Cracking tech, Gromit! Animation studio Aardman admits to ‘playing around’ with AI in case people ‘lose interest’ in stop motion
- Upcoming Chicken Run sequel is expected to use the last of the studio’s clay
In many corners of the entertainment industry, the rise of artificial intelligence has left people terrified.
But Aardman Animations, the studio behind Wallace and Gromit and Chicken Run, has been ‘playing around’ with the technology in case people ‘lose interest’ in stop-motion and are forced to ‘adapt’.
The company’s co-founder Peter Lord, 70, said that, while he believes there is a ‘magic’ in the clay characters they make by hand, he accepts the inevitable emergence of AI imitations.
‘If the world moves on so far that nobody cares about stop-motion, we’ll adapt,’ he told the Radio Times.
‘But we will keep doing what we do so well, as long as people want it. And we’ll still offer it up to them, even if they don’t know they want it.’
Aardman Animations, the studio behind Wallace and Gromit and Chicken Run, has been ‘playing around’ with AI technology in case people ‘lose interest’ in stop-motion
Although he admitted that his studio is in the process of ‘playing around’ with types of AI technology, he said their beloved stop-motion creations endure because ‘you can see how it’s done’ and ‘there’s magic in the sense that these puppets have come to life’.
He added: ‘Perfection doesn’t interest me much. It’s nice, sometimes, that animation can perfectly imitate real life. But I much prefer it when it gives us the essence of real life and simplifies it.’
Lord, who said you can occasionally see thumbprints on the clay characters, has spent six years working on the new Chicken Run sequel – coming out 23 years after the original.
He said he has ‘ten, possibly more’ projects in the works including a new Wallace and Gromit film.
The anticipated Netflix film Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget is expected to use the last of the studio’s clay after the one plant in the world to make it closed earlier this year
The studio is expected to use up the last of their clay to make the film, after Newclay Products – the one plant in the world that makes it – closed earlier this year as the owners could not find anyone to take it over.
Despite the setback, Lord has assured fans that there will be a ‘smooth transition to new stock’ in time for future projects.
The eagerly-anticipated Chicken Run sequel, which has been funded by Netflix and will be streamed on the service, features 200 real models as well as the use of CGI for background scenes and characters.
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