Aardman Productions

Research 26th January 2017


Aardman animations was created in 1972 by childhood friends Peter Lord and David Sproxton. Aardman creates award winning productions that have entertained the nation for decades. Many of their creations are now common household names, for example Wallace and Gromit or Shaun the Sheep.

The first animation the duo made was now a very famous animation morph. A plasticine stop motion animation orange comedic character. It was used for a children’s television programme however, now it’s widened its age range and it fun for any aged person.

From there they worked for channel 4 to create animation shorts in which they made human characters edited alongside human voices to host a radio show. This led to a new idea called lip synch in 1987 that further exhibited clay stop motion characters talking in human voices. This was one of the first times human voices were edited alongside the animation. This meant that the characters movements became more complicated as they needed to have movement that matched the sound of the letter. In early bird the lip movements were very subtle and although moved to make it seem the sound was coming out, it did not match very well.

This idea was expanded into an award winning programme creature comforts. It consisted of animals in a zoo being interviewed. Each programme lasts about five minutes and is a comedic mockumentary that everyone finds hilarious. In 1990 it won Academy Award For Best Animated Short Film.


From there onwards animations became better and better. 1993 was the year Wallace and Gromit the wrong trousers was released. It was their longest film they produced so far lasting around 30 minutes. Winning over 30 awards it is known for the best animation ever made. The creation of the characters had become far more refined and the movement of the mouth matched exactly to the sounds created.

Early bird one of their first production the characters were quite unrefined with their mouths not matching to the speech they spoke. However, this was the first time in stop motion animation real voices were used alongside the character. They movements were quite jumpy and not as smooth and free flowing as human movement. Compared to their recent productions such as Wallace and Gromit the movement is so refined it is life like. This took years of practising from the early bird characters. The movement in Wallace when he speaks is nearly identical and it is believable that the character is speaking. The length of the two animations is drastically different, one is a 5 minute sketch and the other is 30 minutes. This is because technology has progressed and the company have a far better understanding of the stop motion technique. Wallace and Gromit also have far larger sets. As the company as grown the number of employees have increased therefore there’s more time to create more than one set. Nevertheless, the similarity between both animations is that the smallest detail such as books on a shelf has been added to make the animations real life as possible.

As Wallace and Gromit was such a success in 2000 Aardmans first feature long film was created. It was funded by DreamWorks to produce as it was such a large making production. The reviews were exceptional and to this date it is the highest grossing stop motion animation film.



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