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Charlie Mackesy thanks team who ‘poured hearts and souls’ into animated film

Charlie Mackesy said he was “eternally grateful” to the team behind The Boy, The Mole, The Fox And The Horse, after winning the Bafta for best British short animation.

The British artist said those involved had “poured their hearts and souls” into the project because they had “believed in what we were doing and hoped it would lighten people’s lives a little”.

Mackesy’s illustrated book, which was adapted for the screen by the BBC and Apple TV+, explores the friendship between the four titular characters as they journey together in search of a home.

The short film was produced by Star Wars director JJ Abrams and Hannah Minghella of Bad Robot Productions.

The Boy, The Mole, The Fox And The Horse TV adaptation
The adaptation of Mackesy’s illustrated book The Boy, The Mole, The Fox And The Horse won the Bafta for best British short animation (BBC/PA)

Accepting the award on Sunday, Mackesy said he was “speechless” and hailed those who strive to be “kind” and “brave” in life.

“I went to a clothes shop yesterday and I said I need some help for tomorrow and the guy said ‘yeah you do’ – if you know me you know why he said that,” he said, prompting laughter from the Bafta audience.

“It turns out that asking for help is brave and people are kind, and there is no one that I know that is a kinder group of people than these people here.”

Mackesy also singled out Tom Hollander and Idris Elba who voiced characters in the film, as well as its composer Isobel Waller-Bridge, sister of Fleabag star Phoebe.

Addressing Isobel Waller-Bridge, he said: “You make me cry, not in a nasty way, on a regular basis so thank you, I’m so grateful.

He added that production of the film had taken 120 animators two years of work, undertaken largely on Zoom.

“I have no words for that, I know they poured their hearts and souls into it,” he said.

“I know they went beyond their times and briefs and everything because they believed in what we were doing and hoped it would lighten people’s lives a little and give them connection.

“For that I’ll always be eternally grateful.

After its publication in 2019, The Boy, The Mole, The Fox And The Horse was named book of the year by Waterstones and was shortlisted for the British Book Awards’ non-fiction lifestyle book of the year.

Mackesy previously worked with Nelson Mandela on a lithograph project, The Unity Series, and also helps support a honey social enterprise in Zambia.