Review: ‘Aardman’

Now that the DreamWorks feature "Chicken Run" has raised the profile of Aardman Animation considerably, the Bristol, England-based toon shop should be getting more global visitors to its quirky site. Fans of the whimsical plasticine style of Aardman are naturally going to be drawn to the colorful pages; the charming British humor and the close attention to character and detail are on full display.

Now that the DreamWorks feature “Chicken Run” has raised the profile of Aardman Animation considerably, the Bristol, England-based toon shop should be getting more global visitors to its quirky site. Fans of the whimsical plasticine style of Aardman are naturally going to be drawn to the colorful pages; the charming British humor and the close attention to character and detail are on full display.

Kids especially should get a kick out of revisiting the outfit’s popular characters Wallace and Gromit, Rex the Runt, the cast of “Chicken Run,” and the various animals of “Creature Comforts.” There’s also a link to Aardmarket, a well-organized shopping center where browsers can purchase all types of tie-in goodies.

The site features a link to atomfilms.com, where patient users can revisit many of the company’s classic shorts. A tongue-in-cheek Aardman Observer page also offers the latest news and silly exposes (“Sexy Rexy takes time out of his busy schedule to tell reporter about life in the biz!”).

Exclusive to the site are episodes of “Angry Kid,” the newest addition to the Aardman family. The animated project chronicles the adventures of a strange, red-haired dude, who isn’t quite as polite as the rest of the Aardman gang.

The Aardman site is a fun place to go to if you want to send a cute Gromit e-card to a friend, or buy a “Chicken Run” backpack, but the novelty factor may wear thin after the first few visits. If the Web masters want to keep the die-hard fans satisfied, they should add a few more interactive features, throw in a few “Wrong Trousers” and “Creature Comfort” games, and offer more art and in-depth info about the many characters in the Aardman library.

You’ve got all this precious Wallace and Gromit footage. Share the wealth, gentlemen.

Aardman

Production

Website Producer, Paul Deane; Website Manager, Richard Pringle; Launch, February 2000

Cast

Rating: * * *
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