Voice acting can be challenging for screen actors, often requiring the kind of extreme, over-the-top delivery that they look to avoid when working on a live-action project.
This is clear in a behind-the-scenes look at upcoming Ardmaan stop-motion animation Early Man, which The Independent brings you exclusively today, seeing Eddie Redmayne, Tom Hiddleston and Maisie Williams trying to get their mouths around the dialogue Wallace and Gromit director Nick Park has given them.
At one point, Park has to give Hiddleston a chop-heavy back massage in order to get the right sounds of him [ . . . ]
I don’t think Early Man is quite at the peak of the Wallace & Gromit shorts – I hold The Wrong Trousers and A Close Shave in particularly high esteem – but it’s very much a joyous family movie
The new film from Aardman sets out a very ambitious table of treats in its opening five minutes or so. A stop-frame animated piece, it immediately zeroes in on a prehistoric area of the planet just outside of Manchester. Early Man then starts with a lovely homage to the style of Ray Harryhausen (and more treats await in the end credits), charts the end of the dinosaurs, introduces some furry underpants and covers the early days of football. Oh, and it’s knocked someone off too. That’s efficiency. Proper storytelling efficiency.
Early Man, then, is the hugely enjoyable new film from the sure-to-be-knighted, multi-Oscar winning director Nick Park, who in turn has invented his first collection of totally brand new characters since 2000’s Chicken Run. He’s settled for his story on a bunch of generally lump-headed caveman and women, all with geographic roots in the UK, who live in a valley that’s overshadowed by the apparently progressive Bronze Age City next door.
Whilst the cavefolk, cheerily led by Eddie Redmayne’s Dug and his dad, Timothy Spall’s Chief Bobnar, try and prolong their existence, the dastardly Lord Nooth next door – Tom Hiddleston – has other ideas. The Queen – Miriam Margolyes! – too [ . . . ] More at: Early Man review
Aardman’s Nick Park is currently beavering away to complete Early Man – his caveman-themed first feature since 2005’s Wallace and Gromit in The Curse of the Werewolf – in time for its January 26 release date. So far, UK distributor Studiocanal has released just one trailer and a handful of stills.
But in the US, where the film is released on February 16, distributor Lionsgate has released an additional trailer and some amusing artwork putting a Stone/Bronze Age twist on familiar modern devices, such as the fossil watch, the iStone and the beetle razor (which you can see tribal Chief Bobnar wielding in the new trailer). And who could resist Boar Snot (“For that just walked out of the cave feeling”)?