The writer of the book and winner of best animated short film for 'The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse' said audience reaction is “a bigger prize” than the Oscar.
Charlie Mackesy and Matthew Freud have been awarded the Oscar for best animated short film by the US Academy for 'The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse', a story inspired by the successful children's story created by Mackesy.
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) March 13, 2023
On his acceptance speech, Mackesy said he was “grateful” and “speechless”, adding that the positive public reaction to the book and its adaptation was "a bigger prize” than the Oscar he had just received.
Speaking to the press afterwards, Mackesy told the story of a woman whose five-year-old grandson had told her that she was “enough just the way you are”, a quote from the book. “She told me that she cried afterwards at the thought that her grandson had those words as a reference for his life”, he added.
The 60-year-old artist and cartoonist, said those stories he hears of the reaction to his simple story are “gold to me”.
The short film was produced by the BBC, Apple and Bad Robot, the production company of well-known director JJ Abrams, and features the voices of well-known British actors Tom Hollander, Idris Elba, Gabriel Byrne and Jude Coward Nicoll. It is currently available on the AppleTv platform.
Mackesy has been a believer for many years and a recognised communicator of the Christian faith, who spreads the gospel in an unconventional way, not only through his art, but also in lectures and interviews.
In 2019 he collaborated with the Christian initiative Alpha UK courses with a video in which “he describes the value of taking a closer look” .
But he was not always like that. In his youth he was “fiercely anti-Christian”, but he was always “the one to ask questions”. Those questions changed his life forever because they led him to an encounter with Jesus.
One of his most striking works is a bronze sculpture called “The Return of the Prodigal Son”, in which he captures the emotion of the parable. It is located at Holy Trinity Brompton, one of the most influential churches in the Church of England of which he is a member. His home is also his art studio in the London neighbourhood of Brixton.
Mackesy has been described as “a world-class artist”, selling artwork to artists such as Whoopi Goldberg and Sting.
He worked with Richard Curtis on the set of th fim Love Actually to create a series of drawings to be auctioned for Comic Relief, and with Nelson Mandela on a lithography project, The Unity Series.
Charlie's paintings have been exhibited widely, most recently at Sotheby's in London. His bronze sculptures can be found in public spaces in London, including Highgate Cemetery and Brompton Road.
Away from art, Charlie co-directs Mama Buci, a honey social business in Zambia that helps low-income or no-income families become bee keepers.
“The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse" holds the record for the most consecutive weeks in the Sunday Times non-fiction list in all formats.
Mackesy's book was published in 2019, becoming a bestseller and critical success, becoming the first book to receive the Waterstones bookstore Book of the Year award and Barnes and Noble Book of the Year (2019).
It was and has been translated into over 40 different languages and dialects. Charlie's words and illustrations have brought comfort to many and have been shared around the world, as well as on t-shirts for Comic Relief, magazine covers, street lamp posts, school classrooms, cafes, women's safe houses, prisons and hospital rooms.