After seeing the advert for this back in November sometime, I was excited when it finally arrived. We missed it live, but taped it for later.
And so it was, yesterday afternoon, my husband and I settled down to watch one of my favourite tales of all time. I cannot understate my love for this story / non-rhyming nursery rhyme. The sounds of the words are brilliant for small children, their language still developing. The rhythm of the tale is excellent for children, gaining an ear for poetry, rhyme and stories alike. Nothing needs adding to this story, nothing needs taking away.
It is safe to say, then, that I was more than disappointed with the television adaptation. This beautiful story loses its rhythm, and the onomatopoeic words lose their brilliance in the midst of further details. When The Gruffalo was adapted for TV, it remained intact and perfect. So why change what is wonderful the way it is?
I can only think that an adult somewhere, without much of an imagination themselves, decided that the story lacked detail and depth, and that it needed changing. But in its simplicity, this story is detailed. And by making it detailed, it loses its wonder and depth.
If you and your child want to go on a bear hunt, I suggest you put your wellies on, head outside and recall the original tale. The television is no substitute.