Wallace and Gromit animator inks with HIT
Wallace and Gromit are hooking up with Barney and Thomas the Tank Engine — sort of.Blighty’s Aardman Animations has inked a deal with HIT Entertainment to manage the U.S.-Canadian licensing and DVD rights for several of its key properties, including Wallace & Gromit. HIT has previously scored with licensing initiatives on behalf of a number of kidvid brands, including Barney and Thomas the Tank Engine. Deal with Aardman — which also includes characters such as Disney Channel’s Shaun the Sheep — kicks in immediately. Aardman CEO Stephen Moore said HIT’s “talent in managing top international brands will give Shaun and Wallace & Gromit a great springboard for tremendous success.” Despite strong international appeal and critical praise, the past two Aardman features — “Flushed Away” (with DreamWorks) and “The Curse of the Were-Rabbit” — were B.O. disappointments in the States.