Release Date: 25th December 2009
Director: Max Lang & Jakob Schuh
Writer: Julia Donaldson, Jakob Schuh & Max Lang
Producer: Martin Pope & Michael Rose
Executive Producer: Polly Hill
Runtime: 27 minutes
The protagonist of The Gruffalo is a mouse. The story of the mouse’s walk through the woods unfolds in two phases; in both, the mouse uses cunning to evade danger.
On his way the mouse encounters several dangerous animals (a fox, an owl, and a snake). Each of these animals, clearly intending to eat the mouse, invites him back to their home for a meal. The cunning mouse declines each offer. To dissuade further advances, he tells each animal that he has plans to dine with his friend, a gruffalo, a monster-like hybrid that’s half grizzly bear and half buffalo, whose favourite food happens to be the relevant animal, and describes the features of the gruffalo’s monstrous anatomy. Frightened that the gruffalo might eat it, each animal flees. Knowing the gruffalo to be fictional, the mouse gloats thus:
Silly old fox/owl/snake, doesn’t he know?
there’s no such thing as a gruffalo!
After getting rid of the last animal, the mouse is shocked to encounter a real gruffalo – with all the frightening features the mouse thought that he was inventing. The gruffalo threatens to eat the mouse, but again the mouse is cunning: he tells the gruffalo that he, the mouse, is the scariest animal in the forest. Laughing, the gruffalo agrees to follow the mouse as he demonstrates how feared he is. The two walk through the forest, encountering in turn the animals that had earlier menaced the mouse. Each is terrified by the sight of the pair and runs off – and each time the gruffalo becomes more impressed with the mouse’s apparent toughness. Exploiting this, the mouse threatens to eat the gruffalo, which flees.
Helena Bonham Carter…as Mother Squirrel (Narrator)
James Corden…as Mouse
Robbie Coltrane…as The Gruffalo
Tom Wilkinson…as Fox
John Hurt…as Owl
Rob Brydon…as Snake
Sam Lewis…as First Little Squirrel
Phoebe Givron-Taylor…as Second Little Squirrel