Triggerfish Animation Studios – the Cape Town-based company that made its name with African-themed Hollywood films and has a talent scouting partnership with Disney – will be adapting The Highway Rat children’s book into an animated special.
This will be a thirty minute holiday special which will be aired on the channel BBC One for Christmas of 2017.
The Highway Rat was written in 2011 by famed children’s author and illustrator duo Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.
The book (and, presumably, the animation) is summed up below if you’re unfamiliar:
A greedy rat who tyrannises animals along the highway, as he steals their food at every opportunity: clover from a, rabbit, nuts from a squirrel, and a leaf from some ants. He even steals, his own horse’s hay. However, what he really craves are cakes and all ,things sugary, and it’s his sweet tooth that finally leads him to a sticky outcome.
Also involved in the project is the production company Magic Light Pictures. Triggerfish, BBC One and Magic Light have worked together in the past, creating the animation Stick Man which won an ward at the Annecy Animation Festival, among many other accolades. Magic Light has produced two other Donaldson/Scheffler-inspired animations for “the Beeb”, the hugely successful Gruffalo and Room on a Brrom.
Between Stick Man and The Highway Rat, Triggerfish is also currently working on an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes which will be this year’s Christmas Special on BBC One.
Speaking of that overseas company, there’s no word yet as to when the rest of South Africa will get to watch The Highway Rat. After its release at the end of 2017 we’ll keep our ears to the ground to let you know when you’ll be able to catch it.
What is available for you to watch is a promo of Stick Man and Dogshow With Cat. While these may be cartoons intended for a young audience, it’s still top notch, funny work. At the Disney Annual Showcase 2016 we got to see an unreleased test reel of Dogshow With Cat that blended physical humour, videogames and some anthropomorphic soccer balls to create something great.