Get ready for a big adventure with The Snail and the Whale film this Christmas!

The Snail and the Whale film, an adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s delightful tale of friendship and adventure, is coming to TV this Christmas. Here’s everything you need to know.

Time and time again, Oscar-nominated production company Magic Light Pictures has brought a sprinkle of festive magic to our screens with their charming adaptations of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s much-loved books. This Christmas, gather the family around the TV for their adaptation of The Snail and The Whale. Here’s everything you need to know about The Snail and the Whale movie, as well as some fun activities to keep little fans of The Snail and the Whale entertained over Christmas and beyond. ​

All images © Magic Light Pictures Ltd.

What is Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s The Snail and the Whale about?

The Snail and the Whale is a story of two friends on an epic adventure. A little snail longs to see the world and hitches a ride on the tail of an enormous whale. The unlikely friends go on an incredible journey and see icebergs and volcanoes, penguins and sharks. But then disaster strikes! The whale is beached in a bay . . . can the little snail’s big plan save the day?

Watch a clip from The Snail and the Whale here:

© Magic Light Pictures Ltd.

When is The Snail and the Whale on TV?

The Snail and the Whale will premiere at 2.30pm on Christmas Day 2019 on BBC One.

The Whale swimming with fish

Who stars in The Snail and the Whale?

Rob Brydon, who has starred in all Magic Light’s animated specials, will voice Whale, while Sally Hawkins, who appeared in Paddington and The Shape of Water, will star as Snail. The animation will also feature the voices of Cariad Lloyd (Peep Show, Murder in Successville) as Teacher and Dame Diana Rigg (Game of Thrones, Victoria) as the Narrator. Rob Brydon said, ‘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 experience the vastness of our planet together.’

The snail on a blackboard with the teacher

What other Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler books have been made into films?

Magic Light Pictures have also adapted The GruffaloThe Gruffalo’s ChildRoom on the BroomStickmanThe Highway Rat and Zog into animated films.

The snail riding on the back of the whale

If your children are fans of The Snail and the Whale book and film, they’ll love these activities from The Snail and the Whale Nature Trail.

The Snail and the Whale Seaside Nature Trail

Book cover for The Snail and the Whale Seaside Nature Trail

Illustrated by Axel Scheffler

Pack a picnic and spend a day at the coast with this fun nature activity book inspired by the story of The Snail and the Whale. The book’s nature trail encourages children to learn about the flora and fauna they can find at the seaside, with all of the activities linked to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) of the British school curriculum. There are lots of ideas for seaside themed activities that can be done at home too!

Children who enjoy The Snail and the Whale can explore Julia Donaldson's other books with Axel Scheffler and other talented illustrators.

The Snail and the Whale Festive Edition

by Julia Donaldson

Book cover for The Snail and the Whale Festive Edition

This edition of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s creation features a redesigned wintery cover, making it the perfect Christmas gift.