Magic Light Pictures, the company behind the BBC’s animated Christmas specials of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s books, has cast Olivia Colman and Matt Smith as voice leads in the next special, Superworm.
Olivia Colman will be the narrator and Matt Smith is playing the hero, Superworm.
They are joined by Patricia Allison (Sex Education) as Butterfly, and Rob Brydon (Gavin & Stacey) as the Crow, with other cast to be announced later in the year.
Blue Zoo is animating the show.
Olivia Colman said: “This is such a lovely project to be involved with. When reading the script, and imagining all those goings on at the end of the garden, I could really get a feel for the pure fun and joy that the film will bring. I’ve always loved these charming productions at Christmas and I’m delighted to be voicing the narrator.”
Matt Smith said: “I’m delighted to play the part of Superworm! And join such a fabulous cast of actors, artists and storytellers. What fun to be part of the BBC’s Christmas line up in this great children’s tale.”
Patricia Allison said: “The Magic Light animations are such important part of the Christmas TV schedule, I’m excited to become part of that tradition. Butterfly is a very determined character, and a loyal friend, so I’m looking forward to recording a lot.”
Rob Brydon, playing Crow said: “This will be my ninth appearance in a Donaldson/ Scheffler adaptation. Working on these Magic Light productions is always a delight and deciding how to voice characters is such fun. I love watching them on TV at Christmas – a lovely way to round off my year.”
Donaldson and Scheffler, creators of The Gruffalo, collaborated once again on this animated half hour, which has been acquired by Charlotte Moore, BBC Chief Content Officer and Tommy Bulfin, Commissioning Editor, BBC Drama.
Superworm is a hero with a difference. Super-long and super-strong, he’s always on hand to help out all the other animals and insects – whether he’s saving baby toad from an accident, rescuing beetle from falling down a well, or even good-naturedly offering himself up as a skipping rope for some bored bees. Superworm and his best friend Butterfly make a great team but Superworm too often takes all the credit. When the wicked Wizard Lizard hears about Superworm’s special skills, he sends his servant Crow to kidnap Superworm. Despite everything, with her friend in deep trouble, Butterfly comes to the rescue, convincing the other creatures to help her with a daring plan…
Superworm is the ninth TV adaptation of a Donaldson/Scheffler title for BBC One and BBC iPlayer.
Zog and the Flying Doctors, which aired on Christmas Day 2020 and starred Sir Lenny Henry and Rob Brydon, secured 7 million viewers in all-screen +30day figures.
Superworm is being directed by Sarah Scrimgeour and Jac Hamman, from a script by Max Lang and Suzanne Lang. Producer is Barney Goodland with Executive Producers Martin Pope & Michael Rose for Magic Light Pictures. The composer is Rene Aubry, who has written the music for the collection of Magic Light films. Animation services will be provided by Blue Zoo Animation Studio.
Tommy Bulfin, Commissioning Editor, BBC Drama said: “The Donaldson and Scheffler adaptations are a lynchpin of the Christmas schedule and we’re thrilled to be collaborating with them and the award-winning Magic Light Pictures again this year. I can’t wait for audiences to fall in love with Superworm, who is super-long and super-strong.”
Martin Pope, Co-Founder Magic Light Pictures: “We’re delighted to be making Superworm for BBC One. It’s a lovely comedy. Superworm’s a brilliant central character, who has great friends who will ultimately triumph over the wonderfully entertaining villain, in this delightful story based on the book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.”
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