Friday, 20 December 2013

Merry Christmas 2013!

It's our last day before breaking up for a magical Christmas! To celebrate, here are some Christmas cards from us here at Chog Zoo Animation, to spread a little festive cheer.

Print them out and put them on your fireplace! We hope you have a brilliant Christmas, full of loads of food and spending time with your favourite people in the world. See you in the new year!

Friday, 15 November 2013

Sound Recording Shenanigans

Recording Audio for Ten Town at Brock n Broll Recording Studio

On Wednesday (the 13th November) the talented Michael Whalley welcomed Chog Zoo to his fantastic recording studio in Chorley to record song vocals, narration and character voices for Ten Town.

Brock n Broll is a cosy little studio crammed full of state of the art equipment and charm, and Michael (as seen sporting snazzy headphones in the photo above) was a genial host; not to mention a man with the patience of... well, someone who is VERY patient. We laid down vocals for over twenty song variants, twelve episode narrations, many character voice tracks and some very dodgy French accents for a new character called Thierry. 

Instrumental to the day was the incredible and beautiful actress Josie Cerise (pictured above) who you might recognise from playing Mini Ha Ha in the twice BAFTA nominated TV show Ha Ha Hairies, and playing Mouse in the West End production of The Gruffalo. We were honoured to witness her in action, providing the voice of Ten Town chef Tia Ten, and also lending her stunning singing voice to a song which will feature at the end of new episodes. Her takes were amazing and bring a new level of excellence to the world of Ten Town. Look out for Josie, because she's doing big things! You can catch her performing at the Roundhouse in London this December, where she stars in My Brother The Robot. Find out more here!

Thanks to Michael and Josie for a day of truly inspiring work. Not only was Wednesday remarkably productive due to the hard work put in by everyone, but it was a lot of fun. Hurray for talented people!

Friday, 4 October 2013

Ten Town Wins Award!

A Victory For Chog Zoo Education!

It was recently announced that Ten Town, the number learning resource for which Chog Zoo provided design, branding, more than 20 animations, voice acting and all sorts of miscellaneous creativity has won a prestigious award! Isn't it nice to be recognised from time to time? 

The awards were the Practical Pre-School Awards, where Ten Town scooped not only a gold award, but the Overall Winner accolade for the whole Music and Multimedia category. Hurray for Ten Town!

Chog Zoo is currently working on a fresh commission to expand the Ten Town universe, with an aim to assist children learning to count and write numbers up to 20. We're thrilled to be a part of this fantastic educational resource, take a look at for more information!

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Face Up Fred

Stockport Council Cancer Awareness Brief

When we heard that Stockport Council needed an animated video to promote cancer awareness, we felt that Chog Zoo could deliver something really special, and so we decided to pitch for the opportunity. At a "Dragon's Den" style evening, we faced a board of dragons, assembled from the council and spearheaded by members from the Stockport Central Area Youth Forum. We proposed to work with the young people to develop characters and stories, passing on skills in animation and music production, with an intention to produce an animated educational product contained in both a website, and a tangible interactive display stand with banners and flyers. 

Our pitch was probably something magical, or else the youth group just liked us, because Chog Zoo won the commission, and so began the development for our project to raise awareness of getting checked for cancer! Mountains of hours later, we had taken characters designed by youth forum members and smoothed them into a consistent Chog Zoo style and delivered an immersive educational package . 

Working away at Chog Zoo HQ alongside the youth workshop development sessions, we created a professional quality interactive animation, website, a fun and educational interactive display stand, and designed information banner stands along with four page leaflets. We developed a striking colourful yet clean brand image, to be consistently used throughout the visual elements of the project.

The story, developed with the young people, follows Fred, who notices something wrong with his body but is afraid to get checked. The viewer is then led inside Fred's body to see how his organs are responding to the changes, and after seeing how he is pressured from family and friends, the viewer may decide whether Fred visits the doctor. Your choice will result in drastically different outcomes for Fred!

To see the animation, and choose how Fred face up to cancer, go to

Wednesday, 10 April 2013


International Artists Repertoire Animation

Chog Zoo was approached by the lovely 99Giants studio in London to create storyboards, artwork and assets for a video to showcase the artists on the Universal record label roster, for their International Artist Repertoire.  We crafted a hand made cardboard "puppet theatre" feel in the visuals that we are very pleased with, with our assets then being animated by 99Giants in-house. 

This was the first time we designed an animation without then animating the movements ourselves, and while it was strange to "pass the baton" it was a great experience in focusing on one aspect of a project. So yeah, these are some of our visuals, we're pretty happy with the atmosphere we created. Hope you are too.

Friday, 22 March 2013


Uclan Chog Zoo Animation Brief

We were honoured to be asked to take part in Uclan's 2nd year brief for the university's animation course, with the students task being to create a 30 second promotional animation that could publicise Chog Zoo. We then offered guidance and technical advice to the students as their brief progressed, before eventually selecting the top three.

It was a difficult task to say the least, but it was rewarding to be able to help out students and hopefully give them an insight into the hazy, crazy world of professional briefs and adhering to time restrictions in animation.

With students producing work of such an impressive quality, we were faced with an incredibly tough choice. Nevertheless, we had to select "winners", and here are the top three:

3rd - "Dream" - by Kate Muldowney & Hannah Williams

The storybook feeling and nostalgia that Hannah and Kate have created really impressed us, and at the animatic stage we had already been really blown away. Communicating the idea of a love for creativity, and how dreams can blossom from a young age was very in keeping with our personal history and lifelong love for storytelling. Watch "Dream" here!

2nd - "Park" - Kevin List & Jamie Sellers

The clever idea of integrating varying styles of animation was a great way to collaborate using very different technical approaches. The final render came together very nicely, and the attention to detail in the 3D really impressed us - notice the way certain parts of scenery pop out, like the bench unfolding and picnic bench umbrellas growing. Watch "Park" here

1st - "Rusty Beard" - David Applegate & Heyi

We found the surreal atmosphere that Heyi and David created to be very entertaining, and the comic timing had us chuckling on each repeat view. Rusty Beard is a very memorable creation, neatly edited and consistently amusing. We feel that creating memorable situations is essential in brand promotion, and it is for this reason that we awarded Rusty Beard first place. Watch "Rusty Beard" here

Thursday, 7 February 2013


What the heck is Offerly?

Chog Zoo was recently approached by Offerly to conceptualise, design and completely produce a new informative video about their service. Once familiarising ourselves with the key points, we were able to creatively communicate the core values of the Offerly brand, and deliver a simple breakdown that is easy to understand. We think we nailed it; because we're nice, and that's the sort of thing that we do.

To lighten up the piece and add humour (along with a bit of humanity in what has become a stale, robotic world of commercial videos), we created a character to communicate ideas dynamically. Along with the clean graphics which appear throughout, an anthropomorphic character should hopefully make the animation memorable, but we'll leave that up to you. We obviously remember him because we spent ages designing and animating him.

All in all, a fantastic client, and we're very happy with the outcome. Take a look at the video below and see the fruits of our labour, while at the same time you can discover what on earth I've been babbling on about!

Wednesday, 16 January 2013


...and graphics tablets.

Lost in a whirlwind of life related occurrences, we have somehow had Cowabungalow in production (on and off - mostly off) for hundreds and hundreds of days. We have resumed production yet again with fresh 2013 eyes, and it is looking beautiful. It really is quite lovely. Traditionally, we kept things to a distinct pencilled style, scanning in doodles for a home grown look, but since Father Christmas bestowed a graphics tablet upon Kyle back in December, experimentation has been under way. I created a Photoshop brush to mimic my heavy old 5B pencil, and these two frames (above, and below) are the initial product. This digital shift should hopefully speed up production a bit with us no longer having to do things like sharpen pencils, switch the scanner on, scan things and so forth. Okay, it might save a few minutes, but that's cool, right?

Anyway, it's time to get back to work. Lots of animating to be getting on with, so goodbye for now. Keep an eye out for our new show that should be definitely be finished some time in the next decade!

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Kiroco Jewellery

Chog Zoo Ventures Into Live Action

Kiroco jewellery entrusted Chog Zoo with the epic task of creating a video that could communicate the concept of their new product quickly and concisely. When, during early development, the idea of combining animation with live action was discussed, we stepped it up a gear and decided to deliver the whole package in-house; from concept and storyboards, all the way through to filming, post production, animation, effects, edit and many many cups of coffee. Look, there are more screenshots below for your immediate pleasure!

Along with the need to explain the function of the jewellery, the short film had to be accessible to a target market that essentially covers childhood to the elderly. An impossible task you might say. Wrong! Chog Zoo delivered a short film, using fancy DSLRs and directing real life flesh and blood actors (not the usual cartoon characters we’re typically used to) to show the journey of a message through jewellery.  We fluidly combined this live footage with an animated segment (aha!) and applied some swanky After Effects magic, creating particle effects and pixie dust to visually suggest the concept of a travelling message. Watch the video below to see what the hell we’re on about.