All-star voice cast includes Dame Diana Rigg!
A new animated version of Julian Donaldson’s magical tale The Snail and the Whale will be one of the highlights of BBC1’s Christmas Day line-up. And in a bonus to fans of Julia Donaldson The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo's Child, Stick Man, Zog, Room on the Broom and The Highway Rat are all being repeated on BBC1 over the festive period!
Written by Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler, The Snail and The Whale follows the enchanting 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.
And the BBC has revealed a fabulous voice cast for the animated version with Paddington’s Sally Hawkins as Snail, Gavin & Stacey’s Rob Brydon as Whale and former Bond girl Dame Diana Ring as the Narrator.
The Beeb has previously brought to screen other Donaldson creations, including The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo’s Child, Stick Man (repeated Christmas Day) and, last Christmas, Zog (repeated Christmas Day).
Rob, who famously voiced Snake for The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child (both being repeated on Christmas Eve on BBC1), said: “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.”
He adds: "I think the scale of it is beautiful. After I saw the first black-and-white drawings, I went home and said, ‘This one is going to be fantastic!’ And the finished film is just gorgeous."
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the BBC’s version of The Gruffalo and the 20th anniversary of the book’s original publication.
What time will The Snail and The Whale be shown on BBC1 on Christmas Day?
It will be screened at 2.30pm. Don't miss it!
And when is The Gruffalo on BBC1 on Christmas Eve?
The Gruffalo is being shown at 9.45am on Christmas Eve.
When is The Gruffalo's Child on BBC1 on Christmas Eve?
The Gruffalo's Child is on BBC1 on Christmas Eve at 10.15am - so straight after The Gruffalo!
When is Stick Man on BBC1 on Christmas Day?
Stick Man is on BBC1 on Christmas Day at 8.55 am.
When is Zog on BBC1 on Christmas Day?
Zog is on BBC1 on Christmas Day at 9.25am on BBC1.
When is Room on the Broom on Boxing Day on BBC1?
Room on the Broom is being shown on Boxing Day on BBC1 at 1.25pm.
When is The Highway Rat on?
Monday 30th December on BBC1 at 11.35am.
The Snail and The Whale is on Christmas Day at 2.30pm.
David is the What To Watch Editor and has over 20 years of experience in television journalism. He is currently writing about the latest television and film news for What To Watch.
Before working for What To Watch, David spent many years on TV Times magazine, interviewing some of television's most famous stars including Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland, singer Lionel Richie and wildlife legend Sir David Attenborough.
David started out as a writer on TV Times before becoming the title's deputy features editor and then features editor. During his time on TV Times, David also helped run the annual TV Times Awards. David is a huge Death in Paradise fan, although he's still failed to solve a case before the show's detective! He also loves James Bond and controversially thinks that Timothy Dalton was an excellent 007.
Other than watching and writing about telly, David loves playing cricket, going to the cinema, trying to improve his tennis and chasing about after his kids!
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