Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 1 July 2015

DVD: The Gruffalo (U)

Reviewed by Ben Walsh

Published 19/03/2010 | 14:06

A ridiculously starry cast – including Helena Bonham Carter, John Hurt, Tom Wilkinson, James Corden and Robbie Coltrane – voice this witty adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's children's tale of a shrewd little mouse who outwits a ravenous snake, owl and a fox with the threat of a gruffalo, a creature with terrible claws, orange eyes and purple prickles all over its back.

In the old days, one voice – Bernard Cribbins, say – would have voiced the whole lot, no trouble, but this was the centrepiece of the BBC's Christmas schedule so they threw the kitchen sink at it.

It's an undeniably slick animation and my two-year-old son loves it, so naturally I've seen it over 20 times; without too much pain. However, the pacing's a wee bit ponderous and it lacks satisfactory bite.

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