3rd December 1997


Jeffrey Katzenberg (DreamWorks SKG principal) and Jake Eberts (founder of Pathe's affiliate, Allied Films) announced that their companies are teaming up to co-finance and distribute CHICKEN RUN. Regular Aardnews readers already know that CHICKEN RUN is the first full-length animated feature from Aardman Animations and is currently in pre-production. The film is being co-directed by Peter Lord and Nick Park (pictured with David Sproxton, joint company director) at Aardman's studios in Bristol, UK.

An animated adventure comedy, CHICKEN RUN is the story of a group of chickens who make a desperate bid for freedom before they can be fried, filleted or fricasseed. Leading the flock are a British chicken named Ginger and an all-American rooster named Rocky. Together they prove that chickens are anything but, as they engage in a daring and spectacular escape.

CHICKEN RUN is being produced by David Sproxton, Peter Lord and Nick Park with Jake Eberts as executive producer. The screenplay by Karey Kirkpatrick and Jack Rosenthal is based on an original story by Nick Park and Peter Lord. DreamWorks will distribute the film in the United States and in most international territories outside Europe. Pathe will distribute the film in Europe. American television audiences are already familiar with Aardman's distinctive clay animation style from the popular Chevron commercials featuring talking cars.

In the announcement, Jeffrey Katzenberg stated "We are thrilled and excited to be working with Aardman Animations ... Any studio would be thrilled to work with the Aardman group - so having their first full-length feature, CHICKEN RUN land at DreamWorks is an honor." He went on to say that Aardman's have consistently 'pushed the envelope' in clay animation with a unique blend of ingenuity and humor.

Jake Eberts added, "Pathe and I have been developing CHICKEN RUN with Aardman for more than two years, and we are truly delighted to have DreamWorks as our partner."

Jake Eberts founded Allied Films in 1986, and has since arranged or provided financing for the Academy Award-winning Best Pictures "Driving Miss Daisy" and "Dances With Wolves," in addition to such films as "The Name of the Rose," "Hope and Glory," "A River Runs Through It" and "James and the Giant Peach."

Keep reading Aardnews for the latest updates on CHICKEN RUN.

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