A Bristol-based animation production studio has appointed a Disney executive to help grow its slate of original children’s and family programmes.

A Productions, which has previously worked on CBeebies pre-school series JoJo and Gran Gran and the first-ever animated episode of long-running kids show Sesame Street, has appointed experienced development executive Katie Barba. Ms Barba joins the company from Disney, where she has worked for the past five years in production and development across a number of its animation shows such as 101 Dalmatian Street, Chip N Dale: Park Life and Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire.

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Since receiving investment from global production company Cybergroup Studios last year, A Productions has been planning to develop its own original creator-driven content, as part of a long-term growth strategy. The company, which has 150 staff spread across two studios in the city, said Ms Barba’s experience in identifying and developing creative talent, alongside her production background, would be “instrumental” for the business’ new direction.

Mark Taylor, joint managing director at A Productions said: “We are excited to welcome Katie to the team at this pivotal time in the company’s evolution. Her wealth of experience at Disney will help us to develop new relationships with creatives and partners, enabling us to realise our own IP and make new home-grown, innovative, creator-driven content for kids’ TV and film.”

Katie Barba said: “I am delighted to be joining A Productions where I can continue to develop my passion for discovering new animation talent and producing original content. A Productions has a great reputation for making creative, authentic shows that truly speak to their audience and I can’t wait to get started.”

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A Productions recently launched its latest collaboration with Sesame Workshop, comedic animated preschool series Bea’s Block, which will be screened on Sky Kids in the UK and Ireland. The company previously worked with the non-profit organisation on The Monster At The End of The Story, the first-ever animated Sesame Street special in more than 50 series of the show, and Sesame Street: The Nutcracker Starring Elmo and Tango.

A Production has previously won a Royal Television Society (RTS) West of England award, and secured two Daytime Emmy Award nominations. The business has also worked with BAFTA-winning and Oscar-nominated production company Magic Light Pictures on preschool series Pip and Posy Let’s Learn.

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