Aardman Leads British Animation Awards Race

Aardman Animation leads the finalists’ race in the jury-judged categories at this year’s British Animation Awards. Nick Park and Steve Box’s Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were Rabbit will be battling Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride in the Best Animated Feature catgory.

Aardman’s Angry Kid is also nominated in the Best TV Special category along with Little Reindeer and The Koala Brothers, while the Bristol house’s Creature Comforts series is up against Bromwell High and The Christies for Best Comedy Show.

The awards will be held on Thursday, March 9 at the Shaw Theatre in London. The BAA’s reward the work of students and established animators, feature and short films, animated graphics for film and television, children’s and adult television series and specials, music videos and commercials.

In the children’s categories, Pre-school is hotly contested with BAFTA nominees Meg and Mog and Peppa Pig joining newcomer Charlie and Lola in the final line up for Best Pre-School Series. Pre-school shows Koala Brothers and Peppa Pig have gained two nominations each. Both made the finalists for the Writers Award, with Koala Brothers also gaining a final place for the Best TV Special and Peppa Pig for Best Pre-School Series.

Passion Pictures has gained four nominations two for Best Commercial:Craft, and for Film at the Cutting Edge and Best Music Video. The BBC and ITV are level pegging with five nominations apiece. Channel Four has four, Nickelodeon three and Five two nominations. Hit Entertainment, Tiger Aspect and HatTrick/Decode are amongst the big name independent television production companies making the grade this year.

The Awards themselves (the BAA’s) are unique artworks created specially for the occasion by a range of leading international and UK animation artists. The artworks have to feature one or more sheep, with the option for a visual reference to the UK and/or animation. Animation luminaries such as Nick Park, Tim Burton, Gabor Csupo, Chuck Jones and Peter Lord have all previously created BAAs. There will be an exhibition of this year’s BAA’s at the Animation Art Gallery on Great Castle Street in London W1 beginning on February 23 for two weeks.