SuperTed is back with original episodes remastered for new generation
SuperTed is back for a new generation of children to discover – and those of us who loved the superhero bear the first time around.
The iconic children’s animated TV series which originated in Wales celebrates its 40th anniversary with original episodes having been remastered and re-formatted – and whisper it quietly there’s also a brand new series on the way.
Created by Emmy and BAFTA-award winning Welsh writer and animator Mike Young, SuperTed follows the adventures of a teddy bear with superpowers.
Mike, 77, a life-long Cardiff City fan, came up with the character of SuperTed in 1978 to help his young stepson, Richard, to overcome his fear of the dark. Realising that Richard – and his friends – loved the stories he was coming up with, Mike, who was born in Cwm, Ebbw Vale, and raised in Barry, went on to write and publish more than 100 SuperTed stories as well as setting up Siriol Productions to turn SuperTed into the animated superhero teddy bear we know and love today.
It was produced by Cardiff-based Siriol Animation (now known as Calon) and originally aired in Welsh on S4C in 1982, before launching in English on the BBC in 1983.
On 1st November 1982, it made history as the very first programme to be broadcast on the newly created Welsh language TV channel. Shortly after this SuperTed’s flash logo featured as only the second ever sponsor’s logo on a Cardiff City Football shirt.
Since then, native Welsh-speaker SuperTed has been dubbed in English and the adventures of the heroic little teddy bear along with his friend Spotty, sister Blotch and good fairy Mother Nature, hotly pursued by the always up-to-no-good Texas Pete and his side-kicks Skeleton and Bulk, have thrilled children in more than 50 countries around the world.
A US-produced series, The Further Adventures of SuperTed, was produced by Hanna Barbera in 1989. The show later aired on the Disney Channel, making history as the first ever British made animation to be broadcast by Disney.
Four decades on SuperTed has relaunched thanks to many years hard work by Mike, who is the co-founder and co-CEO of the US-based Splash Entertainment, having moved his family to live in Los Angeles in 1989.
To finance the move and set up his new company, he sold the rights to SuperTed and his shares owned in Siriol Animation.
Now he has secured the distribution rights to the original animated series of SuperTed and the much loved 40-year-old cartoon has been revised through a technical ‘up-resolution’ process and re-formatted to meet modern-day television requirements.
The first seven episodes of the original series are now available to view through Splash Entertainment’s kids’ streaming platform Kabillion and also through Kabillion’s YouTube platform.
“This is the re-birth of a wonderful character who will now be introduced internationally to a completely new age demographic,” said Francesca O’Keeffe, MD of Petalcraft Demonstrations, which owns the rights to SuperTed.
“I’m delighted that this iconic series, originally commissioned by S4C 40 years ago, gave Welsh children such pleasure in the past and now has the opportunity to entertain a new audience of young viewers,” said Sioned Geraint, S4C’s Content Commissioner for Children and Education.
As for Mike himself, the rebirth fo SuperTed means the world to him.
“This is a truly emotional moment for me and my family to see the rejuvenation of our very first animated show and character,” he said.
It marks a new chapter in the story of the enduring magic of the superhero bear.
Last year SuperTed was announced as one of the celebrity ambassadors for the Ty Hafan children’s hospice.
For the future Mike has lots of plans. He is hoping to finalise a deal with S4C to be able to broadcast the original Welsh version of SuperTed and is working on a new series of SuperTed, which he hopes to deliver in the next two years.
SuperTed might have hit the big 40, and be rooted firmly I’m middle age, but he’s showing no signs of slowing down just yet!
New episodes of SuperTed are available to view on Kabillion every Thursday.
View the new and improved SuperTed episodes on YouTube HERE
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