18 June 2007

Family Friendly Tarantino - Coming Soon From Aardman

Following the less successful but genius Were-Rabbit and near bomb Flushed Away, Aardman animation has regrouped and announced plans for its next slate of films. Projects include:

The Cat Burglars about milk thieving stray cats promising to be in the style of "family friendly Tarantino."

Operation Rudolph an actioner set on Christmas night showing the North Pole operation as an exhilarating ultra high-tech military procedure on a massive scale, revealing how Santa and his huge army of combat elves get round the whole world in one night.

Aardman is a great studio, not quite a Pixar but better than Disney, or Dreamworks. These sound like great films and much better than Sony (Aardman's new distributer) has been able to muster on its own.

From Variety,

Two months after announcing a three-year first-look deal with Sony Pictures, Aardman Features has unveiled a diverse slate of projects.

Lineup will be supervised by creative director Sarah Smith, who has been upped from head of development to the new role.

After stints as executive producer at the BBC and a string of comedy hits as a freelancer, Smith joined Aardman last year. Her impact on the claymation specialist has been immediate -- she has signed up a fleet of highly rated scribes for the Bristol-based animation powerhouse.

Smith has signed writers Matthew Graham and Ashley Pharoah ("Life on Mars") to work with director Steve Box on comedy heist "The Cat Burglars." The film about milk thieving stray cats will be in Aardman's trademark stop-frame claymation and combine the comedy action of Nick Park and Box's "Wallace and Gromit" feature with the cool styling of "Ocean's Eleven," Aardman claims. Box promises auds something altogether fresh -- "family friendly Tarantino."

Aardman co-founder Peter Lord returns to the director's chair for the first time since "Chicken Run" in 2000 with a comedy adventure based on the "Pirates" series of books penned by Gideon Defoe. Lord, Defoe and writers Andy Riley and Kevin Cecil, whose credits include the sitcom "Hyperdrive" and animation series "Slacker Cats," are working on the screenplay.

Also signed up to Aardman by Smith is Peter Baynham, one of the writers on "Borat," who is developing "Operation Rudolph," an actioner set on Christmas night. The Christmas movie shows the North Pole operation as an exhilarating ultra high-tech military procedure on a massive scale, revealing how Santa and his huge army of combat elves get round the whole world in one night.

Additionally, Nick Park is developing a new project. Details are not yet released but it is not another "Wallace and Gromit," according to an Aardman spokesperson.

"I'm passionate about matching the brilliance of Aardman's filmmakers with the very best talent in British comedy screenwriting," commented Smith. "This is an interesting time in the animation industry -- while there is clearly still a big appetite among cinemagoers for great animated films, there is a feeling of sameness about much of the product coming out of the industry at present, in terms of their stories. I think there's a great opportunity to excite audiences by raising the stakes in terms of the quality, intelligence and variety of the stories our animated films tell and the genres they inhabit."


j said...

Wow, did you just say that Aardman is better than Disney or Dreamworks? Thats a pretty bold claim, considering they just got Flushed Away. Not that I'm super keen on what Dreamworks or Disney's been cranking out, but they're definitely taking a dump on Aardman thats large enough to need multiple Flushes.

Chip Chief said...

Aardman's Wallace and Gromit, Chicken Run and Flushed Away easily average out to being better than the Shreks, Madagascar, Shark Tale, Antz, etc average.

As for the Disney claim, I should say that Aardman tops Disney as of late (or maybe if you average in the three caballeros and sword in the stone). If you hold Disney's top 3 against Aardman, Disney would be a clear winner.

But, I am more excited for Aardman's next than for Disney's American Dog.

j said...

American Dog? Wow. Scratch Disney from the immediate future. This coming on the heels of Firehouse Dog and Underdog live action features.

Chip Chief said...

Disney must think dogs are the new penguins.