Aardman returns with Pirates and Christmas
It’s been a while since we’ve heard anything positive from Aardman regarding feature films, in fact what we had heard was rather negative and there was the chance that we weren’t going to see them in Hollywood again. Not so it seems as two projects have been announced from the studio who brought us Wallace and Gromit.
The two projects are Pirates and Arthur Christmas, both promising to be exciting adventures although they aren’t both in the traditional Aardman animated style.
Pirates is a film based on the best-selling series of books by Gideon Defoe entitled Pirates! in an Adventure with Scientists (Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com), in which we see a group of pirates that arrive in London and are chased down by an enemy who wants to wipe them out. There they also meet Charles Darwin and a talking chimpanzee called Mister Bobo, doesn’t that remind you of the Darwin character from The Fall (Filmstalker review)?
Pirates will be in the standard, hand made stop motion animation, although forgive me for using the word standard, I really don’t mean that in a negative sense. I love that style of animation and Aardman create such emotive and wonderful characters, better than many we see in live action films from real actors!
However the second film, Arthur Christmas, is going to be made in CGI only, which is a worrying sign if you think about some of its previous CGI outings – Flushed Away anyone? Of course that one is put down to the relationship with the companies involved and the method of working, not the animation style, after all it is mainly about the script.
Arthur Christmas is a story that looks at how Santa delivers all the presents in just one night, something that perhaps needs the magic of CGI to produce it in standard film production times!
According to The Hollywood Reporter Peter Lord is co-directing Pirates with Jeff Newitt while Sarah Smith and Barry Cook are directing Arthur Christmas. Lord was quick to say that the most important elements of the characters and story are there for both films, possibly trying to push that Aardman reputation back up there, and rightfully so.