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BBC plans Michael Morpurgo animation

22nd Aug 19

The BBC is planning an animated adaptation of Michael Morpurgo's story Mimi and the Mountain Dragon, with the production based on the original illustrations by Emily Gravett. It will be broadcast during the Christmas break.

Mimi and the Mountain Dragon is a story about a village that fears the mighty Mountain Dragon. One winter, a shy little girl called Mimi finds a tiny baby dragon asleep in her family woodshed. The story follows the dangerour journey she makes through the blizzard and darkness to return the baby dragon to its ferocious mother.

The 25 minute story on BBC One will have an introduction from Morpurgo and will be narrated through classical music in an original score written by Oscar award-winning composer, Rachel Portman (The Little Prince). The story will be adapted for the screen by novelist, poet, and playwright, Owen Sheers.

Morpurgo wrote Mimi and the Mountain Dragon after Jan Younghusband, head of commissioning for BBC Music TV, asked if he would write a children's story that could be set to classical music for BBC television.

Inspired by a trip to a village in Switzerland some years before, Morpurgo wrote Mimi and the Mountain Dragon which was published by Egmont as a children's book, with illustrations by Helen Stephens.

Morpurgo said: "Many years ago, in the Engadine Valley in Switzerland, I saw village children in red hats, cracking whips, ringing cowbells, banging drums, creating a great cacophony of noise, as they paraded up through the village. I asked why this was happening. They are driving away wicked spirits, I was told. So began my story of Mimi and the Mountain Dragon.

"And now, extraordinarily, wonderfully, this little story is being made into an animated film, by Leopard Pictures and Factory Create. And what a team BBC Music have put together. There is music by Oscar winning composer Rachel Portman, a script by Owen Sheers, the great Welsh poet (so he knows a thing or two about dragons!) and with magical drawings from the supremely talented Emily Gravett. I canít wait to see it!"

Younghusband added: "At the BBC we have a proud heritage of finding new ways to introduce children to classical music, stretching right back to Benjamin Britten's Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, The BBC's Ten Pieces project, and now Mimi and the Mountain Dragon."

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