Apple Original Films announced that the animated short film The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, based on the internationally best-selling book of the same name by celebrated author Charlie Mackesy, will be coming to Apple TV+ on Christmas Day. The film, featuring Mackesy’s distinctive illustrations brought to life in full color with beautiful hand-drawn animation, stars BAFTA Award winner Tom Hollander (The Night Manager) as The Mole, Golden Globe and SAG Award winner Idris Elba (Luther) as The Fox, Golden Globe Award winner Gabriel Byrne (All Things Bright and Beautiful) as The Horse, and newcomer Jude Coward Nicoll as The Boy. The film is presented in partnership with the BBC.

A story of kindness, friendship, courage and hope for viewers of all ages in a heartwarming, classically animated film based on Charlie Mackesy’s book, The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse. The poignant and heartfelt journey follows the unlikely friendship of a boy, a mole, a fox and a horse travelling together in the boy’s search for home.

“The journey of making the film of The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse with my incredibly gifted animation team has been a magical one,” says author Charlie Mackesy. “I never dreamt it would happen — but it’s so moving to think the story will be watched at Christmas. I really hope it brings a bit of joy, laughter and comfort.”

Matthew Freud presents a Charlie Mackesy film, produced by Emmy Award winner and Academy Award nominee Cara Speller (Love, Death & Robots, Pear Cider and Cigarettes, Rocket & Groot) of NoneMore Productions and Emmy Award winner J.J. Abrams and Hannah Minghella of Bad Robot Productions. Directed by Peter Baynton (The Tiger Who Came To Tea) and Charlie Mackesy, the film is adapted from the original book in collaboration with Jon Croker (Paddington 2). The film is executive produced by Jony Ive and Academy Award nominee Woody Harrelson (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri). Original score by composer Isobel Waller-Bridge, performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra and conducted by Geoff Alexander.

The film is presented in partnership with the BBC, who will premiere The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse in the UK, with the film available on Apple TV+ outside of the UK, this Christmas.