Channel 4 has commissioned Terry Pratchett’s The Abominable Snow Baby for December 2021. Produced by Eagle Eye Drama, the production company recently launched by the team behind global drama brand Walter Presents, in association with Narrativia, Sir Terry’s independent production company, the animated Christmas special is based on a short story from his bestselling book of Christmas tales (Father Christmas’ Fake Beard).
The magic of Terry Pratchett, the legendary national treasure and maverick British author who sold over 100 million books worldwide, comes to life in this half-hour programme. The Abominable Snow Baby tells the story of a quintessentially English town which is thrown into disarray by a huge snowfall and the dramatic appearance of a 14-foot tall Abominable Snow Baby.
Shunned and feared by the local townsfolk, Snow Baby is rescued by the 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.
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, and 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: Terry Pratchett’s The Abominable Snow Baby is a magnificent, heart-warming, riotously funny story about love, courage and compassion. Witty, entertaining and deeply moving in equal measure, it captures the spirit of Christmas with Sir Terry’s unique charm.
Eagle Eye Drama’s Chief Creative Officer Jo McGrath added: Sir Terry Pratchett rightly remains one of the world’s most read and passionately loved authors for readers of all ages and we are honoured to be working with Narrativia to bring this abominably brilliant story to life on screen for Channel 4 at Christmas. True to form, The Abominable Snow Baby is quirky, original and very, very funny and it’s a real coup for Eagle Eye to add this brilliant gem to its sparkling and expanding roster of animated tales.
Rob Wilkins, Managing Director of Narrativia and Manager of Sir Terry Pratchett’s Estate said:
In his lifetime, Terry wrote over seventy books, which have been translated into 41 languages. He started his career as a writer of short stories for young people, who remained his favourite audience. The Abominable Snow Baby showcases Terry’s firmly held belief in not judging people on appearances, his reverence for the elderly, and his very genuine love of Christmas. Narrativia is delighted to see Terry’s work brought to life by the talented team at Eagle Eye Drama, in the fiftieth year of Terry Pratchett being a published author.
Jackie Edwards, Head of Fund from the BFI’s Young Audiences Content Fund commented: We are absolutely thrilled to be supporting another Christmas special with Eagle Eye Drama, following the huge success of Quentin Blake’s Clown last year. The Abominable Snow Baby will beautifully bring to life the adored British story, diving into the fantastically funny world of the late Sir Terry Pratchett for a festive treat, sharing magic to young audiences this 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. The 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 a cultural charity, and the UK’s lead organisation for film, television and the moving image. Our mission is to:
· Support creativity and actively seek out the next generation of UK storytellers
· Grow and care for the BFI National Archive, the world’s largest film and television archive
· Offer the widest range of UK and international moving image culture through our programmes and festivals - delivered online and in venue
· Use our knowledge to educate and deepen public appreciation and understanding
· Work with Government and industry to ensure the continued growth of the UK’s screen industries
Founded in 1933, the BFI is a registered charity governed by Royal Charter. The BFI is the distributor of National Lottery funds for film. The BFI Board of Governors is chaired by Tim Richards.
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