BES Animation founder Bruce Kane. 

BES (Bogan Entertainment Solutions) Animation has acquired the global broadcast and digital content rights for Australian director and author Yves Stening’s children’s picture book series ‘Dinner Detectives’.

The Melbourne-based children’s animation production house will develop the book series into a multi-platform TV and digital offering for an international audience, and has teamed with Canada’s Oasis Animation as a co-production partner.

According to BES Animation director and producer Judy Whittle there is a local commercial broadcaster on board which we will be revealed once the international financing round has closed.

Production is set to commence in 2020 and the ‘Dinner Detective’ books and IP which will be turned into a 2D animated television series aimed at the four to seven-year-old set, supported by an interactive app and digital content for global AVOD and SVOD platforms.

‘Dinner Detectives’.

The animation studio will be taking the project back to MIPCOM this October, where the series was initially discovered and launched last year.

In 2018 co-creator, Stening won Best IP Pitch at MIP Junior for the popular book series, which follow siblings, Clementine and Aksel, who travel around the world and back in time to learn about the history of food.  The book series is co-created by illustrator Nigel Buchanan and published by him and Stening under PublishCreative Books.

Stening told IF that the journey to commercial screen development has been a “dream come true,“ since he and Buchanan published the first instalment of the book series in 2017.

“The turning point for the project’s television development was winning the MIPJunior Pitch Competition.  It was the first time we’d attended a TV market and we nearly didn’t get there, due to mix-ups with deadlines. We met BES founder Bruce Kane after winning the competition, but didn’t realise he was an animation producer until the last day of the market.”

Stening says they had discussions with several global production partners, and decided BES Animation was the perfect fit to take Dinner Detectives to its next stage of creative development. “It’s a classic Australian story really. You go half way around the world to meet a bloke that has been animating for 25 years, who turns out to be an Aussie based in Melbourne. I love it.”

Kane added: “We are delighted to add Dinner Detectives to BES’ global development and production slate and look forward to transforming these much loved stories and characters to the screen for a global audience.”

‘Dinner Detectives’ author Yves Stening and illustrator Nigel Buchanan.

BES Animation is best known for animation Kitty is Not a Cat, with season one airing on the Seven Network in 2018, aimed at the six to ten-year-old demographic with a voice cast that includes Rove McManus. A further 52 episodes have been commissioned by Seven and are nearing the end of production at BES’ Melbourne animation studio facility.

“It’s lovely to see this heartfelt and funny animated kids TV series travelling so well worldwide. It’s 100 per cent made in Melbourne with plenty of Australian accents and great Australian humour. The fact this is managing to connect with kids across so many cultures is an absolute joy to all involved,” Whittle said.

The series is distributed by UK based Jetpack Distribution and is now playing into 90 plus countries around the world and has been dubbed into over 25 languages.

Earlier in the year Kitty is Not a Cat secured a global serialised book publishing deal with Hachette Publishing. The first four books will be released consecutively in Australia and New Zealand from March 2020 onwards. ROW to follow.

Kitty is Not a Cat season two airs in Australia on Seven Two and Seven Plus from November 11.