Channel 4 has announced a trio of top stars to head up their high-profile Christmas 2021 animated special Terry Pratchett’s The Abominable Snow Baby produced by Eagle Eye Drama, the production company recently launched by the team behind global drama brand Walter Presents, in association with Narrativia, the independent production company, launched in 2012 by one of Britain’s most illustrious and well-loved authors, Sir Terry Pratchett.
Terry Pratchett’s The Abominable Snow Baby, based on one of legendary author Sir Terry’s best-selling short stories tells the story of a quintessentially English town which is thrown into disarray by a huge snowfall and the dramatic appearance of a 14-feet tall Abominable Snow Baby. Shunned and feared by the local townsfolk, Snow Baby is rescued by an indomitable Granny who along with grandson Albert, welcomes him into her home, showering her new pet with love and affection, changing the town’s perception and helping the community overcome their initial prejudices.
Screen legend and comedy icon Julie Walters (Harry Potter, Mamma Mia, Paddington) will star as the voice of fearless ‘Granny’, whilst Hugh Dancy (Black Hawk Down, Ella Enchanted, Hannibal, Downton Abbey 2) will take on the role of her courageous grandson ‘Albert’ with narration from ‘Homeland’ star David Harewood (Homeland, Supergirl, Blood Diamond)
Commissioned by Channel 4 Head of Drama Caroline Hollick and Commissioning Editor Gwawr Lloyd, the programme is supported by a grant from the BFI’s Young Audiences Content Fund, the programme will be directed by Massimo Fenati and Executive Produced by Tess Cuming, with Eagle Eye Drama’s Jo McGrath and Walter Iuzzolino overseeing the project as joint creative directors and with Rob Wilkins as executive producer for Narrativia.
Created with traditional hand drawn animation techniques to capture the timeless nature of Terry Pratchett’s story, The Abominable Snow Baby is part of a long and established tradition of Channel 4’s animated Christmas specials such as The Snowman, The Tiger Who Came to Tea, and last year’s Quentin Blake’s Clown.
Channel 4 Head of Drama, Caroline Hollick said:
“Channel 4’s original Christmas animation has become a real highlight over the years and this year will be no exception. I’m delighted Julie Walters, Hugh Dancy and David Harewood will be bringing to life this wonderful, funny and moving yuletide tale. I know it’s only July but with this amazing cast line up I can hardly wait….it’s definitely going to be a merry Terry Christmas’
ABOUT EAGLE EYE DRAMA
Eagle Eye Drama was formed by Walter Iuzzolino, Jo McGrath and Jason Thorp, the same three founders and creative team behind the global drama company Walter Presents. The company focuses on producing English adaptations inspired by hit foreign language dramas, original productions and animations. Eagle Eye Drama has the full backing of Channel 4, who have a minority stake in the new company invested through the growth fund.
ABOUT THE YOUNG AUDIENCES CONTENT FUND
Managed by the BFI, the Young Audiences Content Fund (YACF) supports the creation of distinctive, high-quality content for audiences up to the age of 18. Up to £57 million over a three-year pilot, will support the creation of distinct, high-quality content for children and young audiences to be broadcast on free-to-access, Ofcom regulated television channels and online platforms.
Financed by UK Government as part of the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s Contestable Fund, the YACF aims to provide new avenues for creators of original content and bring new voices to the market, and back content which entertains, informs and reflects the experiences of young people growing up across the UK today. www.bfi.org.uk/yacf
The BFI is the UK’s lead organisation for film, television and the moving image. It is a cultural charity that:
· Curates and presents the greatest international public programme of world cinema for audiences; in cinemas, at festivals and online
· Cares for the BFI National Archive – the most significant film and television archive in the world
· Actively seeks out and supports the next generation of filmmakers
· Works with Government and industry to make the UK the most creatively exciting and prosperous place to make film internationally
Founded in 1933, the BFI is a registered charity governed by Royal Charter. The BFI Board of Governors is chaired by Josh Berger CBE.
Narrativia owns and controls the exclusive multimedia and merchandising rights to all of Sir Terry Pratchett's works. The company is headed by Managing Director Rob Wilkins and celebrated writer Rhianna Pratchett. In 2019 Narrativia saw the release of Good Omens with Amazon Studios and BBC Studios, based on the internationally bestselling novel by Sir Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman. In 2020 Narrativia announced a new partnership with Motive Pictures and Endeavor Content to develop a definitive Discworld screen universe. November 2021 will see the commencement of a year-long celebration lead by the author’s estate, commemorating fifty years of Terry Pratchett as a publisher author, and filming of a second season of Good Omens.