Made Here: Dennis the Menace and Gnasher, CBBC (plus magazine)

TODAY sees the launch of series four of Dennis the Menace and Gnasher, on CBBC.

Produced by Red Kite for The Beano and CBBC, the new series will run for 52 episodes and feature CBBC host, Christ Johnson, as the new voice of Dennis the Menace.

And while the CBBC series launches today, an accompanying magazine – 100% Official Dennis the Menace and Gnasher Mega-zine – is available from the 24th of this month, from publishers, DC Thomson. Comprising 60 pages per issue, the magazine is monthly and each issue will include a 32-page ‘Complete Comic Adventure’ section on special paper stock and a free gift.

Dennis the Menace and Gnasher airs on CBBC from 1545.

Here, Martha Macdiarmid, head of production at Red Kite Animation, answers the questions…

Who commissioned the series?

After the success of the last series, we were desperate to get back into the world of Dennis and his chums. Thankfully. CBBC and Channel nine in Australia felt the same way and commissioned this series.

Explain the thinking behind the production’s ‘look and feel’

In its essence, Dennis the Menace and Gnasher is a funny, high-energy, prank-filled series and we’ve tried to keep that energy consistent with the design work.

The design of the series combines a bold graphic approach, using black outlines to give strong definition, dynamic perspectives and solid construction. The intention is to create a fun, contemporary urban setting. recognisable and accessible to today’s audience, the world over.

Dennis, Gnasher and the Beanotown gang are iconic and so it was important that the show maintained the integrity of these characters.

Who are the key personnel?

Co-producers, Sticky Pictures, in Australia, along with the director, Glenn Kirkpatrick, and his pre-production team at Funny Az Hell, also in Australia. And the amazing animation team at Top Draw, in the Phillipines.

We worked closely with the creative team behind The Beano at DC Thomson and our own production team – here, in Edinburgh, at Red Kite Animation – was bolstered by some great home-grown talent.

What kit and software?

The series was made primarily in the animation software, Flash, and was edited in Final Cut.

What have been the main production challenges?

Getting the tone of the show right was important and we were very lucky to have a strong creative team and some amazing scriptwriters who took that challenge head on.

Throughout the creative process, we collaborated heavily with the DC Thomson to make sure the show was on-brand, funny, and as energetic as possible. As Dennis, Gnasher and the characters within the Beanotown world are immensely well-loved icons, it was important to all of us that the show remained representative of the characters that we have all grown up with.

Working as a co-production always has its own set of challenges, but we were at a huge advantage this time around, having worked together on the previous series.

What did you most learn and enjoy from the experience?

Working on Dennis the Menace and Gnasher is always a lot of fun. From the creation of the madcap stories to recording with the amazing voice artists, inhabiting the world of Beanotown is certainly never dull. When you are producing a show like this you can never take yourself too seriously; we’ve all sat on a whoopee cushion at one point or another!

I think the best moments are always looking back and realising that, yes, I did really spend four hours listening to and analysing various fart noises…

All in a day’s work.