Channel 4 goes on a Bear Hunt with new film based on the much-loved Michael Rosen children’s story

A 30-minute film of We're Going on a Bear Hunt will air in 2016... we're not scared!

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, Michael Rosen’s hugely popular illustrated children’s book, is to be made into a Channel 4 animated film.

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The story, which tells the tale of a young family embarking on a hunt for a bear will be made into a 30-minute special to air next year.

The story is being slightly expanded from Rosen’s original book and sees Stan, Katie, Rosie, Max, the baby and Rufus the dog left home alone one day before Christmas after their parents go to the rescue of Grandma. 

The children decide it would be fun to go on a bear hunt, spurred on by Katie’s love of grizzly bears. After swishing and swashing through the long grass, splashing and sploshing through rivers and squelching and squelching through mud, Rufus the dog picks up the scent of a bear…

The original story written by Rosen is much shorter and contains the refrain:

“We’re going on a bear hunt.

We’re going to catch a big one.

What a beautiful day!

We’re not scared.” 

Rosen will develop his existing story which is a children’s favourite.

The animation will contain some of the original artwork by illustrator Helen Oxenbury from the original book which has sold more 9 million copies in 23 languages including Chinese, Russian and Maori.

The project is being overseen by Lupus Films, makers of C4’s seasonal hit The Snowman and The Snowdog, which received an audience of 7.1 million when it premiered on Channel 4 in December 2012.

Rosen said: “I am absolutely delighted that Channel 4 has commissioned this animation. Lupus have a great record in this field and I am very excited to be part of the project. Helen Oxenbury’s wonderful art work provides a powerful family saga, full of imagined or real trials and these pictures will give a basis for a moving Christmas drama.”

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Jay Hunt, Channel 4’s chief creative officer, added: “Going on a Bear Hunt is a magical book that will be brought alive for a whole new audience by Lupus Films. I can’t wait.”