Something of a modern children’s classic, The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse was released in 2019 by author Charlie Mackesy, and shot up the best sellers lists, being named the 2019 Waterstones book of the year. It has since become the UK’s bestselling hardback book since records began. The acclaimed story is now being turned into an animated film for the BBC, set to air this Christmas on BBC One and stream on iPlayer.

During the COVID lockdowns the book became  a reprieve for both kids and parents. The boy and the three animals in the title are the story’s central protagonists, telling how they become friends and form strong bonds. The conversations between them and situations they experience teach children to celebrate and embrace openness and empathy, and to be sensitive and kind to others.

The boy and the three animals in the title are the story's central protagonists, telling how they become friends and form strong bonds.

 

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A post shared by Charlie Mackesy (@charliemackesy)

Mackesy’s book is perhaps best known for its distinctive drawings, hand drawn by the author, so an animated version makes perfect sense. The BBC One film will adapt these soothing drawings into full colour, giving a lovely new dimension to the story. The cast is set to include Tom Hollander as The Mole, Idris Elba as The Fox, Gabriel Byrne as The Horse and newcomer Jude Nicoll as The Boy. The four characters venture out together, as they seek to help find the boy’s home.

Speaking on the new animated version, Mackesy said “The journey of making the film of The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse with my ridiculously talented and kind animation team has been a magical one. It’s so great to think the story will be in the nation’s homes this Christmas – and I really hope it helps bring comfort, love and laughter.” The film will also feature a score composed by Isobel Waller-Bridge (sister of Phoebe) and also has producer backing from J.J Abrams.

 

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A post shared by Charlie Mackesy (@charliemackesy)

 

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A post shared by Charlie Mackesy (@charliemackesy)

Mackesy and his illustrations have become an online phenomenon, with over 1.5 million people following his Instagram account- where you can find his latest drawings and preview clips from the film. While the adaptation is still a few months away, you can buy yourself a copy of the book (if you’ve not got it for your kids already) here.

For more to watch this Christmas, check out our 9 Magical Theatre Shows To Book For Christmas 2022

The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse comes to BBC One and BBC iPlayer this Christmas


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