Based on Charlie Mackesy’s 2019 illustrated book about a group of animals who become unlikely friends, the half-hour TV adaptation featured an all-star voice cast including Idris Elba and Tom Hollander.
The episode aired on Christmas Eve on BBC One, with viewers admitting that the “beautiful” and simple animation “broke” them.
“The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse on @BBCOne is absolutely stunning,” one viewer tweeted. “What beautiful, beautiful animation. I’m a blubbering wreck.”
“A classic that is sure to be a regular Christmas staple. Not ashamed to say that I cried like a baby!” another commenter wrote.
One viewer called it “the most beautiful thing you’ll watch this Christmas”, while another said it was “heart-warming and life-affirming stuff”.
“Spellbinding, magical utterly wonderful. A future classic. Bravo. If you missed out on The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse then make some time with the family and children of all ages to share the joy,” wrote actor Jolyon Rubinstein.
“The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse just absolutely did me in,” another commenter said.
“The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse. Well didn’t that just sneak up on the inside and break me a little bit,” one tweet read.
Another Twitter user said: “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse. So profound and moving, seeing the beauty in all life’s moments, good or bad. Charlie Mackesy, absolute genius. Watch it if you haven’t seen it and have the tissues ready!”
In a five-star review of the special, The Independent’s Megan Graye said that the adaptation was “half an hour of unmitigated joy”.
30-minute story will leave you feeling hopeful and probably a little
teary,” she wrote. “Emerging from it unaffected is just about