Rob Brydon, Sally Hawkins and Dame Diana Rigg travel across the seven seas in The Snail And The Whale

It’s an epic journey across the globe, where the tiniest creature and the mightiest mammal experiences the vastness of our planet together.Rob Brydon
Date: 20.09.2019     Last updated: 20.09.2019 at 10.17
Category: BBC One
Magic Light Pictures, the multi Oscar-nominated production company, has been providing festive family treats to BBC audiences for a decade. For Christmas 2019, they’ll bring long-time favourite children’s picture book The Snail And The Whale to BBC One.

The beautiful tale of an unlikely friendship, a tour of the world and a heroic rescue will be voiced by star British acting talent, Sally Hawkins (Paddington, The Shape Of Water) as Snail, Rob Brydon (Gavin & Stacey, The Trip) as Whale, Cariad Lloyd (Peep Show, Murder in Successville) as Teacher and Dame Diana Rigg (Game Of Thrones, Victoria) as the Narrator.

Rob Brydon, who has starred in all of Magic Light’s animated specials, says: “It’s always so wonderful to work with Magic Light on these animated specials for Christmas. The Snail and the Whale is a longstanding favourite in our house. It’s an epic journey across the globe, where the tiniest creature and the mightiest mammal experiences 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.

Acquired for BBC One, by Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content, and Tommy Bulfin, Commissioning Editor, BBC.

The Snail And The Whale is directed by Max Lang and Daniel Snaddon who have both directed a number of Magic Light productions, last year co-directing Zog. Max, 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. Daniel co-directed Stick Man which won the Crystal at Annecy and nominations at Bafta and the British Animation Awards.

The Snail And The Whale 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.

The Snail And The Whale is the latest in a distinguished line of award-winning festive family specials from Magic Light for BBC One and ZDF that have become an enduringly popular Christmas tradition on the channels, including The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo's Child, Room on the Broom, Stick Man, The Highway Rat, Zog and Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the BBC premiere of The Gruffalo and the 20th anniversary of the publication of the book.

SF/TB