Kong Studio Shell-ebrates Clam Brain Animations for Zodiak Kids
Clam Brain (a Sky Kids original series) is a children’s mindfulness show that aims to give kids tools to help calm their bodies and minds. The show stars Frankie Bridge, formerly of The Saturdays.
Kong Studio was commissioned by Zodiak Kids to design and animate 20 short sketches featuring the show’s two key characters.
Clam Brain comprises 6-minute episodes, part live-action, and part animation. Each epsiode encourages children to learn a range of interactive techniques from breathing exercises to arts and crafts. The 20 second Clam and Starfish animated sketches help explain feelings of stress and anxiety, while also giving the viewer tools to help them recover from the stresses of life post-Covid.
The series producers at Zodiak Kids Studio, part of Banijay, were looking for an animation studio to bring Clam Brain’s chilled-out Clam and his anxious friend Starfish to life. That’s where Kong Studio plunged in. Jumping in at the deep end with a mere two-month turnaround, a quickfire process developed with Clam and Starfish getting Zodiak’s and Sky’s seal of approval in a day was a personal best for Kong.
With the designs tide down, Kong’s attention turned to storyboarding and creating waves with the animatics. It could have been sink or swim, but Kong was able to move relatively quickly as Clam Brain Series Producer, Ben Spiteri, was always on hand (and onboard) to give feedback.
It was then down to Kong’s experienced team of 2D animators to bring the assets and animatics to life on a tight schedule. To deliver on budget and on time, the production pipeline needed to flow as effortlessly as the East Australian Current. Never buckling under the pressure, Kong delivered the animations early, all while still working remotely. The plain-sailing production process has made one fin-tastic and jawesome children’s TV show. Zodiak Kids and Sky Kids were as happy as a clam with the end result achieved in record time.
Kong Co-founder Tom Baker said;
“The challenge with Clam Brain was to create something that brought the excellent scripts to life within the tight timeframe (and budget). The characters needed to look fairly so-fish-ticated but be relatively quick and simple to animate.
Series Producer Ben Spiteri did some amazing guide voiceovers (he’s got real talent) for us to create really tight animatics too. Once we had the animatics signed off and the designs nailed the Kong machine really kicked into gear. We have a brilliant and experienced team of animators in Jim, Linda & Rob and they all worked hard to turn the final animations around. It seemed like we had a team of 20! We then dropped in some wacky backgrounds mixed in with visual trickery and the result is shrimply the best!”
Ben Spiteri, Series Producer for Zodiak Kids, said;
“Kong are an absolute joy to work with, bursting with creativity, ideas, and a can-do attitude. Working remotely during the pandemic had huge logistical issues but Tom, Emma, and the Kong Studio team were on hand through every step of the creative process, and nothing was ever too much. Their work speaks for itself. They produced stunning animation and artwork while being thoroughly lovely people too”.”
Don’t just take our word for it. You can now sea ‘Clam Brain’ live on Sky Kids and streaming on Now TV.
Designer: Tom Baker
Animators: Jimeno Farfan, Linda Kalcov, Robert Findlay, Tom Baker
Zodiak Kids for Sky Kids
Executive Producer: Steven Andrew
Series Producer: Ben Spiteri
Production Manager: Emily Davis