An animated version of Stick Man, the much-loved children’s picture book, will premiere on BBC One in the coveted 4:45pm Christmas Day slot – a prime time slot that has previously attracted 10 million viewers.
Stick Man was produced by Magic Light Pictures, an Oscar-nominated and BAFTA and International Emmy-winning production company in the UK, and animated in Cape Town by Triggerfish. The 26-minute film was directed by London-based Jeroen Jaspaert and co-directed by South African Daniel Snaddon.
The stellar cast of British acting talent includes Martin Freeman (The Hobbit) as Stick Man, Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey) as Santa, and Jennifer Saunders (Absolutely Fabulous) as the narrator, as well as Rob Brydon, Oscar-nominee Sally Hawkins and Russell Tovey.
“Stick Man lives in the family tree with Stick Lady Love and their stick children three,” until he’s taken further and further away from home on an epic adventure across the seasons. He runs from a playful dog, gets thrown in a river, escapes from a swan’s nest, and even ends up on top of a fire, as he tries to get back to his family in time for Christmas.
The Stick Man book was written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler, creators of the modern classic The Gruffalo.
The story is Magic Light’s fourth adaptation of a book by the UK’s bestselling picture book team, following Room On The Broom, The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child.
Room On The Broom premiered on BBC One at Christmas 2012, receiving a 2014 Oscar nomination and winning a BAFTA, an International Emmy and a Royal Television Society Award. The Gruffalo has won over 15 awards as well as nominations for an Oscar, a BAFTA and The Cartoon D’Or. The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child delivered audiences of over 10 million to BBC One for their respective Christmas transmissions.
Stick Man will have its African premiere at The Cape Town International Animation Festival in February 2016.
Triggerfish and Magic Light Pictures have already started collaborating on a new project, Revolting Rhymes, based on Roald Dahl’s classic poems, which were illustrated by Quentin Blake. The two half-hour animations, which retell and interweave classic fairy stories such as Cinderella and Jack and the Beanstalk, are for Christmas 2016, the author’s centenary year.
Revolting Rhymes is being produced by Martin Pope and Michael Rose for Magic Light Pictures, and directed by Jakob Schuh and Jan Lachauer.