Friday, November 1, 2013

Morph at Kickstarter - Aardman animation needs your help!

Morph, everyone's favourite plasticene man is coming back. Photo: Wikipedia
Morph, the animated plasticine stop-motion character that appeared on British TV with Tony Hart in the 1970's, is coming back to life. Aardman animation, who created the character, are asking for your help at Kickstarter to bring him back to the screen.

I grew up with Morph. I was ten when he first emerged in 1977, a tiny bit too old perhaps to be firmly in his target audience, but Morph was a well loved character in the days when there were only three channels on TV - and it's not surprising that Aardman want to bring him back.

But there is something a little odd about it all. After all, Kickstarter was supposed to be all about helping tiny start-ups and independents find crowd finance for their projects, ideas which would otherwise never gain traction, or would get overlooked by the big market titans. Aardman is Britain's biggest animation studio, the closest we have in this country to a Disney or a DreamWorks. So what, exactly, are they doing at Kickstarter? Don't they have seed finance for this kind of thing?

Morph is an established character, with a whole generation of adults that remember him and look back fondly on their own childhood. This is the kind of character that broadcasters love. Any animator who has ever pitched an idea to a broadcaster or distributor knows the difficulty of pitching fresh, untested material. But pitch a sequel, or a character that has already been tested in the market, and now your audience wakes up and pays attention. Surely a UK broadcaster like the BBC would be interested in Morph?

Morph has only been on Kickstarter for a few days and they are already near their target. So, good luck to them, and I hope they raise the money they need and bring an old friend back to life.


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