Aardman Animations Developing Pirates! and Arthur Christmas Movies
by Alex Billington
April 27, 2009
Sony Pictures has struck a deal with Aardman Animations, the stop-motion company behind Wallace & Gromit, to develop and distribute two new animated features - Arthur Christmas and Pirates!. Aardman was previously partnered with DreamWorks Animation, but split with them after Flushed Away performed poorly. Pirates! will see Aardman co-founder Peter Lord back behind the camera for a movie done in hand-crafted stop-motion animation, like Henry Selick's Coraline this year. Since Flushed Away hit in 2007, Aardman has been laying lowing, developing these two films and their scripts to perfection.
Pirates! will be based on ""The Pirates!", the best-selling series of books by Gideon Defoe and is intended to be a swashbuckling adventure with both surreal and broad comedy. The story follows a group of pirates who journey to London, meet Charles Darwin and a talking chimp named Mister Bobo, and an enemy looking to wipe them out. Arthur Christmas, for which Aardman is working with Sony Pictures Imageworks (for what I believe will be a CGI animated movie), will tackle the question of how Santa delivers all his presents in one night. Sarah Smith and Barry Cook are directing from a script by Peter Baynham.
"It's incredibly exciting to be moving forward on these two movies," Peter Lord told THR. "The most important elements of any animated film are story and character, and we believe that in these films, we have characters to charm and stories to delight and engage." We'll be sure to keep those of you interested in these projects up to date on all the latest.