Winston in Feast

We’re always wondering what’s next for the movies. Since film’s inception as a storytelling form we’ve seen the addition of sound, color, bigger screens, third and fourth dimensions, and more. Now we’re at a point where the physical theater has become the major constraint. Some filmmakers are looking smaller for the next big thing.

Google has begun making short films called Spotlight Stories. These are movies you experience in 360 degrees on your smartphone using an app. Not only has Justin Lin made a movie for the series, Google has just signed Aardman Animations, as well as Patrick Osborne, the Oscar-winning director of Disney’s short film Feast. His movie will be called Pearl. You can read more about it, and Google Spotlight Stories, below. Read More »

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Aardman Studios Early Man

Even though Walt Disney, Pixar, Illumination Entertainment and DreamWorks seem to have the animation market cornered, there’s still plenty of room for some lovely work from stop-motion animated houses like Laika and Aardman Animation. And the latter has a new movie in the works called Early Man. The film is being backed by StudioCanal and Aardman Studios and the story will have some added appeal to international sports fans. Read More »

Shaun the Sheep movie

It’s been two decades since Shaun the Sheep made his first appearance in the Oscar-winning Wallace & Gromit short A Close Shave. In that time, he’s starred in his own TV series, launched a spinoff TV series, and released a series of video games. Now he’s finally getting his own movie.

Shaun the Sheep: The Movie sees our woolen hero getting up to some mischief which leads to the Farmer to be taken away. In an effort to set things right, Shaun and his pals must head into the big city. Aardman Animation fans will definitely want to check out the Shaun the Sheep trailer after the jump. Read More »

Shaun the Sheep teaser

First introduced in the 1995 Wallace & Gromit short film A Close Shave, Shaun the Sheep is finally getting his very own feature. Aardman Animation has just released the first Shaun the Sheep teaser, and it’s full of exactly the kind of clever yet kid-friendly humor the studio has become known for. Watch it after the jump.

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You wouldn’t think that a playful family comedy like Aardman Animation’s The Pirates! Band of Misfits would court much controversy, especially seeing as it won’t even be released for another two months. But one joke shown in the trailer, released last year, has already drawn enough criticism to prompt the studio to take action.

Aardman has agreed to change a scene showing a leper boat after objections from leprosy groups like Lepra Health in Action and the International Federation of Anti-Leprosy Associations (ILEP), who were concerned that it could increase the stigma associated with the disease. Read more after the jump.

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Aardman Animation’s Arthur Christmas opens with a scene that suggests it is not your parents’ holiday movie. In response to one little girl’s query about how Santa manages to deliver all of those gifts around the world in just one night, we’re treated to a thrilling sequence of hundreds of elves jumping out of a giant sleigh-shaped spaceship and delivering the gifts with a high-tech precision that wouldn’t be out of place in a futuristic action thriller.

Spearheading that massive operation is alpha-male Steve (Hugh Laurie), heir apparent to the cushy Santa position currently held by his father Malcolm (Jim Broadbent). Steve and Malcolm, it turns out, are just two members of a long line of Santas that stretch back centuries and also includes Malcolm’s father (Bill Nighy) “Grandsanta,” and Steve’s younger brother Arthur (James McAvoy).

But holiday movies are a decidedly traditional genre, and Arthur Christmas quickly falls into the familiar themes about the magic of Christmas and finding your place in the world and whatnot. Happily, it does so with enough wit and enough feeling to be a cut above some of the more cynical entries in the genre, though it’s not on the level of the best holiday classics.

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You’d be forgiven for suffering from pirate fatigue after this year’s lackluster fourth entry in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, but these delightful trailers for Aardman Animation’s The Pirates! Band of Misfits prove there’s still plenty of fun to be found on the high seas.

Directed by Peter Lord and Jeff Newitt, the stop motion adventure follows an eager but misguided Pirate Captain (Hugh Grant) as he competes for the Pirate of the Year Award — because, as he explains, “Every time I’ve entered, I’ve failed to win. So, I must have a really good chance this time.” Along the way, he and his similarly off-kilter crew (Martin Freeman, Brendan Gleeson, Russell ToveyAshley Jensen, and a fish with a hat on it) encounter all manner of strange characters including lepers, stuffy scientists, an evil queen (Imelda Staunton), and at least one monkey butler. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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Briefly: Aardman Animation has a big presence in movie theaters this year and next, as the company is prepping two animated features for release. There’s the CGI family holiday film Arthur Christmas, for which we just saw a pair of new trailers. And then there’s Pirates!, which is a stop-motion picture that looks like quite a bit of fun.

And now Aardman’s Nick Park, the man most famously responsible for Wallace & Gromit, is reportedly writing a new feature that does not feature his famous inventor/canine duo. Read More »

Aardman Animation is moving into 3D CGI holiday fare with Arthur Christmas, which stars James McAvoy as the title character in a story “which at last reveals the incredible, never-before seen answer to every child’s question: ‘So how does Santa deliver all those presents in one night?’ The answer: Santa’s exhilarating, ultra-high-tech operation hidden beneath the North Pole.”

The voice cast also features Bill Nighy,Hugh Laurie, Jim Broadbent, Imelda Staunton and Ashley Jensen, and now you can see a bit of the film at work. A teaser has just landed, and you’ll find it after the break. Read More »