‘The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse’ director Charlie Mackesy on adapting his bestseller

“It’s a strange combination of feeling shocked and grateful,” says Charlie Mackesy, whose film “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse” has been shortlisted Best Animated Short at the 95th Oscars. “If I could have played this video to me three years ago, I would have been overwhelmed. I never dreamt we would make a book, let alone a film. It’s an honor and a shock.” Watch our exclusive video interview above.

“Having always felt very alien to the human race and always feeling a bit strange, my discovery is that we have so much more in common than we think,” he says. “So much of us is beautiful and sharable. It was a journey of acceptance and love. If you accept yourself you can accept others and if you are accepted you can learn to accept yourself. The boy’s discovery that he’s alone, yet loved.”

SEE Lively roundtable with ‘The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse’ filmmakers

“The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse” follows the four different species as they create an unexpected friendship and travel together in the boy’s search for home. The characters are voiced by Jude Coward Nicoll, Tom Hollander, Idris Elba and Gabriel Byrne. It is currently streaming on Apple TV+.

The film is based on Mackesy’s book of the same name which has sold more than two million copies. Despite that success, the new filmmaker didn’t feel pressure to adapt it to a movie. “I wanted to be as involved as possible to try to keep the essence of the book in the film and to keep the messages as close to the film as we could,” he describes. “People would write to me and tell me how the book would make them feel. I felt, if we make a film we should try to not copy the book, but at least go for the spirit of the book.

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