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Since its publication in 2019, Charlie Mackesy’s The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse has sold billions of copies. From young children to soldiers suffering PTSD, this simple story has spread kindness and hope. In addition, Mackesy leaves free copies on sidewalk benches, in parks and on the subway, bringing unexpected joy to whoever might find it. 

Now the book has been made into an animated film. The film was created during the COVID-19 pandemic. The project provided a unique opportunity for 120 people from over 20 countries to work remotely on the film.  

The film adaptation closely follows the book’s storyline as the four characters meet each other and build trust and friendship. It is equally endearing with much of the same well-loved dialogue. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” the mole asks the boy. “Kind,” replies the boy quietly. “I am so small,” says the mole. “But you make a big difference,” says the boy. 

The film brings the story to life in a way that is both soothing and a bit frightful. And yet the same love and calm always win out. This reviewer did go back to the book, intrigued by how the film was adapted, missing a few things and appreciating additions that flesh out a storyline. The film and the book each offers its own unique perspective.

Much to Mackesy’s surprise and delight, the film won an Oscar in its category for Short Animation. Suitable and recommended for audiences of all ages who love cake and the magic of a winged horse.  (34 minutes, AppleTV+)


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