Europe’s largest production company StudioCanal is teaming with UK-based Aardman Animations to develop the British animated kids’ series “Shaun the Sheep,” about an unusually intelligent farm animal, for the big screen. They plan to sell the film to buyers at the Cannes market this year.
The character Shaun the sheep made his theatrical debut in 1996’s Oscar winner for Best Animated Short, “A Close Shave,” also produced by Aardman. “Shaun the Sheep,” which premiered in the UK in 2007 and kicked off its third season in February, is a stop-motion animated series geared toward younger viewers, but the crossover appeal of other Aardman productions such as “Wallace and Gromit” could make “Shaun the Sheep” a family hit.
Aarman Animations has seen great box office success domestically, as in “Arthur Christmas” (2011) and feathered frenzy “Chicken Run” (2000). Studiocanal will finance “Shaun the Sheep” and distribute throughout Europe, Australia and New Zealand.