Brit animation studio Aardman Animations’ output has always been something of an acquired taste. For one, in this era of full CG animation, very few studios are still doing traditional stop-motion animation anymore (Laika is the other noteworthy one). Then there’s Aardman’s rather distinctive look of their characters, which is a love it or hate it sort of aesthetic. While I love both the animation style and the design, their stories haven’t always been the most engaging.

The latest from studio stalwart Nick Park might hit that sweet spot of mainstream appeal. “Early Man” is a prehistoric adventure, so it’s got cavemen and all manner of cool beasties that kids tend to love. Plus, the voice cast is led by Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne and Loki himself, Tom Hiddleston. The first teaser debuted today, and it does look like fun. What say you?

Here’s the official summary: “Aardman Animations and StudioCanal have revealed the first Early Man teaser and announced that British comedy greats Timothy Spall, Richard Ayoade, Selina Griffiths, Johnny Vegas, Mark Williams, Gina Yashere, Simon Greenall and Richard Webber have joined the voice cast alongside Eddie Redmayne, Tom Hiddleston and Maisie Williams. As the voice cast of the tribe, their talent is showcased in the teaser for Nick Park’s new prehistoric comedy adventure.

Nick Park comments: “Today we get to meet Dug’s tribe, a loveable bunch of misfits voiced by some exceptional British talent. They’re essentially a group of inept cavemen and women including Treebor, played by Richard Ayoade, a gentle giant scared of his own shadow; Magma, Treebor’s no nonsense mother voiced by Selena Griffiths and Mark Williams as Barry, whose best friend is a rock. Chief Bobnar, voiced by the brilliant Timothy Spall, leads the pack as their long-suffering leader, and father figure to his tribe of idiotic brutes.”

Early Man is the new prehistoric comedy adventure from four-time Academy Award-winning director Nick Park and Aardman, the creators of Wallace & Gromit and Shaun the Sheep. Shot in Aardman’s own distinctive style, the film will take audiences on an extraordinary journey into an exciting new world unleashing an unforgettable tribe of unique and funny new characters voiced by an all-star British cast.

Set at the dawn of time, when prehistoric creatures roamed the earth, Early Man tells the story of courageous caveman hero Dug (Eddie Redmayne) and his best friend Hognob as they unite his tribe against a mighty enemy Lord Nooth (Tom Hiddleston) and his Bronze Age City to save their home.

Early Man, currently filming in Bristol, continues the production partnership with Aardman and StudioCanal following the success of Shaun the Sheep Movie, directed by Mark Burton and Richard Starzak. StudioCanal is co-financing alongside the BFI (British Film Institute) and will distribute in its own territories, the UK, France, Germany, Australia and New Zealand, selling worldwide.”

“Early Man” premieres 26th January 2018 in the UK.


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