Hoho Entertainment announced that it has partnered with Warner Bros. Discovery EMEA to bring the bucolic, riverbank adventures of Mole, Toad, Ratty and Badger to life for a new generation of viewers in a brand-new CG animated series, Toad & Friends (52×11’) based on the British classic novel The Wind in the Willows. The new series is produced by London-based Hoho Entertainment, animated in Scotland by Wild Child Animation and directed by Tim Searle (Danger Mouse, Dennis and Gnasher).
Toad & Friends has been developed and supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland and produced with the support of the Creative Media Programme, MEDIA of the European Union, and is set to launch on Warner Bros. Discovery’s pre-school brand Cartoonito across EMEA and on HBO Max in Europe in 2023.
Written by Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows was first published in 1908. The riverside adventures of Mole, Ratty and Toad have been enchanting children ever since and the novel’s gentle values of altruism, good manners, community and citizenship are as relevant today as ever.
“With over 85 million copies of the book sold in 29 languages, The Wind in the Willows is not just a British classic, it’s a global classic. We can’t wait to introduce today’s children to these beloved characters, with 52 new and original stories,” said Hoho Entertainment joint MD and Toad & Friends producer Oliver Ellis.
“Toad & Friends is a beautiful series packed full of adventure and wrapped in the nostalgia of the original The Wind in the Willows stories that many parents will remember with such fondness. It’s a perfect fit for Cartoonito and HBO Max and we’re thrilled to add it to our growing slate of European productions,” said Warner Bros. Discovery Kids & Family EMEA acquisitions, partnerships and coproductions lead Zia Sands.
“It is a joy to bring the teeming hedgerows and bustling riverbanks of the beautiful British countryside to life using the very latest animated technology and techniques. We hope our reimagined version of Grahame’s world of natural adventure and discovery will encourage children to venture into the great outdoors a little more themselves,” said Ken Anderson from Wild Child Animation.
Working with a diverse cast, group of writers and production team, Toad & Friends honours the legacy of the original novel whilst refreshing the characters and storylines to resonate with a modern audience. The beloved characters remain but they are joined by some feisty new female ones including fearless Hedge, scheming Tinker, diligent Heron, mischievous Adder and motherly Mrs Otter.
The series celebrates the countryside and for children, the simple joy of being outdoors as they follow their favourite characters on brand new humorous adventures in which they discover moral courage, respect and the value of friendship.