Early Man review

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

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What’s the future for Wallis and Gromit after the sad loss of Peter Sallis?

Last of the Summer Wine star was the wonderful voice behind Wallace

As Aardman gears up to introduce fans to a set of brand new prehistoric-themes characters, Sproxton said it would be tricky to replace the star in any future Wallace and Gromit films.

“There will be somebody out there,” he said. “But it’s a great shame because Peter was a lovely actor and there was something very special he brought to the part which other people did find hard.

“It was his natural warmth and kind of innocence that gave Wallace a real character. It was very sad to see him go.” [ . . . . ]

More at: What’s the future for Wallis and Gromit after the sad loss of Peter Sallis?

Another Early Man trailer and new artwork unleashed

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”)?

Source: Another Early Man trailer and new artwork unleashed