The Smeds and the Smoos — air date, voice cast, plot, trailer and all about the Christmas animation

Aliens ahoy! The Smeds and the Smoos comes to BBC1 for Christmas 2022.
Aliens ahoy! The Smeds and the Smoos comes to BBC1 for Christmas 2022. (Image credit: BBC/Magic Light)

The Smeds and the Smoos is the latest magical animation from Magic Light Pictures and it's coming to BBC1 for Christmas 2022. Christmas wouldn’t be the same without an on-screen animation from the pen of legendary children’s author Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler (opens in new tab) and this year’s offering, The Smeds and The Smoos, based on another of their best-selling children's books, is sure to be a festive highlight.

After the success of animations such as Gruffalo, The Gruffalo’s Child, Stick Man, The Snail and the Whale and Room on the Broom, the latest of Julia Donaldson’s books to be brought to life focuses on a star-crossed romance that takes place between the children of two warring tribes. But while the plot might sound slightly familiar, fear not as it has definitely been given the Julia Donaldson touch and includes a gripping space adventure across the galaxy. And with Adjoa Andoh, Meera Syal and Bill Bailey lending their voices to the characters it looks set to be a sure-fire hit. 

“The main themes of the film are that we should just accept differences in others. I think the thing I get from it is that the older generation tend to be more resistant to change. And actually, sometimes it takes the younger generation to sort of breach that divide,” says Bill Bailey, who voices the role of Grandfather Smed.  

Here’s everything you need to know about BBC1's charming animation The Smeds and The Smoos

The Smeds and The Smoos release date

The Smeds and The Smoos will premiere on BBC1 on Christmas Day (Sunday December 25) at 2.30pm and then become available on BBCiPlayer so a big part of children's programming for Christmas TV 2022. When a US release date is confirmed we’ll post it on here. 

Is there a trailer for The Smeds and The Smoos? 

Yes! A trailer for The Smeds and The Smoos released by Magic Light Pictures and the BBC. With Axel Scheffler behind the illustrations, the animated film is as magical. Take a look below...

The Smeds and The Smoos plot 

The Smeds and The Smoos is set on a faraway planet and follows Janet (voiced by Ashna Rabheru), a young Smed, and Smoo Bill (Daniel Ezra) who become friends. The Smeds and the Smoos have been at loggerheads for as long as anyone can remember and Janet and Bill’s relationship is a source of huge displeasure to both families. But when the pair realise their families will never accept their friendship, they fly away in the Smed’s red rocket. At first the two families blame one another but they soon realise that to get their young ones back they’ll have to work together, so they head off in the Smoo’s blue rocket for a journey through outer space. They travel across the planet Grimbletosh, coated in grime, and Glurch, which is covered in slime, meeting all manner of weird and wonderful characters along the way. But will they find Janet and Bill?  

Can the Smeds and the Smoos learn to get along?

Can the Smeds and the Smoos learn to get along? (Image credit: BBC)

The Smeds and The Smoos voice cast

As with all previous Julia Donaldson festive adaptations on BBC1 there's an all-star voice cast for BBC1's latest offering The Smeds and The Smoos, which is narrated by The Shape of Water star Sally Hawkins...

Daniel Ezra voices Bill
Daniel stars in the series A Discovery of Witches and All American. He’s also had roles in The Missing, Prime Suspect 1973, Undercover and Vera. 

Ashna Rabheru voices Janet
Ashna played Gwen in the hit Netflix show Sex Education and this year starred in the creepy series Red Rose. She’s also appeared in Indian Summers, Teenage Kicks and Year of the Rabbit. 

Bill Bailey on playing  Grandfather Smed
“Grandpa Smed, he's the kind of patriarch of the Smed family, and he's very much the kind of protector of the family, and he's in charge,” says Bill who voices the role. “And he's quite sort of traditional, and a bit stuck in his ways. And he's sort of a little bit of a stick in the mud, really, but he's kind. He's not an ogre. He's a kindly old grandpa who cares about his family, I think that's the best way to describe him.” Comedian Bill is best known for appearing on comedy panel shows such as Have I Got News For You, 8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown and Never Mind The Buzzcocks. He took part in Strictly Come Dancing (see pictured below with partner Oti), winning the show in 2020. Bill’s also acted in shows such as Worzel Gummidge, In the Long Run, Hustle, Doctor Who and Black Books.  

Adjoa Andoh as Grandmother Smoo 
Adjoa says: “There's just the sort of ignorant prejudice that people can harbour about each other until they come together and actually love and that survival and kinship are the things that bind all of us. Grandma Smoo, utterly capable, she can drive a rocket, she can clump about the place, she can blow her trumpet, delight in her kids and her grandkids and she can hate with a passion as well. Grandma Smoo's not a woman of mild tastes, everything's fairly strong with her. So when she's your implacable enemy, she's implacably your enemy. But you could change her mind at any moment and then she will love you to death.”
Adjoa plays Lady Agatha Danbury in the series Bridgerton and has starred in Silent Witness, Broadchurch, The Awakening, The Bill, Casualty and Doctor Who. She also starred in EastEnders in the 1990s, playing Karen. 

Meera Syal and Rob Brydon as Aunt Smed and Uncle Smoo
Yesterday star Meera Syal will voice Aunt Smed while Gavin & Stacey’s Rob Brydon is Uncle Smoo. 

Bill Bailey and Oti Mabuse dancing in Strictly.

Bill Bailey and Oti Mabuse dancing in Strictly. (Image credit: BBC/Guy Levy)

A brief history of previous Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler adaptations 

Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler (opens in new tab) who created the hit book The Smeds and the Smoos (opens in new tab) are the dream team when it comes to children’s books and many have been adapted for the screen, starting with The Gruffalo in 2009. It was a huge success, so was followed by The Gruffalo’s Child two years later. Since then Room on the Broom, Stick Man, The Highway Rat, Zog, Zog and the Flying Doctors, The Snail and The Whale and Superworm have been turned into hit movies. 

Superworm and the Wizard Lizard.

Superworm and the Wizard Lizard. (Image credit: BBC/Magic Light Pictures)
Nicholas Cannon
TV Content Director on TV Times, What's On TV and TV & Satellite Week

I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus Whattowatch.com. I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s. Outside of work I swim every morning, support Charlton Athletic football club and get nostalgic about TV shows Cagney & Lacey, I Claudius, Dallas and Tenko. I'm totally on top of everything good coming up too.