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Aardman Crafts New Online Home for ‘The Gruffalo’

In celebration of The Gruffalo’s forthcoming 15th anniversary in 2014, Macmillan Children’s Books commissions Aardman to create a new online fan site for the brand.

BRISTOL UK -- In celebration of The Gruffalo’s forthcoming 15th anniversary in 2014, Macmillan Children’s Books commissioned Aardman to create a new online fan site for the brand, which went live this month.

The Gruffalo, written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler, is a modern classic, loved by an international audience and recognized with numerous awards and literary prizes. Since it was first published in 1999, the award-winning story of the little brown mouse’s encounter with the Gruffalo in the deep dark wood has continued to delight children and adults the world over. Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler are the most successful author/illustrator partnership in picture book publishing, and The Gruffalo is regularly chosen as the nation’s favorite story.

Aardman, working alongside digital agency Distinction, was given the opportunity to craft the digital representation of The Gruffalo’s world, creating an online home for fans of all ages which works to support and extend this popular brand’s well-deserved reputation.  

James Luscombe, Head of Web Development, Pan Macmillan says, “It was very important for us to work with the right partner for this project. The Gruffalo, Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler are all simultaneously one brand and three distinct brands, and we needed to represent this clearly for the best user experience. Aardman’s knowledge of working with heritage brands both offline and online, made them the perfect partner to create this new and exciting experience for the extensive and important fanbase. “

Aardman has produced a premier destination for interacting with The Gruffalo and finding out more about the brand, while seamlessly encouraging users to learn more about Julia Donaldson, her books, and associated illustrators, especially Axel Scheffler. To compliment this, the team developed the Deep Dark Wood, an interactive experience targeted at the younger audience which adds a fun and engaging activity element to the site. Once entered, the Deep Dark Wood experience fills the screen, emulating a native app and contains entertaining and age appropriate activities such as Make a Monster, Plant a Nut Grow a Tree, Gruffiti, Footprint Match and Gruffalo Jigsaw. 

“It was really exciting for us to be able to work with such a well-loved character and Axel’s beautiful illustrations,” added Aardman Producer George Rowe. “We really tried to give the interactive area the feeling of one of the books, letting kids find the animals and acorns hidden in this rich digital environment.”

Source: Aardman Animations

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.