January 2011 The next 52 episodes of "Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom" are being written at the moment. These will be eisodes 53 to 104. Voice recording has already started. Animation will start in the summer.
In the meantime, animation on the latest Peppa episodes is well underway...
October 2010 The Big KnightsDVD and BluRay disc was finally released. Hurah!
January 2010 Okay... the Pyramids were quicker to build, but the Big Knights Special Edition is still coming. It's going to include some behind the scenes footage of the Big Knights Studio in 1999 along with the two original trailers we made to get the funding and other early development artwork. The clip below shows the wonders of the world of "foley" and reveals the amazing secret of how we created the sound of pots and pans bashing up and down for the sequence where the Big Knights dance on King Otto's table...
November 2009 Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom won the BAFTA for Best Pre-School Animation. And on the same night, Astley Baker Davies won the BAFTA for Independent Production Company of the Year.
October 2009 As anyone following the progress of The Big Knights Special Edition will be aware, the whole process is taking a long, long time... The pressures of other projects in the studio has made it hard to fit in the transfer of the re-mastered episodes to tape. But it really is happening - and has been scheduled to take place at the same time as our next delivery of Little Kingdom episodes, in the next few weeks. When they finally are available to buy they will indeed be on Blu-ray, DVD and iTunes. In the meantime, we've uploaded short clips from "The Land of Vampires" and "Knight School" to the Big Knights re-master page of this website. Huge apologies to those interested for the time this process is taking!
October 2009 We are finishing off 26 new episodes of Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom and are going to be delivering them to Nick Jr next month.
October 2009 New episodes of Peppa Pig will start airing on Channel Five Milkshake from 2nd November 2009, weekdays.
July 2009 The Big Knights Special Edition will be released on DVD and in high definition Blu-ray, shortly. More news of dates as soon as we know them.
June 2009 The re-mastered Big Knights Special Edition (all 13 of the original episodes) will be transferred to tape at the end of July. The commercial release should follow very soon after. And before that we will be posting some clips on our website...
23rd April 2009 The visual restoration of the Big Knights Special Edition is now complete. The next step is to check the sound to see if any sound restoration is needed. Then we'll go ahead and produce new master copies and get this Special Edition released.
6th April 2009 "Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom" has a transmission date. It will air on Nick Jr UK from 6th April at 07:30 & 16:30 every day. A clip of the series can be viewed on the Little Kingdom page of our website.
February 2009 Work has started on the re-mastering of "The Big Knights" in HD 1080p High Definition Widescreen format. This will involve a complete re-rendering of the original CelAction files. We've also added some notes on this re-mastering process
2007 "Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom", a new series from Astley Baker Davies, has started production. The 52 x 11 minute series stars Ben Elf and Fairy Princess Holly.
2006 “Little Kingdom” wins Best Pilot Pulcinella award at Cartoons On the Bay.
2006 “Peppa Pig” Series Two (Episodes 53 - 104) broadcast on the UK’s Channel FIVE Milkshake block and Nick Jr. in the UK. And the series has now sold to over 120 territories internationally, including North and South America, Australasia, Benelux, Canada, France, Germany, New Zealand and Scandinavia. Peppa Pig books are published by Ladybird in the UK.
2005 “Peppa Pig” wins the BAFTA for Best Pre-School Animation.
2005 “Peppa Pig” wins the Grand Prix for Best TV production at the Annecy Animation Festival.
2004 “Peppa Pig” Series One (Episodes 1 - 52) broadcast on the UK’s Channel FIVE Milkshake block and Nick Jr. in the UK.
February 2004 Big Knights news – KI.KA ARD/ZDF German TV have set up a new German Big Knights Website. Amongst other things, they have included some rarely seen episodes of the Big Knight’s Comic Strip (in both English and German versions).
February 2004 More Big Knights news - New copies of the “The Big Knights – The Big Adventures” VHS are available again, online at Amazon.co.uk (This video contains the first six of the total thirteen episodes.)
February 2003 Mark Baker has animated a short (1’40”) sequence for Imagica Japan’s film “Winter Days”. Animators from around the world have interpreted the 36 linked verses (renku) contained in Matsuo Basho's poem "Fuyu No Hi" (Winter Days).
February 2003 Contender Entertainment Group and Astley Baker Davies are now in production on the first series of Peppa Pig (52 x 5 minute episodes). Peppa Pig will be aired in the UK by Nickelodeon's preschool channel Nick Junior and Channel Five and is due for delivery early in 2004. The series is being scripted by Mark Baker and Neville Astley with guest scripts by Alison Snowden, Sarah Kennedy and Angela Palethorpe. Animation production starts in the UK in August 2003. Design work is already under way and Peppa Pig will be animated using CelAction 2D (the same technique that was pioneered by The Big Knights).
August 2002 Peppa Pig Debuts at Cartoon Forum. Created and directed by Mark Baker and Neville Astley, Peppa Pig follows the adventures of a "cheeky and slightly bossy" little pig. The 52x5 animation series is aimed at pre-school children.
April 2002 The Big Knights are riding again on the new BBC Digital Channel CBBC from Monday 29th April 2002.
A chance to see all the episodes again - for the next three weeks on CBBC at 3:55pm Mondays to Fridays!
October 2001 At FAN International Animation Festival 2001 UK, “The Big Knights” wins the 'Best Commercial Series Animation Award'. The Festival took place from the 25th to 28th October 2001.
August 2001 At SICAF 2001 (the Seoul International Cartoon and Animation Festival) “The Big Knights” wins the Grand Prize for the Best Animation Series.
June 2001 At the Annecy 2001 Animation Festival, France, “The Big Knights” wins the Award for Best Television Series.
May 2001 Astley Baker at Loose Moose complete 30” commercial, “Red and Ned in Cheese Trapeze” for Kraft Foods/JWT Chicago.
January 2001 Astley Baker are in post-production on two new animation series pilots, “Peppa Pig” and “The Big World”. Both are aimed at pre-school children and both are made up of 52 x 5 minute episodes.
May 2000 “The Big Knights – The Big Adventures” is available on video! “The Big Knights – The Big Adventures” can be bought online at www.bbcshop.com, as well as Amazon.co.uk and all good retailers.
(This video contains the first six of the total thirteen episodes.)
March 2000 The Big Knights wins two prizes at the 2000 British Animation Awards (BAA):