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Ragdoll Productions Limited
FormerlyRagdoll Productions (U.K.) Limited (1985-2000)
Ragdoll Video Limited (1991–2000)[1][2]
Ragdoll Limited (2000-2013)[3]
Company typePrivate
IndustryTelevision production
Founded26 July 1984; 39 years ago (1984-07-26)
FounderAnne Wood
Headquarters,
England
Key people
Christopher Wood
OwnerRagdoll Ltd.
SubsidiariesThe Ragdoll Foundation
Websiteragdoll.co.uk
Footnotes / references
[1]
The evolution of WildBrain
1968FilmFair London is founded
1971DIC Audiovisuel is founded
1972Strawberry Shortcake brand is first developed
1974CPLG is founded
1976CINAR and Colossal Pictures are founded
1982DIC Enterprises is founded
1984Ragdoll Productions is founded
1987DIC Audiovisuel closes
1988Studio B Productions is founded
1992Epitome Pictures is founded
1993DIC Enterprises becomes DIC Entertainment
1994Wild Brain is founded‚ and Red Rover Studios is founded, DIC Entertainment brands as The Incredible World of DIC
1995Platinum Disc Corporation is founded
1996CINAR buys FilmFair's library
1997Decode Entertainment is founded
1999Wild Brain acquires Colossal Pictures' employee base
2002Nerd Corps Entertainment is founded
2004Halifax Film Company is founded, CINAR rebrands as Cookie Jar Group
2005Platinum Disc Corporation merge as Echo Bridge Home Entertainment
2006Decode and Halifax Film merge as DHX Media, DIC acquires CPLG, and Ragdoll Worldwide is formed with BBC Worldwide
2007DHX Media buys Studio B Productions and Wild Brain becomes Wildbrain Entertainment
2008Cookie Jar Group absorbs DIC and House of Cool absorbs Red Rover Studios
2010DHX Media buys Wildbrain Entertainment‚ and Peanuts Worldwide is founded
2011Decode Entertainment and Red Rover Studios closes
2012DHX Media buys Cookie Jar Group
2013DHX Media buys Ragdoll Worldwide
2014DHX Media buys Epitome Pictures, Nerd Corps, and Echo Bridge Home Entertainment's family content library; Cookie Jar Group is absorbed
2016The WildBrain multi-channel network launches and Studio B and Nerd Corps merge as DHX Studios
2017Wildbrain Entertainment closes; DHX Media buys Peanuts Worldwide and Strawberry Shortcake
2018Halifax Film becomes Island of Misfits
2019DHX Media rebrands as WildBrain, Epitome Pictures closes, and the WildBrain MCN becomes WildBrain Spark
2020CPLG becomes WildBrain CPLG
2021Echo Bridge Home Entertainment closes
2023WildBrain acquires House of Cool
2024WildBrain Spark merged into its parent company as WildBrain London

Ragdoll Productions Limited, or simply Ragdoll, is a British television production company founded in 1984 by Anne Wood, who had previously worked for Yorkshire Television and TV-am. It is located in Bloxham, Oxfordshire, and has produced a number of children's programmes, most notably Pob's Programme, Teletubbies, Rosie and Jim, Brum, Boohbah, Tots TV, and In the Night Garden..., most of which are now owned by WildBrain.

History

Ragdoll Productions was founded on 26 July 1984 by Anne Wood, who produced shows for the ITV network. It was incorporated as Ragdoll Productions (U.K.) Limited in April 1985 and was originally based in Birmingham.[4] The company's first show, Pob's Programme, premiered on Channel 4 later that year. The company was later commissioned by Central Independent Television to produce Playbox, which demonstrated the ability for the company to produce their own characters. In 1989, The Magic Mirror and BOOM! marked the company's debut in the animation and live-action markets.[5] The company at first produced puppet-based programmes, and their mascot was originally a female rag doll that was based on one that belonged to Wood's daughter.

In 1992, the company moved their operations to Stratford-upon-Avon and opened up The Ragdoll Shop.

In the mid-1990s, Ragdoll expanded operations to the United States, and signed a deal with The Itsy Bitsy Entertainment Company to sell their programmes in the market.

In 2000, Ragdoll dropped their rag doll mascot for a more simplistic logo designed by Lambie-Nairn, with the company also adopting a new name of Ragdoll Limited by that point. During that time, the company started to move away from puppet-based shows (which started with Teletubbies in 1997), by making animated cartoons. Ragdoll still produced live-action shows, but would use costumes and animatronics instead of puppets.

In October 2001, Ragdoll parted ways with Itsy Bitsy following a failure to reach an agreement with the company's majority owner, the Handleman Group. Ragdoll then started to sell their programmes on their own from then-on, forming Ragdoll USA.[6]

In January 2002, Teletubbies: Everywhere, a spin-off of Teletubbies, was announced to air on CBeebies within its launch window.[7] On 14 June, a new series titled Boohbah was announced and was pre-sold to CITV and GMTV for a 2003 delivery.[8] The show later saw an international roll-out.

At MIPTV 2005, Ragdoll announced a new series titled Blurrfect and that CITV had acquired broadcasting rights for an autumn 2005 delivery.[9] By September 2005, the series was renamed Blips, and soon premiered on 29 September 2005 as part of the CITV's autumn schedule.[10][11] On 13 October, Ragdoll unrevealed two new series that were pre-sold to the BBC: In the Night Garden... and Tronji, for a 2007 delivery.[12] In October 2005, Ragdoll subsidiary The Ragdoll Foundation announced that Five's Milkshake! block had commissioned a series of six short films titled What Makes Me Happy?, which would air daily from 19 December.[13]

In September 2006, Ragdoll formed a joint venture with BBC Worldwide called Ragdoll Worldwide, to sell and license the company's programmes outside of the UK and North America. In the Night Garden... and Tronji would be the first two programmes created as part of the venture, while existing programmes were handled by BBC Worldwide, which managed the international broadcast sales and the UK and international licensing of all Ragdoll properties (including Blips, Boohbah, Brum, Tots TV, Rosie and Jim, and Open a Door), with Ragdoll retaining all British broadcast rights. A new subsidiary, Ragdoll USA Inc., part of the new joint venture, would manage Ragdoll's distribution in North America.[14]

In January 2013, Ragdoll opted to end their agreement with BBC Worldwide and put up Ragdoll Worldwide for sale.[15] On 16 September, Canadian studio DHX Media (currently named WildBrain) purchased the venture from both companies for £17.4 million (or USD$24 million)[16] The deal included the rights to most of Ragdoll's programming produced from 1990 to 2012. The company also changed to its current name of Ragdoll Productions Limited, with "Productions" added back to the name after 13 years.

In 2015, Ragdoll produced the live-action/stop-motion series Twirlywoos with DHX, making it the first and only co-production between the companies.

In 2018, the company co-produced a short film with Disney UK for the Hope Works initiative, titled What Shall We Do With The Angry Monster?.[17]

In 2021, Ragdoll formed a deal with British distribution company Cake Entertainment for them to distribute their new series, B.O.T. and the Beasties, for CBeebies. On 29 March, the company was relocated to Shenington, with Anne Wood retiring from the company on 14 December, and leaving her son Christopher as director of the studio.

On 13 June 2024, Ragdoll would once again move their operations, this time to Bloxham, another small town in Oxfordshire.

Pre-Ragdoll productions

The following are some of productions made by Anne Wood before Ragdoll was founded, accompanied by a brief description and vital statistics:

Productions

Ragdoll's programmes produced between 1990 and 2017 (excluding Pob's Programme, BOOM! and Storytime) are currently owned by WildBrain (formerly known as DHX Media).

Ragdoll Productions

Title Year(s) Network Notes/Sources
Pob's Programme 1985–1990 Channel 4 Currently owned by Channel Four Television Corporation
Playbox 1987–1992 ITV (Central) Currently owned by ITV Studios
The Magic Mirror 1989 ITV Co-production for The Kellogg Company
Ragdoll's first animated production
BOOM! 1990–1991 Channel 4 Ragdoll's first non-puppet live-action production
Currently owned by Channel Four Television Corporation
Rosie and Jim 1990-2000 ITV (Central) Oldest Ragdoll series to be owned by WildBrain
Brum 1991, 1994
2001–2002
BBC One (Children's BBC/CBBC)
CBeebies
Tots TV 1993–1998 ITV (Central) Co-produced with Carlton Television in later seasons
Rights co-owned with ITV Studios
Open a Door 1994–2003 BBC Two (Children's BBC/CBBC)
CBeebies
An international short film series co-produced with other companies.
Storytime 1995–1997 BBC Two Series 5-6 only
Teletubbies 1997–2001 BBC Two (Children's BBC/CBBC) Original series, revivals/reboots are produced by DHX Media.
Badjelly the Witch 2000 BBC One Television special/movie
Co-produced with Norma Farnes Management
Teletubbies Everywhere 2002 CBeebies Short form series
Boohbah 2003–2006 ITV (CITV and GMTV) Co-produced with GMTV
Blips 2005–2006 ITV (CITV)
What Makes Me Happy 2005 Five (Milkshake!) Co-produced with The Ragdoll Foundation
Series of six short films
Twirlywoos 2015–2017 CBeebies Co-produced with DHX Media
What Shall We Do With The Angry Monster? 2018 YouTube Short film
Co-produced for Disney UK
B.O.T. and the Beasties 2021-present CBeebies Short form series
Owned by Ragdoll
Distributed by Cake Entertainment

Ragdoll Worldwide

Title Year(s) Network Notes/Sources
In the Night Garden... 2007–2009 CBeebies
Tronji 2009–2010 CBBC
Dipdap 2011 CBeebies Short form series
The Adventures of Abney & Teal 2011–2012 CBeebies

The Ragdoll Shop

The Ragdoll Shop in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire was a store that consisted of themed play areas based on Ragdoll properties and an area where merchandise was sold. The store first opened in 1992, and traded until 2005, because of expansion limits and failure to find a new larger venue.[18]

The building that formerly housed the shop is now a optometrist's practice named Dr. CP Grey's. The picture of Rosie and Jim waving can still be seen in the black window at the top of the building.

References

  1. ^ a b "RAGDOLL PRODUCTIONS LIMITED overview - Find and update company information - GOV.UK". Companies House. 15 October 1991. Retrieved 1 September 2023.
  2. ^ "Terms and Conditions". Ragdoll Productions. Retrieved 1 September 2023.
  3. ^ "DHX WORLDWIDE HOLDINGS LIMITED overview - Find and update company information - GOV.UK".
  4. ^ "DHX WORLDWIDE HOLDINGS LIMITED overview - Find and update company information - GOV.UK".
  5. ^ "1980s – the Early Years".
  6. ^ "Ragdoll and Itsy Bitsy part company".
  7. ^ "CBBC: Launch dates and new shows".
  8. ^ "ITV/GMTV greenlight for Ragdoll".
  9. ^ "StackPath". Archived from the original on 23 September 2006.
  10. ^ "StackPath". Archived from the original on 23 September 2006.
  11. ^ "Blips to splat onto CiTV this autumn".
  12. ^ "StackPath". Archived from the original on 23 September 2006.
  13. ^ "StackPath". Archived from the original on 23 September 2006.
  14. ^ "StackPath". Archived from the original on 20 November 2007.
  15. ^ "Ragdoll puts sales joint venture with BBC Worldwide on the market". The Guardian (London). 29 January 2013. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
  16. ^ "Teletubbies owner bought by Canadian firm DHX Media". The Guardian (London). 16 September 2013. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
  17. ^ "#SoundCelebration Day 2: What Shall We do with the Angry Monster?".
  18. ^ "StackPath".