Aardman’s Morph to Phone It In

One of Aardman Animations’ first clay creations is set to make a comeback of the cellular kind some thirty years after his television debut. The multi award-winning Bristol-based animation studio has inked licensing deals with Orange, Vodafone, T-Mobile, O2 and international operators to bring animated shorts featuring Morph and friends to mobile phones.

The mercurial Morph will be joined by pals Chas, GrandMorph, Delilah, Gillespie, Nailbrush, Folly, Gobbledygook and the Very Small Creatures in re-edited shorts specially designed for mobile phones. Thirty five episodes and retro-styled wallpapers and screensavers will be available immediately.

Created by Aardman co-founders Peter Lord and David Sproxton, Morph served as a teething ring many of Aardman’s animators, including Oscar winner Nick Park, co-director of Chicken Run and Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. Having recently swept the Annie Awards, Wallace & Gromit is favored to win this year’s Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

The latest licensing deals, brokered by Aardman’s mobile agent, Crucible Media, further advance Aardman’s cross-platform media blitz. In addition to the five-picture deal with DreamWorks Animation, the studio is working on a second season of its clay-animated hit BBC series, Creature Comforts, and is developing an Americanized version for CBS. Head over to the Animag Fun Bag at www.animationmagazine.net/wac/fun_bag.html to check out some behind-the-scenes footage and first-look clips from Aardman’s and DreamWorks’ next big-screen effort, the CG-animated Flushed Away.