FOR OVER 25 years, Manchester-based animation studio Cosgorve Hall Films produced some of the very best and most fondly remember cartoons in the country. From the iconic Danger Mouse, to beautiful stop-motion affair such as The Wind in the Willows, the studio built up a reputation for quality, and justifiably became one of the biggest animation houses in Europe.
It is therefore terribly sad to report that Cosgrove Hall has been closed down for good by ITV, and sadder still that the closure of such a proud, British business has been hardly noticed by anyone at all.
Indeed, I only became aware of the studio’s closure after deciding to pay a visit to Cosgrove Hall’s website, which I found redirected straight to ITV’s own homepage. Wondering what on earth was going on, I hit Google and tried to find some news.
After much searching, I managed to find out that after closing Cosgrove Halls’ studio in Chorlton in early 2009, ITV then put the business under review in October of the same year. Ploughing deeper into the search results, I managed to find this sole paragraph that confirmed that as a result of the review, Cosgrove Hall Films officially ceased trading at the end of that month.
And that was that, a great studio quietly put out of its misery, garnering a couple of sentences of mention in the media.
Personally speaking, I find this very sad indeed. I had the very good fortune to work with some of the talented folk at Cosgrove Hall, when I was developing my Carrotty Kid idea for TV. The people there were lovely and enthusiastic, and really wanted to produce great cartoons despite being starved of cash at nearly every turn. The studio spent much of it’s final years as a ‘studio-for-hire’, producing work on behalf of other companies, but the desire to try and return to what they did best, in producing their own, original shows was clearly and passionately evident. It’s just a pity that they weren’t given any real chance to do so.
So, a sad and ignoble end to one of the country’s finest animation houses, and another kick in the gut to a home-grown animation industry which was already on the floor. Surely our kids deserve better than nothing but imports and a diet of reality TV talent shows? I’d like to think so, and if you feel the same why not join up and support the Save Kids’ TV campaign?
If Danger Mouse can no longer save the day, maybe we can.