David Walliams, Miranda Hart, Catherine Tate and Rik Mayall will lead the stellar cast of The Tate Movie Project’s film, The Itch of the Golden Nit, voicing the characters devised by children. The Tate Movie Project is the first of its kind – an animation made by and for children. The half hour animation has been created from thousands of drawings, sound effects and story ideas by children from across the UK.
Funded by Legacy Trust UK and BP, with additional support and resources from the BBC, the film has been brought together by Tate and the creative magic of Aardman Animations. The Itch of the Golden Nit follows 11 year old hero Beanie on his mission to save his parents from Evil Stella and to return the Golden Nit to its rightful place at the heart of the sun, thereby saving the universe. It’s a surreal and spectacular adventure that only the wild imaginations of kids could dream up!
The vivid imaginations of the children who drew the main characters really helped to propel the story to another level. 13 year old Sarah from Swansea’s inspiration for the Golden Nit was her cat which has fleas - she drew her cat’s tail on the nit. And the two contributors who drew Mum and Dad (Fiona and Emma) come from the same family of 6 children in Bristol. They are obsessed with the website, having submitted over 200 drawings between them and their brother Tristan, who also has a cameo character in the film.
The stellar cast has provided the voices for the lead characters chosen from the many drawings submitted by children aged 5- 13 the result of over 250 workshops and individual uploads to The Tate Movie Project’s online movie studio. The online studio has had more than 500,000 hits since it went live last July and a touring Movie Studio has spent months on the road visiting galleries, schools and festivals across the country encouraging children to use art as inspiration for their drawings and story ideas.
The project is part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad and has been made possible through £3million of funding from Legacy Trust UK, an independent charity set up to create a cultural and sporting legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. BP, as one of the Premier Partners of the Cultural Olympiad, is providing further substantial funding and is helping to evaluate the process to further inform Tate’s future youth projects. As well as broadcast support through CBBC and the entire project being recorded by Blue Peter, BBC Learning has produced fun, accessible resources for kids and teachers alike.
The cream of British comedy has provided additional voices for the film including Sanjeev Bhaskar, Ralf Little, Miriam Margolyes, Lucy Montgomery, Vic Reeves and Alexei Sayle. Two children will provide the voices of Beanie - Bobby Fuller, known for his role of Jake on CBBC’s Sadie J - and his older sister Beryl - Rachel Rawlinson.
Tate asked children to vote online for which celebrities they would like to see play cameo roles as pirates and superheroes in the final feature. The website (www.tatemovie.co.uk) was inundated with suggestions including Stacey Solomon and Pixie Lott to play ‘moody mermaids’.
Multiple drawings are composited to make a single scene, for example each element of a high street from the shop windows to the cars driving by. The final film will include thousands of different drawings by the children. The vast bank of material has been brought together by Tate, Aardman and Fallon in the most impressive way possible using the latest animation technology. Music is by composer John Browne who has been working with young British musicians including the National Youth Orchestra, West Everton Children’s Orchestra, Folkestra and The Young‘uns.
A red carpet premiere will be held for the film in Leicester Square on Wednesday 29th June and the finished film will be broadcast on the BBC this summer as well as at screenings at galleries, on London 2012 Live Sites (big screens)in cities across the UK and at Vue cinemas nationwide over the August Bank Holiday.
11 year old Beanie’s bland life changes forever when Evil Stella and her flaming side-kick Fireboy show up in his back garden one day after school. Evil Stella is after The Golden Nit and kidnaps Beanie’s Mum and Dad thinking they have it.
But this is no ordinary nit. The Golden Nit is the battery that powers the sun and if Beanie doesn’t get it home by sunset the sun will die and the universe is doomed.
Aided by his shouty older sister Beryl, who has been shrunk to the size of a doll by one of Stella’s electric bubbles, Beanie sets out on a crazy adventure to rescue his parents and save the universe.
Armed only with a tube of lazer lip gloss and some blend-in pants, their quest takes them across galaxies via a superhero supermarket, through wormholes, and up the Hairy Scary River escaping from moody mermaids and gold-thirsty pirates along the way. Beanie is helped, and hindered, by Ten Heart Hero who isn’t quite the hero Beanie first thinks he is. When it comes down to it – there really is only one hero who can save the day!
The cast so far
The Golden Nit – David Walliams
Mum (Julie) – Miranda Hart
Dad (Bill) – Harry Enfield
Evil Stella – Catherine Tate
Mummy Socks – Miriam Margolyes
Captain Iron Ears – Vic Reeves
Narrator/President Pinky – Rik Mayall
Ten Heart Hero – Sanjeev Bhaskar
Fireboy – Ralf Little
Planet Jimmy – Alexei Sayle
Stressed Alice – Lucy Montgomery
Beanie – Bobby Fuller
Beryl – Rachel Rawlinson
Nicholas Serota, Director, Tate:
Children have always enjoyed exploring Tate’s Collection and finding inspiration to fuel their own creativity. Drawing on some of the world’s greatest art works, the Tate Movie Project has allowed them to express their ideas and vision on the scale of a wide screen. What’s exciting about the Tate Movie Project is that we can see their flashes of imagination come to life in animation. Only children would have the faith to send a ‘golden nit’ on an adventure to save the planet. This project has provoked some astonishing work by children of all backgrounds, some of whom may well be the artists and creatives of the future.
Dugald Mackie, Chair of Legacy Trust UK:
I am delighted that less than 18 months after we announced our funding for the Tate Movie, the project has successfully worked with so many children up and down the UK to produce an inspiring and exciting film, with an incredible cast to match. As with all our projects, the Tate Movie plays an important role in creating a cultural legacy from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games across the UK, and clearly demonstrates that the Games are about much more than just sport. The thousands of children who have been involved in this project will know that their artwork has been part of a ground-breaking film which will live on long after the Games have ended.
Peter Mather, Regional Vice President, Europe & Head of Country, UK
BP has a long history with the arts and culture in the UK and is delighted and excited to be involved in the Tate Movie Project. We Look forward to seeing the completed film.
Damian Kavanagh, Controller of CBBC:
The Tate Movie Project has given thousands of children across the UK the opportunity to bring their creativity and imagination to life. At CBBC we aim to produce entertaining and engaging programmes for children, which is exactly what this project is about and I am thrilled that we have been able to support it.
Ruth Mackenzie, Director, Cultural Olympiad:
The success of The Tate Movie Project is phenomenal; thousands of young people across the UK have been developing skills through animation workshops and digitally through the website. The announcement today of this wonderful cast and story is thrilling – congratulations to everyone.