CBBC’s The Zoo is a comedy mockumentary for kids, set in a zoo with talking animals. Paignton Zoo’s animal characters were given human voices, personalities and narrative storylines throughout the series, brought to life by animated additions to facial features and in particular the replacement of their muzzle sections.
From the outset, Hello Charlie’s goal was to achieve the highest consistency of animation, tracking and compositing, full of personality and a high level of credibility. The animation process needed to bring the models to life, projecting happiness, fear, wonder and a variety of emotion, set out by the particular storyline and characters needs. Individual characters had their own acting range that were built into the model and animation process at the outset, based upon the personalities the producers of the series created for the characters in early editorial stages. This was an essential factor in the process and approach of the animation; styled but still requiring a believable aesthetic. Over 2000 separate animations within scenes were created during the course of production, each with their own challenges. Along with the animation and compositing throughout the series, Hello Charlie also created the series brand and title sequence.