Acclaimed studio Aardman Animation has been entertaining audiences for over six decades with their award-winning stop motion films. Founded by Peter Lord and David Sproxton in 1972, Aardman started out by making 5-minute shorts for UK broadcasters such as the BBC.
Within a collection of shorts for Channel 4 was Nick Park’s academy-award winning film Creature Comforts, where zoo animals were matched with human’s voices talking about their homes. The comical clips made it seem as though the animals were commenting on their own living conditions. What began as an experimental series of stories, which also debuted Aardman’s iconic plasticine characters Wallace and Gromit, created the foundations for Aardman to become the billion-dollar studio it is today.
In 2002, Aardman extended their 5 to 30-minute productions into full length features with Chicken Run, which followed a flock of cooped-up chickens as they attempted to break out of their farm. With a star-studded cast of Mel Gibson and Julia Sawalha and quick-witted humour for all ages, Park and Lord’s first film became a firm family favourite for all ages.
After the film’s staggering commercial and critical success, Chicken Run also became the highest grossing stop-motion film of all time. Several years later, Wensleydale-loving Wallace and his intelligent dog Gromit took to the big-screen and bagged another Academy Award for Aardman in Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were Rabbit.
Due to the extensive time it takes to film a stop-motion feature (one project can take 18 months to six years to create), Aardman has established a short, but noteworthy filmography that subverts the norm in imaginative and witty ways. More recently, Aardman has teamed up with Netflix to deliver a sequel 21 years to their 2002 smash-hit with the family friendly title Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget.
Fresh new voices have taken to the fan-favourite characters, as Ginger and Rocky lead their close-knit group of chickens in paradise, before their whole world is threatened by a new type of high-tech chicken farm.
To celebrate Aardman’s long-awaited return to its most cherished film, here’s a list of the best Aardman animation movies to watch and where to stream them.