Magic Light Pictures teams up with ODEON for festive family experience

Magic Light Pictures and ODEON Cinemas have teamed up to bring a large selection of the multiple Oscar-nominated company’s animated specials to the big screen in the run-up to Christmas.

Since half term, double bills of half-hour family films have been rolling out in ODEON cinemas across the UK and Ireland. Screenings of the specials, based on the much-loved books written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler, are set to continue throughout December to provide the perfect way to get the whole family into the Christmas spirit.

A double bill of The Gruffalo’s Child and Stick Man is due to begin from 4 December, showing in 113 locations to run across the month.

A selection of  cinemas are also airing the specials through the week outside of the traditional weekend children’s screenings.

Hannah Jones, Magic Light Pictures Distribution Executive, says: “We are delighted to partner with ODEON cinemas to offer families throughout the UK and Ireland another chance to watch these wonderful films on the big screen, and recapture the magic of these timeless films. The fabulous immersive experience that ODEON provides for its cinemagoers will be key to bringing these films to life, and it will make for a fantastic family outing.”

Magic Light’s award-winning festive family specials have become a Christmas tradition on the BBC, where they are watched by millions every year. New for 2021 is Superworm, featuring a hero with a difference and a wonderfully entertaining villain who clash to thrilling effect. Superworm premieres on Christmas Day on BBC One.

China’s UYoung brings Magic Light Pictures’ The Gruffalo and more to its UKids app

China’s children’s and family entertainment media company, UYoung, has acquired six family favourite films from Magic Light Pictures to broadcast across its educational UKids app and SVOD service.

The new deal will see Magic Light’s hit features The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo’s Child, Room on the Broom, Stick Man, The Highway Rat, and Zog all land on the platform, China’s only dedicated content English learning platform for pre-schoolers.

Based on the much-loved children’s picture books written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler, the films were first broadcast to audiences of millions on the BBC as an integral part of its Christmas schedules, for which Magic Light has produced a new festive treat each year for the last seven years.

Ukids is UYoung’s recently launched one-stop service of global children’s programming for Chinese families aimed at helping children to speak English through high-quality developmental content. Available on OTT, iOS, Android mobile and tablet, the dedicated kids’ app contains a wealth of specially curated content chosen for its educational value, ranging from STEM, arts and crafts and nature through to socio-emotional programming.

The English language learning elements of the app have been developed in partnership with the British Council.

Clara Yang, vice president international business and newly appointed general manager for Ukids, said: “We are delighted to have added these wonderful films from Magic Light to our UKids portfolio. They are perfect for the platform’s aim of providing educational and entertaining content in a safe and happy environment to help children grow and develop, and are yet another example of our ability to acquire top-class content from leading international production companies.”

Muriel Thomas, Magic Light Pictures’ head of international distribution, said: “The Gruffalo’s films and subsequent TV specials have a huge international appeal and we are thrilled to have signed our first deal with UYoung to bring these wonderful stories to a whole new audience.”