How it all began
Fraochy Bay is a Scottish Gaelic Cartoon created by Neillydubh Animation Limited and produced by Moja for MG Alba. The series is set in the fictional town of Fraochy Bay, notionally located somewhere off the west coast of Scotland, with no central theme other than an exploration of the slightly odd characters and surreal events that take place in and around the town.
The show was conceived by Neil Stewart (Neillydubh) with the Stornoway based television production company Moja, in October 2008. A pilot programme was developed and submitted to MG Alba during their November 2008 round of submissions. The first series of 20 cartoons was commissioned by them in late November 2008. The show first aired on 21st December 2009.
As of May 2012, three series have been created with two series aired. A fourth series has been commissioned, production of series 4 begins in June 2012.
Scripting, animation and final production all take place in the Highlands of Scotland. The scriptwriting is all done by Neil Stewart with David Maclennan assisting. Voices are recorded on the island of Lewis with the same dozen or so voice artists providing voices for all the characters.
Main character creation and animation is done by Neil Stewart, with backgrounds, background characters and animation assistance by Richard Stewart, both working as he puts it 'at 110 miles per hour' to create the cartoons over a 26 week period for a series of 10.
Final rendering of the cartoons and editing is by Moja and takes place in Stornoway using their full online Avid edit suite mastering onto Digibeta. Sound dubbing is done at the Obh Obh studio in Stornoway. Subtitles for series 1 and 2 were added at Studio Alba, with series 3 subtitles being added at MacTV in Stornoway.
What's it all about
This is indeed the question that troubles us all. Is there a hidden pattern, a deeper meaning, is there a twist to it all that will become clear only after watching all 21,000 of the episodes that we hope we'll be able to create? Or will it be like 'LOST' where audiences were dragged through years of viewing only to find it all meant absolutely nothing and that everyone was in fact dead or something. We've no idea. It will all become clear right at the very end. Perhaps.
Sometimes the stories are small scale, very human. Like Ina and Jessie enjoying a cup of tea in front of the telly only to have the cat attack the dog and the plumber end up with his head jammed firmly down the toilet. Sometimes the stories are epic - Castles! Dinosaurs! A massive BLOB attacking the town! There seems to be no boundary which can't be crossed, or carrier bag that can't be delved into, in order to create these stories - it's all good clean family oriented fun though...although raspberries are frequently used.
All the episodes are jam-packed with cultural references, historic facts, prophesies about future events and comment on current affairs. Um. No they're not. There are a lot of silly pictures and other stuff going on in the background though. Make it right through to the end of an episode and you'll be mugged with a very bad pun and we do mean mugged - they're intentionally bad, the worse the better.
Perhaps that'll be the end. The last episode will be one massive pun built up over 21,000 episodes. Now that would be something...