To its fans, the name Aardman Animations instantly evokes the claymation antics of Wallace and Gromit. Or "Shaun the Sheep." Or "Chicken Run." This weekend the Bristol-based studio is releasing its seventh feature film in the U.S.—it's already out in the U.K. "Early Man" stars a small Stone Age tribe at the onset of the Bronze Age. Technology, it turns out, has been disrupting us since time immemorial.
But the entertainment content for which the studio is so well known and loved constitutes only about 30 percent of its output. The rest of the breakdown includes roughly 30 percent TV and 30 percent branded content. Heather Wright, an executive producer and head of partner content at the studio, works with brands on storytelling in a wide array of media, not just claymation but AR and VR for clients including Google and the BBC.
"The number one rule is if you want to use an Aardman character, it has to be funny first," says Wright. "And if it's not funny, we will try to make it funny. But it also has to take place in their world."
Wright talks about characters, authenticity what makes animation special. You can listen to that above—and you should—or you can watch the trailer for "Early Man," here: