Jony Ive is working on a project for Apple, but this time it’s neither hardware nor software. The former Apple design chief is an executive producer in forthcoming Apple TV+ animated film “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse,” which will debut on the streaming service over the festive period.
Adapted from the bestselling Charlie Mackesy book of the same name, the short film tells the story of a friendship that kindles between the four characters as they search for a home for the boy. It stars Tom Hollander as The Mole, Idris Elba as The Fox, Gabriel Byrne as The Horse, and newcomer Jude Coward Nicoll as The Boy.
The film will be directed by Peter Baynton, while the production team includes Cara Speller, J. J. Abrams, and Hannah Minghella. Ive is credited as an executive producer alongside Woody Harrelson, a known friend of the famous Apple designer. The film will have an original score by composer Isobel Waller-Bridge, performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra and conducted by Geoff Alexander. From the Apple press release:
A story of kindness, friendship, courage and hope for viewers of all ages in a heartwarming, classically animated film based on Charlie Mackesy’s book, “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse.” The poignant and heartfelt journey follows the unlikely friendship of a boy, a mole, a fox and a horse travelling together in the boy’s search for home.
“The journey of making the film of ‘The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse’ with my incredibly gifted animation team has been a magical one,” says author Charlie Mackesy. “I never dreamt it would happen — but it’s so moving to think the story will be watched at Christmas. I really hope it brings a bit of joy, laughter and comfort.”
Ive announced his departure from Apple in June 2019, with the goal of creating his own design firm, LoveFrom. At the time, Ive said that Apple would be one of his primary clients, with Ive continuing to do design work.
He went on to work on the 24-inch iMac and other products, plus he provided guidance on the Apple Car design. However, it was reported in July that the partnership between Apple and Ive had come to an end.
Set for release on Christmas Day, December 25, “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse” will premiere on the BBC in the United Kingdom and will also be available to stream on Apple TV+ in the UK and other countries.