Multi-Oscar-nominated production company Magic Light Pictures (The Gruffalo, The Highway Rat, Revolting Rhymes) is continuing its tradition of providing animated holiday specials for the whole family with The Snail and the Whale, based on the treasured children’s picture book of the same name. The special will premiere on BBC One in the U.K. for Christmas 2019.
The beautiful tale of an unlikely friendship, a tour of the world and a heroic rescue will be voiced by British stars Sally Hawkins (Paddington, The Shape of Water) as Snail, Rob Brydon (Gavin & Stacey, The Trip) as Whale, and Dame Diana Rigg (Game of Thrones, Victoria) as the Narrator.
“It’s always so wonderful to work with Magic Light on these animated specials for Christmas,” commented Brydon, who has lent his voice to all of the studio’s animated specials over the past decade. “The Snail and the Whale is a longstanding favorite in our house. It’s an epic journey across the globe, where the tiniest creature and the mightiest mammal experience the vastness of our planet together.”
Written in 2003 by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler, creators of the modern classic The Gruffalo, the picture book is published by Macmillan Children’s Books.
The Snail and the Whale follows the amazing journey of a tiny snail who longs to see the world and manages to hitch a ride on the tail of a huge humpback whale. A joyous, empowering story about the natural wonders of the world and discovering that however small you are, you can make a difference.
The Snail and the Whale is directed by Max Lang and Daniel Snaddon who have both directed a number of Magic Light productions, including co-directing last year’s Zog. Lang, joint director of both The Gruffalo and Room on the Broom, is twice Oscar-nominated and a BAFTA winner. He has also collected a series of awards at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival. Snaddon co-directed Stick Man, which won the Crystal at Annecy and nominations at BAFTA and the British Animation Awards.
The special is produced by Michael Rose and Martin Pope of Magic Light Pictures, and the composer is René Aubry, who has written all of the music for Magic Light’s specials. The book was adapted for screen by Max Lang and Suzanne Lang. Animation services have been provided by Triggerfish Animation in Cape Town.
Acquired for BBC One by Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content, and Tommy Bulfin, Commissioning Editor, BBC.