Ivor Wood (1932 – 2004) is central to the creation of Postman Pat. His Woodland Animations Company were responsible for bringing to life John Cunliffe’s stories about the rural postman and his cat.
In the 1980’s Woodland Animations acquired the sole rights to licence Postman Pat toys. Woodland Animations was subsequently bought by Entertainment Rights plc in 2001. Hence on very many Postman Pat toys you will find the stamp ‘copyright Woodland Animations Ltd’, a very small reminder of the huge achievements of Ivor Wood.
Ivor Wood was born in Leeds but moved with his parents to France and studied at the prestigious Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. As a young man in the 1960’s he got into television and became interested in stop-motion animation. Wood’s first success was working on the animation of fondly remembered childrens BBC TV programme The Magic Roundabout.
In the relatively new medium of television, Ivor Wood became a master at creating realistic scenes in miniature and manipulating his three dimensional jointed puppets a fraction at a time so that when animated at 25 frames per second they appeared as ‘real’ characters on the screen.
Success quickly followed with, amongst other productions, The Herbs, The Wombles and Paddington. But it is for Postman Pat, first broadcast in 1981, that Ivor Wood will be most widely remembered.
Woodland Animations brought the stories of John Cunliffe to life. The village of Greendale in all its minute detail was painstakingly created for Ivor Wood’s much-loved puppet version of Cunliffe’s Postman Pat.
Ivor Wood died in 2004 at the age of 72 and is buried in his hometown of Leeds Yorkshire.