Netflix must have plenty of cheese. The streaming platform is teaming up with Aardman Animation to bring us the first Wallace & Gromit story in more than a decade, which is just far too long to go between incredibly charming animated films about a man, his dog, and the importance of cheese.
But the Aardman/Netflix partnership extends beyond a love of Wensleydale and into the barnyard: A sequel to Chicken Run is also in the works!
Released in 2000, Chicken Run is the highest-grossing stop-animation film ever. The sequel, Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget, directly follows on the dramatic events of the first film:
Having pulled off a death-defying escape from Tweedy’s farm, Ginger has finally found her dream—a peaceful island sanctuary for the whole flock, far from the dangers of the human world. When she and Rocky hatch a little girl called Molly, Ginger’s happy ending seems complete. But back on the mainland the whole of chicken-kind faces a new and terrible threat. For Ginger and her team, even if it means putting their own hard-won freedom at risk—this time, they’re breaking in!
Dawn of the Nugget stars Thandiwe Newton as Ginger, Zachary Levi as Rocky, and Bella Ramsey as Molly. Sam Fell (ParaNorman) is directing, the script is by Karey Kirkpatrick, John O’Farrell and Rachel Tunnard (Kirkpatrick and O’Farrell were co-writers on the first movie). Production has already begun, and the movie should be on Netflix in 2023.
The Wallace & Gromit film is not yet titled, but has an endearing summary:
Gromit’s concern that Wallace has become over-dependent on his inventions proves justified, when Wallace invents a “smart gnome” that seems to develop a mind of its own… As events spiral out of control, it falls to Gromit to put aside his qualms and battle sinister forces—or Wallace may never be able to invent again!
Wallace & Gromit creator Nick Park will co-direct the film with Merlin Crossingham (Aardman’s Creative Director of Wallace & Gromit); frequent Aardman collaborator Mark Burton will write the screenplay. This one’s not in production yet, but is scheduled for release in 2024.
That’s a long time to wait, but of course, it’s always a good time to revisit the previous Wallace & Gromit adventures. Maybe it’s time to rewatch the Oscar-winning Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit?