Cannes: StudioCanal, Aardman Animations Team Up for 'Shaun the Sheep' Film

Shaun the Sheep H

Mark Burton and Richard Starzak will co-write and direct the claymation feature based on characters from the Oscar-winning short "A Close Shave."

Aardman Animations in the U.K. and France's StudioCanal are teaming up to co-produce Shaun the Sheep, a feature film based on the plucky woolly creature first seen in Nick Park's Oscar-winning Wallace and Gromit short film A Close Shave.

Mark Burton, who co-wrote the screenplay with directors Park and Steve Box on Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005), will co-write and co-direct Shaun the Sheep with Richard Starzak.

StudioCanal will be shopping the project at the upcoming Cannes Film Market.

The plot of the feature has Shaun and his sheepdog friend Bitzer forced to take their entire flock on an adventure to the big city to rescue the Farmer.

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Shaun the Sheep already has spawned a hit kids' stop-motion animated TV show and a spinoff preschool program, Timmy Time, both of which have sold to virtually every territory in the world.

Aardman, whose big-screen credits also include Chicken Run and The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists!, will produce Shaun the Sheep with StudioCanal providing financing and distributing the film in the U.K, France, Germany, Australia and New Zealand. StudioCanal also will handle international sales duties.