Press Release from Aardman Animations
Aardman Animations is forging its way into live action, producing a children’s slapstick visual comedy based on the hugely successful stage show Men in Coats.
Created by Mick Dow, the 13 x 15’ TV show for boys and girls aged 7-11 years is currently in development. Mik and Moe are the Men in Coats who have left their homeland of Wurstburg to seek their fortune in the wider world. Dressed in the traditional Wurstburgian costume of snorkel parkas, the Men in Coats have sworn to uphold their land’s ancient decree of never speaking. The series follows their attempts to hold down a job, rent a room or simply have fun, which inevitably ends in trouble.
Combining brilliant inventive performance art with traditional surreal magic and a vast array of camera trickery, the Men in Coats make the impossible seem possible as they take slapstick comedy to a new level. Already a hit of the stage with sell out tours worldwide, the Men in Coats are also an Internet success with over 33 million hits on You Tube, placing it in the top 100 most viewed clips ever.
The show already has Aardman’s Shaun the Sheep broadcasters CBBC and WDR as co-production partners for a pilot episode which is currently in pre-production. Incoming CBBC controller Damian Kavanagh says: "Men in Coats will be a welcome addition to our stable of live action comedy. Aardman's Shaun the Sheep has long charmed and entertained our audience and the physical humour of Men in Coats will follow in Shaun’s sure-footed steps.
Brigitta Mühlenbeck, Children's Programmes Producer at WDR, adds: “WDR is very happy to be involved in the production of Men in Coats. The concept, along with Aardman’s professional approach, shows great promise.”
This brand new show from Aardman is being produced simultaneously with another live action show: an invention inspired series fronted and presented by the much-loved family favourites, Wallace and Gromit.
BBC One has commissioned Aardman to produce 6 x 29’ episodes of Wallace & Gromit present: A World of Invention, a light-hearted and humorous look at real-life contraptions, gadgets and inventions. The series will broadcast in late 2010 and aims to inspire a whole new generation of innovative minds by showing them real, but mind-boggling, machines and inventions from around the world that have influenced Wallace’s ‘illustrious’ inventing career.
Aardman Rights will be presenting the series to international buyers at MIPCOM 2009. Miles Bullough, Head of Broadcast at Aardman Animations says: “We are excited to be expanding into live action with these two new shows. The Men in Coats is an exciting departure for us, and with several award-winning films and televisions series to their name, it is exciting to be taking Wallace and Gromit into a new genre.”
Aardman, based in Bristol (UK) co-founded and run by Peter Lord and David Sproxton, is a world leader in animation. It produces feature films, television series and television commercials for both the domestic and international market. Their multi-award winning productions are novel, entertaining, brilliantly characterised and full of charm that reflects the unique talent, energy and personal commitment of the very special people who make up the Aardman team. The studio’s work is often imitated and yet the company continues to lead the field producing a rare brand of visually stunning and amusing independent and commercials productions.