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Zog the dragon to bring some animated magic to BBC1 for Christmas 2018

We enjoyed the Highway Rat last Christmas – but the BBC is already hard at work on another Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler adaptation

Published: Tuesday, 23rd January 2018 at 8:00 am

If you enjoyed BBC1 animation The Highway Rat this Christmas, voiced by former Doctor Who star David Tennant, then you’ll be pleased to hear that Auntie has decided on another Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler book for Yuletide 2018.

Advertisement can reveal that Zog, the pair’s delightful story about a hapless young dragon and his unlikely friendship with a young girl, is getting the animation treatment from Magic Light Pictures.

Magic Light is the production company behind the other Christmas versions of their stories – Room on the Broom, Stick Man, The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo’s Child as well as The Highway Rat - and their Christmas shows have now become a BBC tradition.

A total of 6m viewers watched The Highway Rat last Christmas – a share of 31.2% of the viewing – who were drawn to the story of the rodent who terrorises his fellow animals into handing everything they have over to him before, eventually, getting his comeuppance

This of course means that Zog has big paws to fill with his own story, about his adventures at dragon school and encounters with a young girl who would rather be a Doctor than a hapless Princess who has to be rescued by a Knight.

Zoe will be directed by Max Lang, Oscar nominated director of Room on the Broom and The Gruffalo, and by Daniel Snaddon, co-director of Stick Man. The film is being produced by Michael Rose and Martin Pope of Magic Light Pictures.

Zog was first published in 2010 and has sold more than 1.5 million copies as well as winning the Galaxy National Children’s Book of the Year Award.

Michael Rose, Co-Founder, Magic Light Pictures said: “It’s wonderful to be bringing this amazing Donaldson/Scheffler title to BBC One following The Highway Rat’s success. Zog is a tremendous character in a world of dragons, princesses and knights, an adventure the family can all enjoy watching together."


Overall, Magic Light productions featured across the 2017 BBC One Christmas and New Year schedule –including repeats of The Gruffalo, Stick Man and Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes– garnered 19 million total viewers.


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