Aardman teams with Bandai Namco Entertainment to develop a new multi-media IP

Aardman, the multi-award winning animation studio behind the Wallace & Gromit franchise and Chicken Run, has partnered with Bandai Namco to develop a brand new IP.

As reported in Licensing.biz’s sister title, MCV, the partnership’s first major project will exist across multiple media, and the team will approach partners in early 2021 with the development materials. The collaboration will combine Aardman’s talent of creating characters and worlds with Bandai Namco’s expertise in  publishing and development to create games for “current and future platforms.”

“Interactive Entertainment is a huge growth area within the entertainment world,” said Sean Clarke, managing director of Aardman, “and with new emerging technology blurring the lines of watching and playing, we are keen to develop strategic partnerships with partners such as BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Europe that share our vision of creating new IP that embraces this new world and cement our studio’s reputation as a multi-disciplinary creative hub.”

“This new partnership with Aardman is a dream come true, as it opens up a world of possibilities,” said Hervé Hoerdt, SVP of digital, marketing & content at Bandai Namco Entertainment Europe, “The teams at Aardman and BNEE are a perfect cultural and creative fit to build a successful long term partnership, and I can’t wait to see what we can achieve together.”

Further details about the collaboration will be available at a later date.

The Art of Aardman – Shaun the Sheep and Friends plots up in The Netherlands

The international exhibition, The Art of Aardman – Shaun the Sheep and Friends has opened at Forum Groningen in the Netherlands, the latest leg of a tour that has so far seen it entertain fans across Paris, Melbourne, Frankfurt, and Seoul.

The popular exhibition offers fans of Aardman an insight into the work of the Academy Award winning Aardman Studios. Its latest exhibition in Groningen officially opened today, Friday, September 18th.

The latest iteration brings to life the weird and wonderful characters and creations from the Aardman portfolio that includes Shaun the Sheep, Chicken Run, and Wallace & Gromit, and takes visitors on a journey of discovery past original versions of Gromit’s famous vegetable garden, the flying machine from chicken Run, and the five metre tall galleon from The Pirates! Band of Misfits.

In addition to a host of clay models and film sets, Forum Groningen has also added a number of interactive elements to the exhibition. 

Hans Poll, director of programming and marketing, said: “Standing in their shoes for a bit helps you appreciate and understand Aardman’s work even more. In our exhibition, you can learn how to make a storyboard and create your own work in our stop-motion studio.” 

Throughout the exhibition, Forum will also be showing Aardman’s entire film oeuvre in its cinemas, while a programme of claying workshops will also be organised.

The Art of Aardman is the second major exhibition at Forum, the landmark culture giant in the centre of Groningen. The programming is spearheaded by popular visual culture, current affairs and technology. The previous exhibition, AI: More than Human, was about artificial intelligence. 

Ngaio Harding-Hill, head of attractions & live experiences, Aardman, added: We are delighted that, after journeying to the other side of the world, to venues in South Korea and Australia, the Art of Aardman exhibition is returning to Europe.  The stunning Groningen Forum is the perfect cultural venue to host the exhibition and we hope it delights its visitors in The Netherlands as it has around the world.

The Art of Aardman – Shaun the Sheep and Friends will be on show until 9 May 2021.

Aardman and Netflix partner for Chicken Run sequel on 20th anniversary of original feature film

By today’s standards, 20 years is but a blip in a timeline of waiting for a movie sequel emerge, and exactly two decades on from the release of its first Chicken Run outing, Aardman has declared its intention to deliver the goods.

In partnership with none other than Netflix, the pair have confirmed that work is underway on a follow up feature to 2000’s hit movie, Chicken Run. The news was announced initially at a Making Of panel at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival by the directors at Aardman Animations.

Netflix confirmed the announcement shortly after via a post on its social media platforms.

‘Having pulled off a death-defyng escape from Tweedy’s farm, Ginger has finally found her dream – a peaceful island sanctuary for the whole flock, far from the dangers of the human world,’ reads the official line from the feature film’s developers.

‘When she and Rocky hatch a little girl called Molly, Ginger’s happy ending seems complete. But back on the mainland, the whole of chicken-kind faces a new and terrible threat. For Ginger and her team, even if it means putting their on hard-won freedom at risk – this time, they’re breaking in.’

In a statement, Aardman Studio’s Peter Lord added: “Fans around the world have waited patiently for a sequel idea worthy of Chicken Run so we’re delighted to announce, on the 20th anniversary, that we’ve found the perfect story.

“Netflix feels like the ideal creative partner for this project too – they celebrate the film-maker, which means we can make the film we want to make – the one we really care about – and share it with a global audience.”