The largest ever exhibition from the archives of Manchester animation studios Cosgrove Hall takes place at Theatr Clwyd from now until 12 January.
Danger Mouse, Count Duckula, Engie Bengy and a host of other favourites from the 1970s until 2000s take the spotlight in a rare and nostalgic insight into the production of some of the most recognisable children’s animation of the last four decades.
The exhibition features original models, puppets, storyboards and hand drawn animation from iconic children’s film and TV.
With a reputation for creativity and an eye for detail Brian Cosgrove and Mark Hall inspired a generation of animators with their pioneering use of stop motion production techniques.
The pair met while working at Granada TV in the 1960s, having studied graphics at Manchester College of Art.
They founded Cosgrove Hall Productions in the suburb of Chorlton-cum-Hardy in the 1970s, with the backing of Thames TV.
Early successes included Pied Piper of Hamelin and Wind in the Willows, which was a breakthrough for its use of lip-synching animation.
By the end of the 80s Dangermouse and its spin-off Count Duckula were huge international hits for the company and Roald Dahl’s The BFGwon a British Animation Award.
Some of the UKs leading puppet-makers and animators began their careers at the studio, which also saw David Jason voicing several notable characters throughout the years and guitarist John Squire of The Stone Roses at work on Wind in the Willows.
The exhibition in Mold has been made possible by Waterside Arts Centre in Sale, close to the former studios, where the complete archive now resides, having been rescued from a hidden corner of a production studio at Media City.
Brian Cosgrove commented “I’m thrilled with the support from the Heritage Lottery Fund and delighted to be working with Waterside to preserve and share the Cosgrove Hall legacy with new generations.
I am honoured with the enthusiasm that our work still generates with the public. I hope that many people will come from far and wide to enjoy these well-loved characters.”
Theatr Clwyd, MOLD – Oriel Gallery until Saturday 12 January. (Free)