6 Julia Donaldson books that have been turned into movies


There’s room on the broom for the Gruffalo, the Highway Rat, the Stick Man and the adorable dragon Zog, too. Stream these classics on Showmax.

Have you lost count of how many times you’ve read The Gruffalo to your kid? These are the very best Julia Donaldson stories that have leapt off the page to become animated classics your kids can watch again and again on Showmax.

1. Zog

From Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler’s 2010 picture book, with the incredible talent of Cape Town’s Triggerfish animation studio, comes this award-winning tale about a young dragon who really wants to win a gold star at Madame Dragon’s school, but collects only burns, bumps and bruises. And in year four, Zog will face his biggest challenge yet – kidnapping an actual princess.

Did you know that if you’re a DStv subscriber, you pay even less (or nothing at all!) for Showmax? Sign up here.

2. The Highway Rat

Based on another of Donaldson and Scheffler’s bestselling children’s books, this short movie is about a greedy thief who always steals everyone’s food. But this time the Highway Rat has bitten off more than he can chew.

3. The Gruffalo

Narrated by Mother Squirrel (Helena Bonham Carter), this is the story of a little mouse (James Corden) who makes his way through the forest in search of food. He meets three scary predators on his journey – a fox, an owl and a snake – and to scare them away, he tells them that he is meeting an extremely fearsome creature called a Gruffalo, who loves eating foxes! And owls! And snakes! He succeeds in frightening them away … but then he runs into a real-life Gruffalo.

4. The Gruffalo’s Child

This follow-up to The Gruffalo won the Cristal award for the Best Television Special at Annecy, the world’s biggest animated film festival, and was nominated for a BAFTA. It’s set in a beautiful snowy wonderland, where the Gruffalo’s daughter decides to set off and find the Big Bad Mouse for herself.

5. Stick Man

Don’t miss this charming and magical story about a piece of wood called Stick Man (voiced by Martin Freeman) who ends up on a grand adventure as he tries his best to get home to his stick family in time for Christmas. Another Donaldson classic brought to life by South African animation company Triggerfish.

6. Room on the Broom

Join the kind witch as she and her cat fly through the clouds before some mishaps introduce them to a keen dog, a green bird and a clean frog. The witch lets their new friends on board her broomstick in the blink of an eye, though her jealous cat is less welcoming. But when they fly into the path of a fearsome enemy, even the cat is grateful for the help of their new pals. Based on Julia Donaldson’s rhyming, rhythmic children’s-book masterpiece.

How to get Showmax

DStv Premium subscribers get Showmax for free while DStv Compact and Compact Plus subscribers only pay R49 for Showmax.

  1. Go to Showmax.com.
  2. Create a Showmax account with your email address.
  3. Create a password.
  4. Choose "DStv add to account" as your payment method.