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AARDMAN ANIMATIONS, LTD., also known as AARDMAN STUDIOS, or simply as AARDMAN, is a British animation studio based in Bristol
Bristol
. Aardman is known for films made using stop-motion clay animation techniques, particularly those featuring Plasticine characters Wallace and Gromit . After some experimental computer animated short films during the late 1990s, beginning with Owzat (1997), it entered the computer animation market with Flushed Away
Flushed Away
(2006). Aardman films have made $973.2 million worldwide and average $163 million per film. All of their stop motion films are among the highest-grossing stop-motion films, with their debut, Chicken Run
Chicken Run
(2000), being their top-grossing film as well as the highest-grossing stop-motion film of all time .

CONTENTS

* 1 History

* 1.1 1972–1996 * 1.2 1997–2006 * 1.3 2007–present

* 2 Company name * 3 Non-Aardman productions by Aardman directors

* 4 Filmography

* 4.1 Feature films * 4.2 Television series/series of shorts * 4.3 Short films * 4.4 Music videos * 4.5 Commercials * 4.6 Apps

* 5 Books * 6 See also * 7 References * 8 External links

HISTORY

1972–1996

Aardman Animations' headquarters in Bristol
Bristol

Aardman was founded in 1972 as a low-budget project by Peter Lord and David Sproxton , who wanted to realise their dream of producing an animated motion picture. The partnership provided animated sequences for the BBC
BBC
series for deaf children Vision On
Vision On
. After creating a segment called "Greeblies" (1975) using clay animation, became what was the inspiration for creating Morph , a simple clay character. Around the same time Lord and Sproxton made their first foray into adult animation with the shorts Down and Out and Confessions of a Foyer Girl, entries in the BBC's Animated Conversations series using real-life conversations as soundtracks. Aardman also created the title sequence for The Great Egg Race and supplied animation for the multiple award-winning music video of Peter Gabriel
Peter Gabriel
's song "Sledgehammer ". They produced the music video for the song "My Baby Just Cares For Me " by Nina Simone in 1987.

Later Aardman produced a number of shorts for Channel 4 including the Conversation Pieces series. These five shorts worked in the same area as the Animated Conversations pieces, but were more sophisticated. Lord and Sproxton began hiring more animators at this point; three of the newcomers made their directorial debut at Aardman with the Lip Synch series. Of the five Lip Synch shorts two were directed by Peter Lord, one by Barry Purves , one by Richard Goleszowski
Richard Goleszowski
and one by Nick Park .

Park's short, Creature Comforts , was the first Aardman production to win an Oscar . Park also developed the clay modelled shorts featuring the adventures of Wallace and Gromit , a comical pair of friends: Wallace being a naive English inventor with a love of cheese, and Gromit his best friend, the intelligent but silent dog. These films include A Grand Day Out (1989), The Wrong Trousers
The Wrong Trousers
(1993) and A Close Shave (1995), the latter two winning Academy Awards .

1997–2006

In December 1997, Aardman and DreamWorks (later DreamWorks Animation ) announced that their companies were teaming up to co-finance and distribute Chicken Run
Chicken Run
, Aardman's first feature film, which had already been in pre-production for a year. On 27 October 1999, Aardman and DreamWorks signed a $250 million deal to make an additional four films that were estimated to be completed during the next 12 years. With the deal was also announced the first project, titled The Tortoise and the Hare . Intended to be based on Aesop 's fable and directed by Richard Goleszowski
Richard Goleszowski
, it was put on hold two years later because of script issues. On 23 June 2000, Chicken Run was released to a great critical and financial success. In 2005, after ten years of absence, Wallace and Gromit returned in Academy Award -winning Wallace and an untitled Nick Park
Nick Park
project.

Aardman is also known to provide generous resources and training to young animators by providing awards at various animation festivals. For example, The Aardman Award at the UK's Animex
Animex
Festival in Teesside provides world class story consultation to a promising young animator, for their next film.

In 2008, Aardman joined with Channel 4 and Lupus Films to launch a user-generated content animation portal called 4mations .

They also designed the BBC
BBC
One Christmas
Christmas
Idents for that year, which featured Wallace and Gromit to tie in with the showing of the new Wallace and Gromit film called A Matter of Loaf and Death
A Matter of Loaf and Death
on Christmas Day at 8:30pm.

In April 2008, Aardman launched the Aardman YouTube
YouTube
channel, which is a YouTube
YouTube
Partner channel featuring the entire Creature Comforts TV series, the Morph series, Cracking Contraptions and clips from the Wallace and Gromit films.

From December 2008, Aardman also started posting various flash games on Newgrounds , the majority of which are based on Wallace and Gromit and Shaun the Sheep .

In 2009, Nintendo
Nintendo
announced that Aardman would make twelve short films using only Flipnote Studio from Nintendo
Nintendo
DSi . The films were posted on Flipnote's Hatena web service provider. The first film was called The Sandwich Twins and was released on 16 September 2009. The remaining eleven films were released on a weekly basis until Christmas, and can also be downloaded using Hatena.

In 2009 the headquarters of the company moved into a new building, designed by Alec French architects, in Gas Ferry Road, Bristol, although work needing large-scale sets is still carried out in sheds in Aztec West
Aztec West
and Bedminster .

In October 2013, Peter Lord (co-founder of Aardman Animations) created a fund raising project on the crowdfunding site Kickstarter . The campaign has a target of £75,000 which will be used to fund 12 new one-minute episodes of Morph . Lord is hoping to start production in January 2014 using the original stop-frame animation. Backers of the project will receive a variety of rewards, including early access to the new animations and a small box of clay used in the production, depending on the individual's level of funding.

In 2015, the company bought a majority share in New York-based animation studio Nathan Love, announcing the merger with a short film called Introducing: Aardman Nathan Love in 25 September of the same year .

In advance of Aardman's fortieth anniversary, BBC
BBC
One aired the one-hour television documentary A Grand Night In: The Story of Aardman, first broadcast on December 2015. Narrated by Julie Walters
Julie Walters
, this career retrospective includes commentary by the company's founders and staff, as well as various friends, fans and colleagues including Terry Gilliam
Terry Gilliam
, John Lasseter
John Lasseter
, and Matt Groening .

From 29 June 2017 to October 29 2017, an exhibition entitled "Wallace and Gromit and Friends" was shown at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI). A report on this exhibition was shown on Australian ABC News Breakfast on Wednesday, 28 June, featuring an 8-minute interview with producers Peter Lord and David Sproxton . The exhibition revealed that in Nick Park's very early sketches, Gromit was originally a cat, but Nick soon changed him into a dog, since it was generally agreed that a dog was clearly more suitable as a loyal pet/companion than a cat. Embedded in the ABC News article is a video interview with Lord and Sproxton, which gives information not only on Wallace and Gromit, but also Shaun the Sheep and others.

COMPANY NAME

The company name is taken from one of its early characters, a superhero created for Vision On
Vision On
in 1972. Unlike the claymation productions that the company are famous for, Aardman was cel-animated. The name derives from the Dutch phrase "aard man" meaning Nature Man, when joined together, "aardman" becomes "Earthman" more commonly translated to: "goblin". However, co-founder David Sproxton has claimed that the name was a result of being unable to "find another word with more A's in it than 'aardvark'" as schoolboys.

NON-AARDMAN PRODUCTIONS BY AARDMAN DIRECTORS

A number of Aardman directors have worked at other studios, taking the distinctive Aardman style with them.

Aardman's Steve Box directed the animated music video for the Spice Girls ' final single as a five-piece, " Viva Forever ". Widely regarded as the Spice Girls' most critically acclaimed song, the video took over five months to produce, considerably longer than the group's box office hit movie, Spice World .

Barry Purves , director of the Aardman short Next, also directed Hamilton Mattress for Harvest Films. The film, a half-hour special that premiered on Christmas
Christmas
Day 2001, was produced by Chris Moll, producer of the Wallace and Gromit short film The Wrong Trousers
The Wrong Trousers
. The models were provided by Mackinnon & Saunders, a firm that did the same for Bob the Builder
Bob the Builder
and Corpse Bride .

Similarly, Robbie the Reindeer in Hooves of Fire , a BBC Bristol/Comic Relief production, was directed by Richard Goleszowski
Richard Goleszowski
, creator of Rex the Runt
Rex the Runt
. Its sequel, Robbie the Reindeer in Legend of the Lost Tribe , was directed by Peter Peake, whose directorial credits for Aardman include Pib and Pog and Humdrum .

Aardman alumni also produced many of the claymation shorts used in the 1986–1990 American television series Pee-wee\'s Playhouse .

FILMOGRAPHY

FEATURE FILMS

# TITLE YEAR BUDGET GROSS RT IN PARTNERSHIP WITH

1 Chicken Run
Chicken Run
2000 $45 million $224.8 million 97% DreamWorks Animation
Animation

2 Wallace speak:none">000000001980-10-13-000013 October 1980 000000001981-01-01-00001981

Round the Bend (segments) 000000001989-01-06-00006 January 1989 000000001991-07-01-00001 July 1991 ITV

The Morph Files 000000001995-07-01-00001 July 1995 000000001995-09-23-000023 September 1995 BBC

Rex the Runt
Rex the Runt
000000001998-12-21-000021 December 1998 000000002001-12-16-000016 December 2001 BBC
BBC
Two

Angry Kid 000000001999-01-01-00001999 2007 BBC
BBC
Four

Wallace speak:none">000000002002-10-15-000015 October 2002 Christmas
Christmas
2002 BBC
BBC
One

The Presentators 000000002003-01-01-00002003 000000002004-01-01-00002004 Nickelodeon
Nickelodeon

Creature Comforts 000000002003-10-01-00001 October 2003 000000002007-06-18-000018 June 2007 ITV

Planet Sketch 2005 2010 CITV

Purple and Brown 2006 2007 Nickelodeon

Pib and Pog 2006 2006 BBC

Shaun the Sheep 000000002007-03-05-00005 March 2007 Present C BBC
BBC

Creature Comforts America 000000002007-06-04-00004 June 2007 000000002007-06-18-000018 June 2007 CBS
CBS

Chop Socky Chooks 000000002008-03-17-000017 March 2008 000000002008-11-28-000028 November 2008 Cartoon Network

A Town Called Panic 000000002009-01-01-0000January 2009 000000002009-01-01-0000January 2009 Nickelodeon

Timmy Time 000000002009-04-06-00006 April 2009 000000002012-07-13-000013 July 2012 Cbeebies
Cbeebies

Wallace and Gromit\'s World of Invention 000000002010-11-03-00003 November 2010 000000002010-12-08-00008 December 2010 BBC

Canimals 000000002011-06-09-00009 June 2011 present BRB Internacional

DC Nation Shorts 000000002011-11-11-000011 November 2011 000000002014-07-27-000027 July 2014 Cartoon Network

Shaun the Sheep 3D 000000002012-03-07-00007 March 2012 000000002012-06-13-000013 June 2012 Nintendo
Nintendo
Video

Shaun The Sheep Championsheeps 000000002012-07-02-00002 July 2012 000000002012-07-13-000013 July 2012 CBBC

Brand new Morph 000000002014-07-04-00004 July 2014 6 March 2015 YouTube
YouTube

Angry Kid Revival 000000002015-07-03-00003 July 2015 Present

Golden Morph 7 August 2015

Morph lost Tapes 6 November 2015 15 November 2015

Morph 2016 present Sky Kids

Meet David Attenborough 6 May 2016 8 May 2016 BBC
BBC
One

SHORT FILMS

* Greeblies (1975) * Animated Conversations: Down and Out (1977) * Animated Conversations: Confessions of a Foyer Girl (1978) * Conversation Pieces: On Probation (1983) * Conversation Pieces: Sales Pitch (1983) * Conversation Pieces: Palmy Days (1983) * Conversation Pieces: Early Bird (1983) * Conversation Pieces: Late Edition (1983) * Sweet Disaster: Babylon (1986) * Going Equipped (1987) * Wallace & Gromit: A Grand Day Out (1989) * Creature Comforts (1989) * War Story (1989) * Ident (1989) * Next (1989) * Adam (1991) * Rex the Runt: How Dinosaurs Became Extinct (1991) * Rex the Runt: Dreams (1991) * Loves Me, Loves Me Not (1993) * Not Without My Handbag (1993) * Wallace & Gromit: The Wrong Trousers
The Wrong Trousers
(1993) * Pib and Pog (1993) * Pop (1993) * Wallace & Gromit: A Close Shave
A Close Shave
(1995) * The Art Box Bunch (1995) * Rex the Runt: North by North Pole (1996) * Wat's Pig (1996) * Owzat (1997) * Stage Fright (1997) * Humdrum (1998) * Al Dente (1998) * Minotaur and Little Nerkin (1999) * Len\'s Lens (2002) * The Non-Voters (for the BBC
BBC
Election coverage) (2004) * Angry Kid: Who do you think you are? (2004) * Wallace & Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death
A Matter of Loaf and Death
(2008) * Gulp (2011) * The Itch of The Golden Nit (2011) * DC's World Funnest (" DC Nation Shorts ") (2012-2014) * Timmy Time – Timmy\'s Christmas
Christmas
Surprise (2011) * Timmy Time – Timmy\'s Seaside Rescue (2012) * Wallace & Gromit\'s Jubilee Bunt-a-thon (2012) * The Pirates! So You Want to Be a Pirate! (2012) * Wallace -webkit-column-count: 2; column-count: 2;">

* "Sledgehammer " (1986) * " My Baby Just Cares for Me
My Baby Just Cares for Me
" (1987) * "Barefootin " (1987) * " Viva Forever " (1998) * "Gridlock " (1999) * "Life\'s A Treat " (2007) * " Santa Claus Is Coming to Town ( Justin Bieber
Justin Bieber
Cover)" (2011) * "Life\'s A Treat (Rizzle Kicks Remix) " (2015) * "Feels Like Summer " (2015) * "OFFF Barcelona 2016 Main Titles" (2017)

COMMERCIALS

This is a selected list of commercials produced by Aardman. By 2000, the studio had produced over 100 commercials, at a rate of 15-20 spots per year. In the year 2009 alone, the studio produced 106 commercials.

* Lurpak
Lurpak
(1986) * Hamlet (1987) * Domestos (1987) * Electricity Board's "Heat Electric" * Enterprise 64 * Cadbury Creme Egg
Cadbury Creme Egg
* Cadbury\'s Crunchie * Kellogg\'s Rice Krispies * Lyle\'s Golden Syrup * Weetos * Smarties
Smarties
"Smartiepants" (1995) * BBC
BBC
Two Christmas
Christmas
IDs (1995) * Walkers Potato Crisps and Snacks * Quavers (1996) * Britannia Building Society (1997) * Glico
Glico
Pucchin Pudding (Japan, 1998, 2000) * Chevron Cars * Dairylea * Lipton * Serta Counting Sheep * BBC
BBC
One Christmas
Christmas
IDs (2001, 2008) * Polo Mints * British Telecom * BBC
BBC
Three idents (2003) * Jacob\'s Cream Crackers * Kellogg\'s Fruit Twistables * Hubba Bubba * PG Tips "Moving-in Interview", "Cupboard" (2002-2005) * Npower (2009, 2011) * Watch idents (2009) * National Accident Helpline featuring Underdog (2009) * Hotels.com
Hotels.com
(2009) * Nokia
Nokia
"Dot" (2010) * VisitEngland (2013, 2015) * McDonald\'s Happy Meal
Happy Meal
(2013) * Bloo * Electrolux
Electrolux
* Bristol
Bristol
Ageing Better (2015) * United Nations
United Nations
"We Have a Plan" (2015) * What if...Santa Forgot"

APPS

* Wizards vs Aliens
Wizards vs Aliens
: The Eye of Bashtarr (2013) * Escargot Escape Artistes (2015)

BOOKS

* Tristan Davies , Nick Park
Nick Park
, Nick Newman (1997); Wallace Brian Sibley (1998). Cracking Animation: The Aardman Book of 3-D Animation. Thames Nick Newman (1998). Wallace Nick Newman (1999). Wallace & Gromit: Crackers in Space. Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 978-0-340-71289-4 * Andy Lane (2003). Creating Creature Comforts. Boxtree Ltd. ISBN 978-0-7522-1564-8 * Andy Lane (2004). The World of Wallace Paul Simpson (2005). The Art of Wallace -webkit-column-width: 30em; column-width: 30em; list-style-type: decimal;">

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Chicken Run
is still the highest grossing stop motion animated movie of all time. * ^ Lane, Megan (14 October 2010). "What\'s an egg race got to do with inventing?". BBC
BBC
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Christmas
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BBC
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Nick Park
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