TVNZ & WildBrain Television Co-Commission Badjelly


TVNZ and WildBrain Television’s Family Channel have commissioned the 2D animated series Badjelly, an adaptation of Spike Milligan’s children’s book Badjelly the Witch: A Fairy Story.

In the story, siblings Rose and Tim go searching for their lost cow only to encounter a cast of strange and magical characters in the great Black Forest, where they are captured by the wicked witch Badjelly. The adaptation is being produced by New Zealand’s Mukpuddy Animation, Canada’s Sphere Animation and the U.K.’s Cantilever Media.

The voice cast already includes Miriam Margolyes (Harry Potter franchise), Rhys Darby (Trolls, Jumanji: The Next Level, Carmen Sandiego), Ava Diakhaby (Shortland Street), Malachi Hall (The Flatshare), Roisin Conaty (GameFace), Cohen Holloway (Under the Vines), Mandip Gill (Doctor Who), Joe Wilkinson (Sex Education), Katherine Parkinson (Significant Other), Kiell Smith-Bynoe (Ghosts) and Julian Barratt (The Great).

For 7- to 11-year-olds, the series is scheduled to be delivered in 2025. WildBrain is handling global distribution outside of New Zealand and Australia. ABC Australia has already acquired the series for its platforms.

Badjelly’s development is supported by Ara ki Te Puna Kairangi, the New Zealand government’s Premium Development Fund, as well as Te Puna Kairangi, the New Zealand government’s Premium Productions Fund; NZ On Air; the New Zealand Screen Production Rebate; the Ontario and Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credits; the British Film Institute’s UK Global Screen Fund; and the UK Animation Tax Credit.

“We’ve assembled a great team of writers and creatives who are taking Spike Milligan’s creation to another level of enchantment, thrills and whimsical quirky fun,” said Ryan Cooper, head writer and co-director. “Stay tuned as this magical Badjelly animated series rekindles the spirit of Milligan’s whimsical world and takes you on an unforgettable adventure!”

Badjelly the Witch is wildly popular in New Zealand,” noted producer Simon Ward. “Generations of Kiwi kids have grown up with the book, the radio play and countless versions of the stage show. We’re delighted to bring this beloved classic to a global audience with our take on Spike Milligan’s bonkers adventure.”

Marlo Miazga, president of Sphere Media Kids & Family, commented, “This project represents such fresh creative collaboration that our team leaped at the opportunity to join the party. Badjelly the Witch was the invention of one of the great comic geniuses of all time, Spike Milligan, and she is voiced in our new series by another national treasure, Miriam Margolyes. We’re thrilled to join forces with a team of unrivalled international animation talent to give this exciting new show the best launch pad for global success.”

“It’s a complete honor to be the U.K. producers on Badjelly,” added Carys Rowan, producer for Cantilever Media. “We have a dream team who have an aligned vision: to create funny, relatable and visually beautiful content that doesn’t talk down to our kids.”