Channel 4 has set the core cast for We’re Going On A Bear Hunt.
Olivia Colman (Broadchurch, The Night Manager), Mark Williams (Harry Potter, Father Brown) and Pam Ferris (Matilda, Call the Midwife) have signed on to star in the channel’s half-hour animated film, which is set to air this Christmas, TVWise has learned. The trio will voice Mum, Dad and Grandma, respectively. Michael Rosen, who co-authored the book the one-off is based on, will lend his voice to the bear.
“We’re delighted to welcome Olivia, Mark and Pam on board this fantastic family adventure, and Michael playing the bear is an inspired touch”, said Channel 4’s Head of Drama Piers Wenger, who commissioned the one-off alongside Chief Creative Officer Jay Hunt, Deputy Head of Drama Beth Willis and Head of Specialist Factual John Hay. “It’s a brilliant cast for a brilliant, classic story; I can’t wait for Christmas.”
Originally commissioned in August 2015, We’re Going On A Bear Hunt tells the story of Stan, Katie, Rosie, Max, the baby and Rufus the dog, who are left home alone one day before Christmas. The children decide it would be fun to go on a bear hunt, spurred on by Katie’s love of grizzly bears. After swishing and swashing through the long grass, splashing and sploshing through rivers and squilching and squelching through mud, Rufus the dog picks up the scent of a bear.
“What appealed to me about the story is the bond the family have – they care for, and look after, each other”, Olivia Colman said in a statement. “Another wonderful aspect of the story is that it’s kids enjoying a natural adventure with their imaginations, fresh air and the wilderness. I love that they commit to their adventure…I would like to go with them!”
The one-off special – which is based on the children’s book of the same name from Michael Rosen, Helen Oxenbury and Walker Books – is being produced by Lupus Films and Walker Productions, who were behind 2012’s The Snowman And The Snowdog. Ruth Fielding, Camilla Deakin, Norton Herrick, Helen McAleer and Julia Posen will executive produce, while Joanna Harrison and Robin Shaw are attached to direct.