Make room for bewitching animated adventure
When: Christmas Day, 4.35pm.
Where: BBC One.
Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's books have proved to be fertile ground for big TV animated adventures.
First we had The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo's Child make the transition from page to screen – delighting youngsters brought up on the bedtime tales – and this year we have Room On The Broom.
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Perhaps not as well-known as The Gruffalo, with his knobbly knees and purple prickles, Room On the broom is still a charming story telling of a kindly witch who has a habit of losing her hat and of picking up stray animals.
But when a fearsome dragon, voiced by Timothy Spall, decides he'd quite like to eat the witch for tea, her new companions prove invaluable in coming to her rescue.
Voiced by an all-star cast including Gillian Anderson as the witch, Rob Brydon as her cat, Martin Clunes as a dog and David Walliams as a frog, with a narration by Simon Pegg, this animated adventure looks set to be perfect family viewing on Christmas Day.
Donaldson says she still hasn't got used to having her stories as the cornerstone of the Christmas TV schedules – with all the added pressure of having to entertain the nation, gathered in front of their TV sets.
An audience of 9.8 million tuned in to see the animated version of The Gruffalo, voiced by James Corden, last year.
"My idea is to enjoy it while it is happening, although it is quite nerve-racking," says Donaldson.
"And it does make me break my usual family rule of no television on Christmas Day.
"What is so lovely about the film is the way they have kept true to the story and the look of the book,
"My books are poems really and to my mind are a fixed entity."