The Gruffalo returns to England’s forests with launch of second AR Gruffalo Spotter app

The Gruffalo is returning to the deep, dark wood thanks to the latest partnership between Forestry England, Magic Light Pictures, and Nexus Studios and the launch of The Gruffalo Spotter 2 app.

Building on the BAFTA nominated original, the new app brings the characters of The Gruffalo to life in the forest, as families will be able to follow a trail and learn about each one in turn. The augmented reality app mixes the animated characters with the real world environment and is developed to encourage kids to explore their surroundings.

Responding to instructions such as waving, stomping, flying, dancing and roaring, visitors will trigger the AR characters to come to life and interact with them. Through cutting-edge face and body recognition technology, the characters now look at the children directly, encouraging them to play along. These moments can even be recorded and saved to mobile devices for families to revisit and share later via the #GruffaloSpotters hashtag.

Gruffalo Spotter 2 has been designed for exclusive use at up to 24 of the nation’s forests across England where visitors of all ages can join the adventure and spot favourite characters along the way. The self-led trail features facts about forest animals with fun activities to complete including rubbings and interactive activities on some of the panels.

Bridgette Hall, recreation manager for Forestry England, said: “This is such an exciting development and will deliver a completely different forest experience for our visitors. The Gruffalo is a much-loved story and to be able to once again bring the characters to life in their natural setting is fantastic. We’re thrilled to be bringing the two worlds of technology and nature together again with this new app.”

Barney Goodland, producer at Magic Light Pictures, added: “Following the runaway success of the first Spotter app we’re delighted to be bringing The Gruffalo back to the forest for 2021. We’re always looking to further children’s enjoyment of The Gruffalo and this is an innovative way to incorporate new technology with a real-world experience.

“Working with Forestry England and Nexus Studios has been a real joy and it’s exciting to now be sharing Gruffalo Spotters 2 with families. Most importantly for us the app is completely free, which means that it’s there for everyone to enjoy.”

The Gruffalo Spotter 2 app, which has been developed and animated by Nexus Studios, is available for free with no in-app purchases from the App Store and Google Play and requires downloading before your visit. A Gruffalo Spotters trail pack will be available to buy on site which includes an activity leaflet full of fun facts and activities, Gruffalo Mask and paws, a nature spotters game, stickers as well as a crayon and pencil.

Colin Davis, executive producer, interactive arts, at Nexus Studios, said: “The team at Nexus Studios are massive fans of The Gruffalo and were really excited to be able to bring the iconic characters to life in the forest through the magic of Augmented Reality.

“Working with Magic Light Pictures and the Forestry England has been a fantastic collaboration on many levels, from new technical innovation in AR and real time 3D characters, to creating an experience that works outside in all weathers and for all ages. The creative challenges have always been enjoyable and we can’t wait to see children (and their grown-ups!) playing it.”

The Gruffalo Spotters trail and Gruffalo Spotter 2 app will be live until winter 2021.