Published 27th March 2024

Aardman greenlights new Shaun the Sheep and Very Small Creatures series

Aardman has today announced forthcoming new series for two of its most popular IPs: Shaun the Sheep and Very Small Creatures.

Shaun the Sheep is Aardman’s best-performing IP to date, currently broadcast in 170 territories worldwide, and this new series of 20 episodes will see the total number of 7-minute episodes produced to date reach 190.

The new series will feature classic Shaun the Sheep scenarios – relatable, everyday situations with a rural twist! – spun into comedy gold by the Flock. Young viewers will be able to watch with bated breath as Bitzer attempts some DIY, see the chaos unfold as a tractor gets stuck in the mud, follow the Farmer’s ill-fated foray into beekeeping, and pick a side as Shaun and Bitzer battle it out in a camping caper. Not only that, the series will feature the first ever Shaun the Sheep two-part episode: a cliffhanger where everything that Shaun knows and loves comes into question when he impulsively makes a wish and has to face up to some unexpected consequences.

The series, originally created by Richard Starzak, will be created by a stellar Aardman team, with Seamus Malone directing, Danny Gallagher as Producer, Jacqueline White as Senior Producer/Executive Producer and Carla Shelley and Sarah Cox as Studio Executive Producers.

It will be part-financed by commissioning partners, CBBC in the UK and WDR in Germany, with pre-sales already confirmed to additional partners including ABC (Australia), SVT (Sweden), YLE (Finland), DR (Denmark), VRT Ketnet TV (Belgium) and NRK (Norway).

This new series follows a number of highly successful recent outings for Shaun the Sheep, including 2021’s half-hour special, Shaun the Sheep: The Flight Before Christmas, which won an Emmy, and series 6, which won an International Kids Emmy. It will roll-out in 2025.

In addition to this new series of Shaun the Sheep, Aardman has greenlit series 3 of Very Small Creatures, its preschool IP commissioned by Sky Kids.

Originally a spin-off from classic Aardman IP Morph, Very Small Creatures has grown into its own beloved brand and been nominated for an array of awards, including a Children’s & Young People BAFTA, a Kidscreen Award, a Prix Jeunesse International Award and a Broadcast Digital Award. Subsequent series have been quickly re-commissioned by Sky Kids due to the immediate streaming success of the first season. Over 30 broadcasters have come on board since 2022, across key territories including Canada, Benelux, China, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Portugal, Spain, South Korea & the USA.

Series three of Very Small Creatures will invite young viewers back into the playroom with Pink, Green, Yellow, Blue and Orange for plenty of SPLATS, giggles and heart in each new adventure. It will consist of 20 x 3-minute episodes and is set to launch late 2024.  

The series, financed by Sky Kids UK will be directed by Very Small Creatures creator, Aardman’s Lucy Izzard, with Rob Franklin as Senior Producer, Helen Argo as Executive Producer, Sarah Cox as Studio Executive Producer and Nat McKay as Creative Executive. As has been the case with each previous series, the production will use a mixture of junior and experienced crew, capitalising on Aardman’s world-class talent whilst providing opportunities for newcomers to join the studio and gain industry experience.

Sarah Cox, Chief Creative Director, Aardman said: Shaun the Sheep and Very Small Creatures are both made in the classic stop motion style that first made Aardman famous, but they have so much more in common than that. Both are warm-hearted character-driven comedies created with the ambition to make audiences of all ages smile. It is very exciting to be announcing these two brand new series for our young viewers – and their families – to look forward to.

Sarah Muller, Senior Head of Commissioning, 7-12, BBC said: Aardman’s style is timeless, with Shaun the Sheep epitomising the best of British storytelling that sparks joy and unites families! Family viewing and culturally relevant content is hugely important to us at CBBC, so it’s a delight to bring the new series to our audiences who know and love these iconic stop-motion animations.”

Lucy Murphy, Director of Kids Content, UK & ROI, Sky said: “We are thrilled to be working with Aardman’s brilliant creative team once again and look forward to our younger audiences, and their grown-ups, being able to enjoy more episodes of the Very Small Creatures.  Pink, Orange, Green, Blue and Yellow light up the screen with their warmth, humour and love and their adventures in such a playful environment express the very best of young children’s curious exploration of their world.”

Matthias Körnich, Head of Kids & Family at WDR – Westdeutscher Rundfunk said: “We here at WDR are very proud of being a partner of Shaun the Sheep since the very beginning of his adventures in Mossy Bottom. We can’t wait to spend more time with Shaun, Bitzer and all the other members of the farm family. Shaun has many friends here in Germany. It is still one of the most successful kids programs at our streaming service ARD Mediathek and KiKA- Der Kinderkanal von ARD and ZDF. We’re also glad to announce that Shaun will visit us personally next year for an exclusive concert with our symphony orchestra. And last but not least, we welcome the Very Small Creatures as a part of our “The Show with the Elephant” preschool program, underlining the yearlong, trustful partnership between Aardman and WDR.