More exiting Aardman news today, the English animation studio has teamed up with French distribution company, Studio Canal, for a Shaun the Sheep feature-length film. The character first appeared in Aardman’s Oscar-winning short film, A Close Shave, and since then has been the main character in a self titled TV show that has aired in over 170 countries.
“Shaun and his friends have a massive global following“. Says David Sproxton, Executive Chairman and co-founder of Aardman. “…we are very excited about being able to put them into a bigger adventure for the big screen. We are naturally also very excited about partnering with STUDIOCANAL for this project, their track record and expertise in international film financing and distribution seems a perfect fit.”
The film will be another stop motion animation, co written and co directed by Mark Burton (Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit) and Richard Starzak. The synopsis will be as follows:
When Shaun’s mischief inadvertently leads to the Farmer being taken away from the farm, Shaun, Bitzer and the flock have to go into the big city to rescue him, setting the stage for an epic adventure.
Olivier Courson, STUDIO CANAL Chairman and CEO said “We are so thrilled to join the Flock! Shaun is a character you love at first sight whatever your age. We are really happy to work with Aardman, it’s such a talented team!”
This is the first collaboration between the two studios. Aardman will produce while Studio Canal will organise sales and distribution in the U.K, France, Germany, Australia and New Zealand. More good news for the English animation industry and for Aardman fans alike. Anyone who has seen the TV show will know that Shaun and his friends are a vibrant and excitable bunch and the film will undoubtedly be a roller coaster ride of thrills and comedy.
Speaking of which, a new Wallace and Gromit ride has opened up in the UK. Blackpool pleasure beach’s latest attraction, the Thrill-O-Matic will allow people to ride in a giant Wallace slipper and interact with characters from all of the films. I know where I’m headed this summer.