Bristol-based studio Aardman Animations has hired on industry veteran Sarah Cox as Executive Creative Director, co-founders Peter Lord and David Sproxton announced. In her new role, Cox will oversee the development of a new slate of entertainment IPs for kids and families across all platforms, and spearhead efforts to foster new talent and keep Aardman at the forefront of innovative content development.
Cox’s appointment went into effect Feb. 9.
“I’m simply delighted that Sarah is joining Aardman at this very exciting time,” said Lord, Aardman founder and creative director. “With her flair for developing and mentoring creative people, she’s the perfect person to drive some terrific new projects. At Aardman, we love creating characters, telling stories, and delivering them with wit and irreverent humor, and I’m thrilled to have Sarah along for the adventure.”
“I am delighted to be offered this unique opportunity to help develop the creative concepts that will ultimately shape the future content of such an inspirational studio as Aardman,” added Cox. “We have been given a bold and exciting remit to find new characters, innovative concepts and creative talent that will continue to produce the top quality humour filled content that the studio is known and loved for. I am a long-time admirer of the collaborative spirit and ethos of Aardman and I am really looking forward to becoming part of that team.”
Cox joins Aardman from award-winning film and animation production company ArthurCox, which she founded with Sally Arthur in 2002 and headed as Owner & Creative Director. There she established a relationship with Aardman as a commercial and short film director.
Cox was nominated for a BAFTA for her animated short Heavy Pockets in 2004. She also directed the award-winning Tate Movie Project film The Itch of the Golden Nit (2011), and co-directed the British Animation Award winning road safety series The Peculiar Adventures of Hector and multi-award-winning environmental short Don’t Let It All Unravel. Most recently, she created and directed BAFTA-nominated preschool animation Nina Needs to Go! (Disney Junior) and educational online series Search It Up – Azoomee.
ArthurCox produced a number of notable shorts, including Emma Lazenby’s BAFTA-winning Mother of Many and Matthew Walker’s acclaimed John and Karen. Cox produced her first live-action feature 8 Minutes Idle in 2014, which was directed by Mark Simon Hewis and was part of the iFeatures scheme. Before starting ArthurCox, she directed commercials at Picasso Pictures from 1994-2002, working with brands including Virgin Megastores, Sanatogen and Boots No7.
Cox’s CV also includes stints as a lecturer for Humberside University, The National Film and Television School and Head of Animation at Savannah College of Art and Design. She holds an MA in Animation from the Royal College of Art.