Aardman Animation has made many great stop-motion films over the years. Here’s where each of them ranks with critics.
Since it was first founded in 1972, Aardman Animations has become famous for its stop-motion animated works. The company has produced several animated shorts, television shows and critically acclaimed films. All of Aardman Animation’s films are certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and have green scores on Metacritic, but even with this incredible level of quality, some of their films are certainly better than others.
Here are all of the theatrical films released by Aardman Animations ranked by their average scores on both Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.
Flushed Away – 73.5
The last film that Aardman released in partnership with DreamWorks, and their first fully CGI-animated film, Flushed Away centers around a mouse that gets flushed down the toilet and into the sewers and must find a way to get back home. Hugh Jackman and Kate Winslet provide the voices of the main protagonists while Ian McKellen voices the villain. Despite getting positive reviews, Flushed Away underperformed at the box office and led to DreamWorks losing a lot of money.
Early Man – 74
Flushed Away might have been a box-office disappointment, but 2018’s Early Man was a flat-out bomb. That said, it had the disadvantage of opening in the U.S. on the same weekend as Marvel Studios’ Black Panther. It also didn’t help that some critics, while still finding the film enjoyable, felt that the tale of a caveman saving his tribe from invaders by challenging them to a soccer match was a step down from Aardman’s previous films.
The Pirates! In an Adventure With Scientists – 79.5
Known in some parts of the world as The Pirates! Band of Misfits, this animated comedy film about a group of pirates trying to win a Pirate of the Year award was meant to be the first in a film series, as it was an adaptation of the first book in a series of novels. While the film was well-received and nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Film, its lackluster box office returns meant that Sony wasn’t keen on making a sequel. At least the characters gave audiences the “Well, yes, but actually no” meme.
Arthur Christmas – 80.5
The Pirates was the second and last Aardman film released by Sony, but the first was Arthur Christmas. This holiday film followed the son of Santa Claus as he sets out to deliver a present to a little girl after his father failed to do so on Christmas Eve and featured the voices of James McAvoy and Bill Nighy. Like many of Aardman’s more recent films, the positive reviews didn’t exactly lead to massive amounts of dollars. At least the film is looked upon fondly today.
A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon – 87.5
One of the most popular Aardman characters is Shaun the Sheep, a troublemaking sheep who’s constantly getting his flock in trouble. Shaun’s most recent adventure was Farmageddon, which saw him assisting an alien in getting back home while avoiding a shady organization trying to capture the alien. Despite another small box office run, it was a smash with critics and was the fourth Aardman film to be nominated for Best Animated Feature, but it lost to Soul.
Shaun the Sheep Movie – 90
Farmageddon was actually the second Shaun the Sheep film. The first, simply titled Shaun the Sheep Movie, is a more straightforward tale where Shaun and his flock travel to the big city to rescue their farmer while being chased by an animal hunter. The film received just as much acclaim as the sequel but was an even bigger financial success.
Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit – 91
Shaun the Sheep originally appeared in a short film centered around Wallace and Gromit, an inventor and his dog, respectively. Their big theatrical adventure, The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, sees the duo trying to save their local vegetable competition from a mysterious creature. As the second-ever theatrical film released by Aardman, it is currently their only film to win them an Academy Award.
Chicken Run – 92.5
The first, and still the best, Aardman film is Chicken Run. The tale of a group of chickens trying to escape a farm that seeks to turn them into meat pies, featuring the voices of Mel Gibson and Timothy Spall, still holds the distinction of being the highest-grossing stop-motion animated film of all time. Over two decades later, a sequel is finally in development, set to be released in 2023.
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