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Animated in Cape Town by Triggerfish for Magic Light Pictures, Zog premiered on BBC last Christmas to five-star reviews and has since been named Best Animation at Shanghai International TV Festival and taken home the Audience Award for ages 3-6 at New York International Children’s Film Festival.
Zog is based on Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s much loved 2010 picture book, which has sold over 1.5 million copies, won the Galaxy National Children’s Book of the Year Award in the UK, and cracked BookTrust’s list of 10 Of The Best Feminist Books For Children.
Zog is the keenest but clumsiest pupil in his class at Dragon School, where he longs to win a gold star as he learns how to fly, roar and breathe fire. He keeps meeting a kindly young girl, who patches up his bumps and bruises, but can she help him with his trickiest school assignment yet: capturing a princess?
Hugh Skinner (Harlots) plays the clumsy dragon; Patsy Ferran (Jamestown) is the kindly young girl; Kit Harington (Jon Snow in Game of Thrones) is the bumbling knight Sir Gadabout; Sir Lenny Henry (Broadchurch) is the narrator; Tracey Ullman is Madame Dragon; and Rob Brydon is many characters, as usual for a Magic Light special.
Zog placed fifth on the UK’s viewing chart this festive season, with only 200 000 fewer viewers than the Queen’s Christmas broadcast. The Telegraph praised the short as a “hypnotising, inspiring tale for all the family”; Den of Geek called it “a thing of perfectly spherical loveliness; it is lovely from every conceivable angle”; The Guardian warned parents “once this has been added to iPlayer you may never be allowed to watch anything else again on your TV – ever!”; and Donaldson told The Herald that Zog was her favourite BBC adaptation to date.
Zog is the fourth in a string of BBC Christmas adaptations from Triggerfish and Magic Light, following the multi-award-winning Donaldson-Scheffler adaptations Stick Man (2015) and The Highway Rat (2017) as well as the Oscar-nominated Roald Dahl adaptation Revolting Rhymes (2016).
Before teaming up with Triggerfish, Magic Light also made three previous Donaldson-Scheffler adaptations: the Oscar-nominated The Gruffalo (2009) and Room On The Broom (2012) and Annecy winner The Gruffalo’s Child (2011).
All seven family classics are now streaming on Showmax.