The Snail and the Whale, the latest Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler adaptation, is now streaming first on Showmax in Africa.
Animated in Cape Town by Triggerfish for Magic Light Pictures, The Snail and the Whale premiered on BBC One at Christmas to four-star reviews and over 7.5m viewers. RadioTimes calls the 26m animation “visually spectacular… a lovely treat to watch as a family…”
This is the story of a tiny snail with an itchy foot, who travels the world on the tail of a great big, grey-blue humpback whale. It’s a tale of shimmering ice and coral caves, of shooting stars and enormous waves, and of how the snail, so small and frail, saves the life of the humpback whale.
“Although it was first published in 2003, this story now seems more relevant than ever,” says RadioTimes, highlighting the “environmental message which kids will surely take to heart” and “a lovely friendship between two wildly different creatures.”
The Snail and the Whale is directed by two-time Oscar nominee Max Lang (The Gruffalo, Room On The Broom) and multi-award-winning South African Daniel Snaddon (Stick Man). This is their second Donaldson-Scheffler collaboration, following on from the success of Zog, which earned the keen but clumsy dragon gold stars everywhere from Shanghai International TV Festival to New York International Children’s Film Festival last year, not to mention nominations for International Emmy, Kidscreen, and Annie awards in 2020.
“For anyone who’s ever felt overwhelmed, like the world is too big for you to make a difference, The Snail and the Whale is an encouragement that even though you feel small – and may even be small – what you do still matters,” says Snaddon. “The important thing is to keep hoping and to keep trying.”
The Snail and the Whale is voiced by star British acting talent, with two-time Oscar nominee Sally Hawkins (Paddington, The Shape Of Water) as Snail, Rob Brydon (Gavin & Stacey, and every Julia Donaldson adaptation) as Whale, Cariad Lloyd (Peep Show) as Teacher and Dame Diana Rigg (Lady Tyrell in Game of Thrones – and Tracy Bond, James Bond’s only wife, in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service) as the narrator.
The Snail and the Whale is the fifth in a string of BBC Christmas adaptations from Magic Light and Triggerfish, following the multi-award-winning Donaldson-Scheffler adaptations Stick Man (2015), The Highway Rat (2017) and Zog (2019), as well as the Oscar-nominated Roald Dahl adaptation Revolting Rhymes (2016).
Before teaming up with Triggerfish, Magic Light also made three previous Donaldson-Scheffler adaptations: the Oscar-nominated The Gruffalo (2009), the BAFTA and Emmy winner Room On The Broom (2012), and Annecy winner The Gruffalo’s Child (2011), among other hits. All eight family classics are now streaming on Showmax.
What: The Snail and the Whale