The Beano comic, acquired the licence for the Chuggington fan magazine. The first issue was released on 2 April 2009 and contained puzzles, games and stories based in and around Chuggington.

A DVD entitled Chuggington: Let's Ride the Rails was released in March 2009 containing six episodes. A second DVD, "Action Stations," released in October 2009, contained another six. The third DVD release, "Wheels to the Rails," with another six episodes, is due out in late November. Several children's books are in the works, including "Koko on Call: A Nightlight Adventure," based on an early episode. [5]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Castleman, Lana: Q&A: Caminada charts startup's next moves, Kidscreen, March 27, 2009.
  2. ^ Bennett, Samuel: The Virtual World of Chuggington: A First Time Director's Post-Mortem, LOGIN Conference, May 13, 2009.
  3. ^ Broadcast Now, BBC gets on board Chuggington, 6 Feb 2008,
  4. ^ Toynews, RC2 signs Chuggington Deal, Accessed 23 Jan 2009
  5. ^ amazon.co.uk

External links

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