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ABC Family Premieres Animated Film, The Gruffalo, Tuesday, Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. ET/PT

25Days.jpgThe animated half-hour special The Gruffalo will make its US debut on ABC Family on Thursday, December 9, at 7:00 p.m. ET/PT as part of the network’s annual 25 Days of Christmas programming event. Based on Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s best selling children’s picture book, The Gruffalo features an all-star voice cast including Robbie Coltrane (Harry Potter film series) as the Gruffalo, Helena Bonham Carter (Alice in Wonderland) as the narrator, Rob Brydon (TV’s “Gavin & Stacey”) as the Snake, James Corden (TV’s “Gavin & Stacey”) as the Mouse, John Hurt (V for Vendetta) as the Owl, and Tom Wilkinson (Michael Clayton) as the Fox. Published in the US by Penguin Books®, The Gruffalo celebrated its tenth anniversary last year and has been translated into 40 different languages selling over 4 million copies worldwide.

The Gruffalo tells the magical tale of a mouse who takes a walk though the woods in search of a nut. Encountering three predators – all of whom wish to eat him – a fox, an owl and a snake – the plucky mouse has to use his wits to survive.  He announces that he is meeting a monster with terrible features, a ‘Gruffalo’, and the three predators are each panicked into running away.   The mouse is now increasingly confident that there is nothing that can touch him, or so he thinks. When he rounds a corner and comes face to face with the terrible creature of his imagination, the Gruffalo itself, the mouse has to dig deep to escape the danger and ultimately restore peace to the woods.

Produced by Magic Light Pictures, the 30-minute animation was completed in 2009 and premiered in the UK on BBC1 on Christmas Day. Axel Scheffler’s classic artwork is brought to life with a unique mixture of model and CGI animation. Michael Rose (Wallace & Gromit, Chicken Run) and Martin Pope (The Heart of Me, Lawless Heart) have produced through Magic Light Pictures. The film is directed by Jakob Schuh and Max Lang and was animated at the award winning Studio Soi in Ludwigsburg, Germany.  Sold and broadcast internationally, The Gruffalo was nominated for a BAFTA and has won numerous awards including the Prix Jeunesse and the Crystal for Best TV Special at Annecy Animation Festival.

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