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Aaardman signs three year deal with Sony

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Aaardman Features has signed a three year deal with Sony Pictures Entertainment which will bring together "Aardman's unique and hugely successful animation expertise and SPE's global production, marketing and distribution operation", the company has announced.

The new relationship comes in the wake of Aardman's January divorce from Dreamworks which saw the two part company split after just three films of a five-picture deal, reportedly because of "different business goals". It was widely believed, however, that the split was a result of poor showings for Curse of the Were-Rabbit and Flushed Away.

Stephen Moore, COO of Aardman and head of Aardman Features, explained: "Over the past 18 months we have worked hard to create a new vision for Aardman Features. This includes an expanded development slate, increased production and plans to introduce new technical capabilities at our facility in Bristol. This agreement with Sony Pictures is very much at the heart of our new vision as they passionately support both Aardman's existing core creative values and enthusiastically support our creative ambitions for the future."

Amy Pascal, co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment, duly enthused: "We have been huge fans of Aardman films for a long time and this deal greatly expands Sony's commitment to animation in the worldwide marketplace. Aardman makes movies with lively humour, great stories, and fun distinctive visuals. They have boundless creative energy and a passion for animation that is hard to resist. We couldn't be more excited about working with the entire Aardman team."

Contributing to the corporate love-in, David Sproxton, Aardman co-founder and exectutive chairman, offered: "We know from experience that we create our best work when we do it from our home base here in Bristol, using first class talent from the nation and around the world. It is Aardman's intention to expand this community to produce more world class animated feature films. Pete [Lord], Nick [Park] and I are delighted to find a partner in Sony that shares our vision and believes in our core values, who will support and encourage us to produce our finest work. We are all very excited by the potential and have a number of projects we are keen to bring to fruition with this new relationship." ®

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