Aardman Starts on Pirates!, Arthur Christmas

Aardman Animation is going full speed ahead with production starting on two new feature-length animated feature films for Sony Pictures.

The two films are Pirates!, which will be a stop-motion film using the studio’s traditional hand-modeled clay figures, and Arthur Christmas, a CG-animated film.

The announcement was made Monday by Aardman co-founders David Sproxton and Peter Lord, and Sony Pictures chairman and CEO Michael Lynton and studio co-chairman Amy Pascal.

Pirates! is based upon The Pirates (in an Adventure with Scientists), one entry in the bestselling series of books by Gideon Defoe. Lord and Jeff Newitt are directing the film from a script by Defoe. Julie Lockhart is producing the movie, with Carla Shelly, Lord and Sproxton serving as executive producers.

Arthur Christmas, which promises to answer the question of exactly how Santa Claus delivers all those presents in a single night, is directed by Sarah Smith and Barry Cook from a scrip by Peter Baynham and Smith. The film is produced by Cheryl Abood, with Steve Pegram as co-producer and Shelley, Lord and Sproxton on board as executive producers.

Aardman is working with Sony Pictures Imageworks on the animation for the film.