Friday, February 17, 2006

Aardman Animation Magic; Terry Pratchett

Aardman Animation studios has released two images from its first full-length computer-generated film, Flushed Away. The film is about an upper-crust rat's adventures in an underground rodent metropolis and is being produced at the Dreamworks studios in California. The animal characters were moulded in Plasticine, then scanned in 3-D and recreated as computerised images. Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Bill Nighy, Andy Serkis and Sir Ian McKellen amongst others are supplying voices for the movie which will be released in December. An Aardman spokesman said it had no plans to drop the plasticine animation used in the Wallace and Gromit films. However, he said computer animation was "a natural progression for the studio". "Another reason we are making this film in CG is water," he continued. "The sewers of London are full of water, which is almost impossible using traditional 3-D animation."
The pictures from the film are online at the BBC website. This film's on my "to see" film list for this year - it sounds like it'll be the usual Aardman fun...

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Terry Pratchett fans will be interested in the following news:

Wintersmith contracted to appear by March 2006 (don't take any notice of the publication date of October - Terry's last two children's books, published in this series appeared in March). Tiffany Aching is a trainee witch - now working for the seriously scary Miss Treason. But when Tiffany witnesses the Dark Dance - the crossover from summer to winter - she does what none has ever done before and leaps into the dance, into the oldest story there ever is, and draws the attention of the wintersmith himself... As Tiffany-shaped snowflakes hammer down on the land, can Tiffany deal with the consequences of her actions? Even with the help of Granny Weatherwax and the Nac Mac Feegle - the fightin', thievin' pictsies who are prepared to lay down their lives for their 'big wee hag'... (There could be a fourth book in the Tiffany Aching series too - a little more information is available at The L-Space Web.)

2007 Discworld Diary: The Ankh-Morpork Post Office Handbook due out on 17 August 2006. This is the latest in a long line of Diaries relating to Discworld characters/places. it will contain the rules and regulations of the Post Office as well as a history of the service. Co-written by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Briggs, and illustrated by Paul Kidby.

The Unseen University Cut Out Book due out on 1 October 2006. This is a cut-out book for adults, which in an extraordinary feat of paper engineering reveals a detailed 3-D model of the Unseen University - the most ancient and complex building on Discworld. Colourful and intricate, this paper sculpture will provide hours of fun for the true "Discworld" fan (or at least those who are not mechanical idiots, like me !)

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