Aardman Animations Limited is a British animation studio based in Bristol, England. Founded more than 40 years ago, the company produces feature films, series, advertising, and digital entertainment for both the domestic and international market. Aardman Animations is also well known for films made using stop-motion and clay animation techniques, particularly those featuring its plasticine characters “Wallace and Gromit,” “Shaun the Sheep,” and “Morph.”
In addition to producing its own material, Aardman Animations acquires content from third parties, with the strategy of always looking for shows that match its DNA. “We look for content and ideas that share our values, that feel right for us, that fit under the Aardman umbrella. Aardman is a well-known brand within the industry, people already know what they are going to find in our catalogue. We try to keep a really nice balance between our own produced shows and third-party IP, which complements our catalogue very well,” said Robin Gladman, Head of Acquisitions at Aardman Animations, in conversation with Señal News.
According to Gladman, the company is “always looking for really good and funny characters that both kids and families can engage with.” One great example of characters with a natural ability to engage viewers is “Wallace and Gromit,” Aardman’s most loved and iconic duo, which this year is celebrating its 30th anniversary. The series consists of four short films and one feature-length film, and has spawned numerous spin-offs and TV adaptations.
When it comes to trends, the executive preferred to refer to his own experience and maintained that “people are looking for really good quality content, but also for something new and fresh.” In times when windows multiply and viewing options seem limitless, Aardman Animations’ strategy is to always have a plan for each product in order to adapt it to as many viewing as possible.
“It is important to being able to have a plan for the rights so you can place your IP in all different touchpoints, because they are all really important. Kids spend a lot of time on digital platforms consuming things very quickly, so you need to find a way to correctly manage the windows and adapt your content so it works in all of these different ways of consumption,” the Head of Acquisitions at Aardman Animations explained.
Regarding needs from clients, Gladman sees that there are some differences between windows, because viewing habits are constantly changing. “For example, if kids are watching on a mobile device and scrolling through something, content should get to the action and fun much faster, while if you are doing something for platforms or television, which is more of a lean-back experience, you got more time to develop the story. Nevertheless, what all have in common is that you need to have good characters and a really good quality production,” he concluded.
By Diego Alfagemez and Federico Marzullo
We look for content and ideas that share our values, that feel right for us, that fit under the Aardman umbrella.” Robin Gladman Head of Acquisitions at Aardman Animations