Overall television drama co-production activity (live-action and animation combined) has grown since the mid-1990s, and most television drama programs made during this time have been for children.
Not surprisingly, the increase in animated co-productions has paralleled the increase in children's programs. All but two of the total animated co-productions - the two series of John Callahan's QUADS! (Australia/ Canada) - have been programs for children.
TV drama for adults and children, over time
From the Australian perspective, these developments roughly coincided with the increase to the minimum broadcast levels of first-release Australian children's drama required annually of the Australian commercial free-to-air networks, via the Children's Television Standard (CTS). Minimum levels were progressively increased from 16 hours to 32 hours per broadcaster between 1996 and 1998.
Australian children's drama, even when made as domestic programming, is more likely to include foreign finance than drama for adults, and foreign finance generally accounts for a greater proportion of the total budget. This reliance on foreign finance, either by way of a co-production or through foreign investment in local productions (such as presales to foreign broadcasters), is mainly a result of the difficulty in raising the full budget from local sources.
The animation format also offers advantages such as the capacity to revoice for different languages and accents, and settings that can be created in either partner country, without relying on location shooting.
Source: Screen Australia.