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Terry Pratchett's 'Abominable Snow Baby' Comes To Channel 4 This Christmas

The UK's Channel 4 has a long history of airing animated Christmas TV specials, starting with the beloved Raymond Briggs adaptation The Snowman First shown during the network's first year on air back in 1982, it went on to become a national festive institution and has aired seemingly every Christmas period ever since. In subsequent years C4 has commissioned specials such as Father Christmas,  We're Going On A Bear Hunt and The Tiger Who Came To Tea, right up until 2020's Quentin Blake's Clown.

This year's offering has been revealed, and as with all the above specials, it will be adapted from the work of a much-loved British literary figure. In this case, it's the late, great Sir Terry Prattchet, best known for creating the best-selling Discworld series. Despite selling more than 100 million books worldwide, and being translated into 40 languages, Pratchett's works have struggled to make it on the screen. Starting from The Hogfather, a series of moderately successful live-action TV adaptations of Discworld adaptations were commissioned by Sky but are generally considered a disappointment by fans. Other than the superb recent BBC/Amazon adaptation of Good Omens (which Pratchett co-wrote with fellow national treasure and close friend Neil Gaiman), the most successful adaptations of his work have been in animated form.

In 1997 Channel 4 aired two now largely forgotten animated Discworld novel adaptations, Soul Music and Wyrd Sisters. Before that, Pratchett's childrens' novel Truckers, featuring a race of tiny people called nomes who live beneath human society was adapted as a charming 1992 stop-motion series. But arguably most successful of all were the 90s Discworld point-and-click adventure video game adaptations from Psygnosis.

The new special has been announced as The Abominable Snow Baby, adapted from a short story from Pratchett's festive anthology Father Christmas's Fake Beard. The story takes place in a quintessentially English town, which is thrown into disarray by a massive snowfall- and the sudden appearance of the 14-feet tall icy infant of the title.  Starring a snow person brought to life gives the new special a pleasing link to the 1982 short film that started it all.

The half-hour special is coming from the newly established Eagle Eye Drama, a new production company from the team behind international drama brand Walter Presents.

Caroline Hollick, Channel 4's head of drama says:

Terry Pratchett’s The Abominable Snow Baby is a magnificent, heart-warming, riotously funny story about love, courage and compassion. Witty, entertaining and deeply moving in equal measure, it captures the spirit of Christmas with Sir Terry’s unique charm.”

The special is part of the next round of TV projects supported by the British Film Institute through the government Young Audiences Content Fund.  Also among the new commissions, Paper Owl Films is producing Happy, a new preschool animation about a little hedgehog, for CITV and S4C.  Mixing stop-motion animation and live-action, The Sound Collector will feature a borrower-sized character on a mission to capture the sounds of the world around him, also for CITV. For S4C meanwhile, Welsh language series Dwydly A Fi will star an animated character helping children deal with mental health issues. 

Lastly, headed for Channel 5's Milkshake mixed media series Pop Paper City will feature adventures in a world crafted with paper, that you viewers will be helped to recreate in live-action sequences by a helping hand.