The Snail and the Whale – Everything you need to know about the big BBC1 Christmas 2019 animation

All-star voice cast includes Dame Diana Rigg!

A new animated version of Julian Donaldson’s magical tale The Snail and the Whale will be one of the highlights of BBC1’s Christmas line-up, it’s been revealed.

Written by Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler, The Snail and The Whale follows the enchanting journey of a tiny snail who longs to see the world and manages to hitch a ride on the tail of a huge humpback whale.

The Snail and the Whale Cover

The Snail and the Whale was first published in 2003

And the BBC has revealed a fabulous voice cast for the animated version with Paddington’s Sally Hawkins as Snail, Gavin & Stacey’s Rob Brydon as Whale and former Bond girl Dame Diana Ring as the Narrator.

The Beeb has previously brought to screen other Donaldson creations, including The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo’s Child, Stick Man and, last Christmas, Zog.

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The Snail and The Whale BBC Christmas

The Snail and The Whale go on a joyous adventure

Rob, who famously voiced Snake for The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child, said: “It’s always so wonderful to work with Magic Light on these animated specials for Christmas. 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 experiences the vastness of our planet together.”

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the BBC’s version of The Gruffalo and the 20th anniversary of the book’s original publication.

MORE: Christmas TV 2019 – here’s everything we know so far!

Zog BBC1 Christmas 2018

Zog was one of the highlight’s of BBC1’s Christmas schedule last year

The Snail and the Whale will be screened on BBC1 this Christmas. It’s not yet been revealed exactly when it will be shown, however, Zog was shown on Christmas Day last year, so it seems likely it will be on then!