Aardman Animations are something of a British Institution. Over their nearly 50 year career, Aardman have produced some of the most iconic and memorable pieces of stop motion animation ever put to film. Starting from their work in advertising, to their tv pieces and then of course their big screen productions; Aardman have been producing some of the most watched and beloved pieces of nearly any other major British, or Hollywood production company.
Their art style is unique and trademark to them, especially in the use of eyes and eyebrow animation. You can watch something of theirs; without knowing it was from them, and think; “Is this an Aardman Production?” Whenever a new Aardman production comes to light, it’s nearly always eye grabbing, and becomes something to look closely at. So in a state of celebration, I have looked at their big screen outings, and have chosen my Top 3 picks to share with you. So here are my Top 3 Favourite Aardman Animation Films.
3. Flushed Away – First film on this list, and the only one here not to use clay based animation. Yes, it’s a CGI Family Film, but given the film’s desired effects it’s no surprise they chose this option. Starring Hugh Jackman and Kate Winslet, Flushed Away takes the audience on a journey through the London Sewer System as a couple of rats try to thwart the plot of a couple of frogs. It’s incredibly cheesy, but also very silly, which creates an abundance of laughs and some wonderfully memorable moments. Plus the art style is just so Aardman, right down to the eyebrows.
2. Chicken Run – Aardman’s first big screen production, and still very much a classic to this day. Starring Mel Gibson as a Rooster employed to aide a group of chickens, led by Julia Sawalha; escape from their farm. The film works well at satirizing the prison escape genre, mainly in the same vein as The Great Escape, down to both the chickens style of escape attempts, to even the music. It is very funny, but also a triumph of Aardman’s skill at both animation and storytelling; creating a world of enriched character stories, but also amazing visual spectacles.
1. The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists! – Now known on IMDb as: The Pirates! Band of Misfits; it doesn’t detract away from the fact that this film is still all about those Pirates. Yes, they are a band of Misfits, but in that lies the film’s main vein of comedy, but also how the audience grows to love each and every one of them. Starring Hugh Grant as an unfortunately unlucky pirate, things take a drastic turn upon meeting Charles Darwin (David Tennant). Whilst once again satirizing elements of old school pirates, the film makes clever references to other areas of British culture, even down to some classic rock music from The Clash amongst others. The adventure is rife with both peril and action, and is overall a very enjoyable family film, with some great laughs.