Aardman: Moving From Dreamworks to Sony
If you read our site often by now you know I disliked that terrible animated movie Flushed Away that came out late last year. The studio that created and did the animation for that was Aardman Features, who is much more well known for Wallace & Gromit and Chicken Run. I remember last year after the film had been out for a few weeks, its poor earnings were enough to finally have Aardman break their contract with Dreamworks and leave them forever - a tough break for a studio that's trying hard to boost its animation end (in addition to the Shrek series).
In another well timed publicity announcement today (coinciding with the films DVD release this week), Aardman has stated that it is in final negotiations to enter into a three-year, first-look deal with Sony Pictures Entertainment.
This is actually one of the better decisions I've seen two big studios make. I love good partnership deals, but when they continually turn out terrible work (e.g. Flushed Away, and I know I'm really twisting some screws every time I say that), it's a good idea to move to different one. Sony has really impressed me with their animation line-up last year. They churned out two of my favorite animated films of 2006: Open Season and the freaky Monster House, and they've got another strong contender this summer with Surf's Up.
I can't say I'm personally fond of Aardman, but their repertoire with the very well established Wallace & Gromit is enough to say that they do have a following of people who love their animation style. Let's hope this deal with Sony means they'll produce some good movies in the upcoming years.