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Where to watch all the Julia Donaldson cartoons this Christmas

With eight adaptations of Julia Donaldson's books airing on BBC One this Christmas, here's how you can watch every single one.

The Highway Rat, The Gruffalo's Child, Zog (BBC)

Fans of Julia Donaldson will be glad to hear that the many film adaptations of her classic children’s books will be coming to BBC One this Christmas, from The Gruffalo to brand new film Zog and the Flying Doctors.

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With eight film adaptations airing between Christmas Day and New Years Eve, the 30-minute specials starring the likes of Rob Brydon, David Tennant, Helena Bonham Carter, Lenny Henry and other acting legends are bound to bring a smile to your face.

While many of the films are able to watch on BBC iPlayer right now, here’s everything you need to know about which adaptations will be airing on BBC One over Christmas and how to watch them.

The Gruffalo

The Gruffalo
The Gruffalo
BBC

Airs: Christmas Day, 8.55am, BBC One

Arguably one of the most famous of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s books, The Gruffalo tells the story of mouse (voiced by James Corden) who lies to three carnivorous animals by telling them that he’s on his way to meet a scary-looking monster he calls a Gruffalo, however he soon ends up coming face to face with his imaginary creature.

Featuring the voices of Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane, Tom Wilkinson, John Hurt and Rob Brydon.

Buy Julia Donaldson’s The Gruffalo on Amazon or watch the film on BBC iPlayer.

The Gruffalo’s Child

The Gruffalo's Child
BBC

Airs: Christmas Day, 9.25am, BBC One

James Corden returns in The Gruffalo’s Child, a sequel to the BBC’s 2009 Christmas film based on Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s book of the same name.

In this sequel, we meet the Gruffalo’s child, who ignores her father’s warnings and goes out into the cold in search of the Big Bad Mouse, who she’s convinced doesn’t really exist.

Also starring Helena Bonham Carter, Rob Brydon, Robbie Coltrane, Shirley Henderson, John Hurt, Tom Wilkinson, Sam Lewis and Phoebe Givron-Taylor.

Buy Julia Donaldson’s The Gruffalo’s Child on Amazon or watch the film on BBC iPlayer.

The Snail and the Whale

The Snail and the Whale
BBC

Airs: Christmas Day, 11am, BBC One

The Snail and the Whale, which made its BBC debut last Christmas, is returning to our screens this year to charm audience once again.

Starring the likes of the late Diana Rigg, Sally Hawkins, Rob Brydon and Cariad Lloyd, the tale based on the Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s book of the same name follows an ambitious snail who travels across the world with the help of a grey-blue humpback whale. However, when noisy motorboats startle the whale, it’s up to the snail to save her friend.

Buy Julia Donaldson’s The Snail and the Whale on Amazon or watch the film on BBC iPlayer.

Zog

Zog

Airs: Christmas Day, 11.25am, BBC One

Based on Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s book of the same name, Zog follows the titular accident-prone dragon (Hugh Skinner) who wants to impress his teachers at Dragon School, but each year finds himself needing bumps and bruises patched up by a kind young girl. In his fourth year, he’s challenged with capturing a princess, but can the young girl help him with his hardest task yet?

With narration from Sir Lenny Henry and a cast featuring Tracey Ullman, Patsy Ferran, Kit Harington and Rob Brydon.

Buy Julia Donaldson’s Zog on Amazon or watch the film on BBC iPlayer.

Zog and the Flying Doctors

Zog and the Flying Doctors
BBC

Airs: Christmas Day, 2:35pm, BBC One

Zog and the Flying Doctors – this year’s brand new Julia Donaldson adaptation – sees the return of the titular dragon and his friends, Princess Pearl (Patsy Ferran) and Sir Gadabout (Daniel Ings) as they care for various creatures across the land. However, when bad weather strikes, the trio are forced to land at the palace, where Pearl is captured by her uncle The King. Will Zog and Gadabout be able to save their friend?

Lenny Henry returns to narrate the sequel with Mark Bonnar, Lucian Msamati and Alexandra Roach voicing characters. If you’re unable to watch Zog and the Flying Doctor’s Christmas Day debut, BBC One will be airing a repeat on Friday 1st January at 12:10pm.

Buy Julia Donaldson’s Zog and the Flying Doctors on Amazon.

Room On The Broom

Room on the Broom
Room on the Broom
BBC

Airs: Wednesday 30th December, 1:25pm, BBC One

Based on Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s book of the same name, Room on the Broom stars Gillian Anderson as a kind witch, who invites a surprising collection of animals to join her on her broom despite protests from her cat (Rob Brydon).

Featuring the voices of Martin Clunes, Sally Hawkins, Simon Pegg, Timothy Spall and David Walliams.

Buy Julia Donaldson’s Room on the Broom on Amazon or watch the film on BBC iPlayer.

The Highway Rat

The Highway Rat
BBC

Airs: Thursday 31st December, 1:25pm, BBC One

Starring David Tennant as the Highway Rat, this 2017 Christmas film based on Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s book of the same name follows the ravenous rodent as he searches for sugary treats to steal until his sweet tooth leads him to a sticky end.

Featuring the voices of Rob Brydon, Frances de la Tour, Tom Hollander, Nina Sosanya and Husaam Kiani.

Buy Julia Donaldson’s The Highway Rat on Amazon or watch the film on BBC iPlayer.

Stick Man

Stick Man
BBC

Airs: Thursday 31st December, 1:50pm, BBC One

This 2015 Christmas treat, based on Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s book, tells the story of Stick Man – a father who goes on an incredible adventure across the season to make it home for Christmas. From getting thrown in a river and landing on a fire, to escaping from a swan’s nest and a dog, Stick Man travels far and wide to get back to his family.

Featuring the voices of Hugh Bonneville, Rob Brydon, Martin Freeman, Sally Hawkins, Jennifer Saunders and Russell Tovey.

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Buy Julia Donaldson’s Stick Man on Amazon or watch the film on BBC iPlayer.

Looking for something else to watch? Check out our TV Guide.