The Oscars may have been dominated by Everything Everywhere All At Once and Netflix's All Quiet on the Western Front, but other films and streamers walked away with awards too. Another well-deserved winner was the beautiful animated short The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse, which won the Best Animated Short Film award for Apple TV+.
The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse is a faithful adaptation of Charlie Mackesy's best-selling book, and according to Apple boss Tim Cook it "tells an enduring story about the meaning of kindness, acceptance and hope."
If you're not familiar with book or film it's a dream-like story about the titular boy and his animal friends traveling together as he searches for his home. And the animated version features some very familiar voices: Tom Hollander is The Mole, Idris "Luther" Elba is The Fox and Gabriel Byrne is The Horse.
Is The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse worth streaming?
Yes. It's currently sitting with an 86% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and while not everybody succumbed to its charms – The Spectator accused it of being nakedly desperate to be a Christmas classic in the mould of The Snowman and the Telegraph felt it was "sickly" – most reviewers fell in love with its gorgeous, watercolour-style visuals, its warmth and its joy.
Collider gave it four and a half stars out of five, calling it a "deep and stunning work of art", while The Independent called it "beautiful" and awarded the full five. "This tale of love and hope is half an hour of unmitigated joy," Megan Graye writes, adding that "this 30-minute story will leave you feeling hopeful and probably a little teary. Emerging from it unaffected is just about impossible."
The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse is exclusive to Apple TV+, but you can get a free trial of Apple TV+ if you're not already a subscriber. If you do, make sure you check out some of Apple's other superb shows too: if you like your shows heartwarming, there are three seasons of Ted Lasso for you to binge-watch for starters.