We first introduced Cicak Junior to the story of The Gruffalo at nine months of age. It quickly became his favorite story, and for a period of maybe six months I can count on one hand the number of times that he didn’t have this book as his bedtime story. When I realised that the book had been made into the Gruffalo Movie, I eagerly ordered it from Amazon UK.
Cicak Junior’s face, the first time we watched it, was incredible. He recognised the words, and he recognised the characters…..but the voices weren’t Mummy’s voices…….and the characters could move…….!! He was enthralled. Even now, nearly three years later, he still gets excited when the owl first appears and swoops down towards the mouse, and he gets closer and closer to the mouse, and closer and closer to the screen, until he almost flies straight out of the TV screen……making Junior flinch and squeal.
The first time we saw this scene he was stood a foot in front of the TV, and he sprinted back to the sofa and jumped on my knee, convinced that the owl was coming for him!
The voices for the film were perfectly chosen. Helen Bonham Carter provides the cool and calm narrative, in the guise of Mother Squirrel, James Corden is the Mouse, who uses his tenacity and cheek to outwit the Gruffalo, Robbie Coltrane is the larger than life Gruffalo, John Hurt is the wise Owl, Tom Wilkinson is the sly Fox and Rob Brydon the slippery Snake. Sticking very closely to the original story by Julia Donaldson, the Gruffalo film manages to retain all the charm of the book, whilst adding just enough extras to make a 40 minute film.
Full justice was also done to Axel Scheffler’s original illustrations, with the animations bringing a whole new depth of detail and color to the story. I don’t want to spoil the plot of the story for those of you who have not read the book or seen the movie, so I will just say that Mouse uses all his charm and luck to outwit Owl, Fox and Snake on his journey through the wood, and then managed to survive his meeting with the Gruffalo. This story is a true children’s classic, and if you have not read the book or watched the movie then I recommend you do so as soon as possible, whether or not you have children to share it with.Buy Now