Sometimes there comes a adaptation of a children's classic story which is so wonderful that it becomes as well known as the original story itself, standing in its own right. And if it is a vehicle to introduce new fans to the writer's talent, then I'm all for television or film adaptations. Over the past few years there have been two wonderful adaptations of the classic Julia Donaldson stories, The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo's Child which have brought new fans to her wonderful story-writing; and they films themselves have been so beautifully produced that they will stand the test of time.
Last Christmas saw a different Julia Donaldson book being adapted by Magic Light Pictures (the team behind The Gruffalo); Room On The Broom, and we settled down to watch it, as I'm sure did most other families with pre-school children. The newest production from the team pulled in 7.6 million viewers, no mean feat!
The story follows a witch and her cat, who becomes increasingly annoyed with her kindness when she allows a dog, a bird and a frog who have helped her retrieve things she has lost to ride on her broomstick, making it top heavy. The broom is destroyed by a fire-breathing dragon who threatens to eat the witch but the creatures band together to impersonate a monster and save her.
Narrated by Simon Pegg, and featuring Gillian Anderson as the witch and Rob Brydon as the cat, the cast also boasts the vocal talents of David Walliams, Timothy Spall and Martin Clunes, amongst others. The production team have very cleverly read between the lines of the story, searching for and highlighting the humour in the story, particularly with the facial expressions of the cat. There are some very humorous moments, mostly involving the cat and in my eyes they are completely engineered for the adults' entertainment. For example, in one scene the characters are searching for something almost impossible to find, and the cat reaches into an enormous haystack and pulls out a needle.
While not quite as well known, or possibly as classic as The Gruffalo, Room On The Broom is just as entertaining and as previously mentioned helps to introduce the literary wonders of Julia Donaldson to new fans.
Room on the Broom was released on DVD on 18th March 2013, courtesy of Entertainment One
For more information please go to www.Roomonthebroom.com
I received a review disc for the purpose of this post, my opinion is honest and unbiased.