Aardman to Comfort U.S. Auds

Having successfully imported Wallace and Gromit to movie theaters in the U.S., British toon house Aardman Animations now has plans of reworking its clay-animated Creature Comforts TV series for viewers in the states, according to Daily Variety. The show will be one of a number of television projects Aardman will develop with Gotham Group.

Creature Comforts was hatched in 1989 as a short film which went on to win the Oscar in 1991. Directed by Wallace & Gromit creator Nick Park, the film used audio interviews of people on the street and used them as voice tracks for stop-motion animals living in a zoo. The concept was expanded into a hit U.K. TV series in 2003 and now follows the path to American sets recently traveled by Brit re-dos such as NBC’s The Office.

There’s no network home for the Americanized Comforts yet, but Aardman and Gotham Group reportedly plan to begin pitching it around town by the end of the year. Aardman is now in production on season two of the British version and is producing a computer-animated kung fu chicken series titled Chop Socky Chooks. In addition, the company is working on the CG feature.

All this activity continues as Aardman reels from Monday’s warehouse fire that destroyed sets, props and other historical archives representing the studio’s rich history as an award-winning leader in clay animation. The unplanned fall cleaning may prove symbolic as the company focuses more and more on computer-generated 3D toons such as Flushed Away, its third feature collaboration with DreamWorks Animation. For the time being, clay rules the day in Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit, which owned the North American box office last weekend and debuts in its native U.K. this Friday.