Sony & Aardman Add 2 Films To Slate

With Pirates! and Arthur Christmas

It's not all about cheese and chickens at Aardman Animations, as they add two new animated movies to their upcomming slate with Sony Pictures. One is all at sea and called Pirates!, and the other will "explain" the festive period in Arthur Christmas.Co-directed by Chicken Run helmsman Peter Lord, Pirates! will follow Aardman's plasticine tradition - erm, hand-crafted stop-motion animation tradition. It is adapted from the best-selling series of children's book by Gideon Defoe, which takes a swashbuckling ride with a group of pirates who sail to London and meet with Charles Darwin and a talking chimp named Mister Bobo, and who must battle it out with a mysterious enemy looking to get rid of them. While it all sounds like immense fun, it will involve substantial amounts of every animator's nightmare: water.

Arthur Christmas, in contrast, will go down the same fully CGI route as Flushed Away. That's a brave move after poor returns on that (really rather good) rodent-related feature, which led to a break-up of Aardman with DreamWorks Animation in favour of a deal with Sony, and a two year hiatus from making features until now. Hopefully that will soon be a distant memory, as Arthur Christmas unravels the way in which Santa is able to get presents delivered all round the world in one single night. That film will be co-directed by Sarah Smith and Barry Cook from a script scribbled by Borat's Peter Baynham.