Entertainment20 January 2022
Combine a world-famous, four-time Academy Award® winning animation studio with a global entertainment company and what have you got? A match made in animation heaven.
Last year, Aardman and Netflix released the first fruit of our collaboration, the acclaimed musical Robin Robin, which recently made the Oscars shortlist and BAFTA longlist for animated short films. Directed by Mikey Please and Dan Ojari, our beautiful animated short has sincerity, humour, and a warmth that you cannot fake. Born out of our shared passion for animation, compelling stories and timeless characters, this partnership laid the foundations for two upcoming projects we’re excited to share new details about.
First up is a project incredibly dear to the hearts of Aardman, and something that everyone at Netflix is excited about. Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget, the eagerly anticipated sequel to the highest-grossing stop-motion animated film of all time, will be coming exclusively to Netflix in 2023. Over the years, a sequel was often discussed at Aardman but the studio needed the right story and the right partner. Following Robin Robin, another collaboration seemed like a no-brainer and the perfect time to bring back our poultry heroes to the world.
Like its 2000 predecessor, Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget is a comedy action-adventure. When your heroes have to summon up all their resources to break into an impenetrable fortress, and those heroes are chickens, then comedy is deep in its DNA. But there’s also a very moving family story at its heart. We’re thrilled to announce that Ginger and Rocky will be played by Thandiwe Newton and Zachary Levi, respectively. They’re fabulous together. Bella Ramsey will voice their headstrong daughter, Molly — a true chick-off-the-old-block who completes the family trio in this new chapter. Reprising their roles are Jane Horrocks (Babs), Imelda Staunton (Bunty) and Lynn Ferguson (Mac), joined by new additions Josie Sedgwick-Davies (Frizzle), David Bradley (Fowler), Romesh Ranganathan (Nick), Daniel Mays (Fetcher) and Nick Mohammed (Dr. Fry). Sam Fell (Flushed Away and Oscar-nominated ParaNorman) will direct the film, on which production is already underway.
We’re also delighted to announce the return of the iconic Wallace & Gromit. Nick Park is returning to his roots with a new film starring his beloved (and Oscar-winning) characters. The film will premiere exclusively on Netflix around the world except in the UK, where it will debut first on the BBC before also coming to Netflix. Nick has always wanted — indeed needed — to continue the adventures of these two characters that he knows so uniquely well.
Nick will direct alongside Aardman’s Creative Director of Wallace & Gromit, Merlin Crossingham, with Mark Burton onboard to write. Writing and storyboarding have kicked off on the as-yet-untitled film, which is set for a 2024 release.
And beyond these exciting projects, we’re also exploring how we work together on brand new characters and stories to make the classics of tomorrow. We’re excited to share where this journey takes us.
Notes to Editors
Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget:
Logline: Having pulled off a death-defying escape from Tweedy’s farm, Ginger has finally found her dream – a peaceful island sanctuary for the whole flock, far from the dangers of the human world. When she and Rocky hatch a little girl called Molly, Ginger’s happy ending seems complete. But back on the mainland the whole of chicken-kind faces a new and terrible threat. For Ginger and her team, even if it means putting their own hard-won freedom at risk – this time, they’re breaking in!
Cast: Thandiwe Newton (Ginger), Zachary Levi (Rocky), Bella Ramsey (Molly), Jane Horrocks (Babs), Imelda Staunton (Bunty), Lynn Ferguson (Mac), Josie Sedgwick-Davies (Frizzle), David Bradley (Fowler), Romesh Ranganathan (Nick), Daniel Mays (Fetcher) and Nick Mohammed (Dr Fry)
Directed by: Sam Fell (Flushed Away, The Tale of Despereaux, ParaNorman).
Executive Produced by: Peter Lord, Carla Shelley, Karey Kirkpatrick and Nick Park are returning as executive producers.
Produced by: Steve Pegram (Arthur Christmas) and Leyla Hobart.
Script by: Karey Kirkpatrick, John O’Farrell and Rachel Tunnard.
(Untitled) Wallace & Gromit film:
Logline: Gromit’s concern that Wallace has become over-dependant on his inventions proves justified, when Wallace invents a “smart gnome” that seems to develop a mind of its own...As events spiral out of control, it falls to Gromit to put aside his qualms and battle sinister forces - or Wallace may never be able to invent again!
Directed by: Nick Park (Creator of Wallace & Gromit and Shaun the Sheep) and Merlin Crossingham (2nd Unit Director, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit and Animation Director, Early Man)
Story by: Nick Park and Mark Burton (Madagascar, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, Shaun the Sheep Movie)
Screenplay by: Mark Burton
Produced by: Claire Jennings (Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit and Coraline)
Julian Dobson-Gunn, Lyn Cowan and Michelle Rasic