Jack and Holly is a new DVD series for pre-school children which launched this week. The first one is Jack and Holly’s Christmas Countdown, which includes ten short episodes and some extras. They’re educational and entertaining, blending live action segments with animation. And some of that animation, we’re proud to say, was done in Moviestorm.
Jack and Holly was created by Blockhouse TV, a tiny studio based in Norwich, England. They worked closely with parents and teachers to create Jack and Holly, and it’s proving to be a success with kids aged 2 to 5. All the voices, including the songs were performed by local school children. “Every child loves Christmas, once they fully understand what it’s all about,” says series producer Julianne Martin. “It’s not necessarily going to make your child a genius, but with careful guidance and interaction from a parent, this DVD series will surely engage inquisitive minds.”
We’re very pleased to see how Moviestorm is enabling companies like Blockhouse to create content of this quality. They’re a small start-up company. Husband and wife Jezz and Julianne have 15 years experience of TV production at senior level, but have recently had to step back in order to care for their own young children. They wanted to keep going creatively, but needed something that they could do on a limited budget with minimal staff.
They chose Moviestorm because it was a fast, cheap development tool. “The beauty of using machinima as a form of animation is its simplicity and ease of use,” said Development Director Jezz Wright. “The problem historically has always been getting a high enough quality product from the use of this technology to broadcast or replicate on DVD. But we processed the output using our unique filters and came up with a look that was both exciting and original.”
You can get it via Amazon price £9.99 / $16.99 (though US customers please note that it’s a PAL version only at the moment, the NTSC version is on its way). Blockhouse are also aiming to get it onto Netflix and other streaming services.
In 2011, Jack and Holly’s next adventures will take them into space - we’re looking forward to seeing how that turns out. In addition, there are books, CDs, colouring pages, and more in the pipeline.
We wish them every success!