UK animation studio Aardman has acquired a majority share in New York-based company Nathan Love in a move that represents the Chicken Run producer’s first production facility outside the UK. The new company will be re-branded Aardman Nathan Love and further establishes Aardman’s commitment to its lucrative advertising business.
“This venture is not about sending work back to the UK. It’s about building a new business in New York for American agencies and we feel we can do this more effectively by being there,” commented Aardman co-founder and exec chairman David Sproxton. “Aardman’s vision is to be the most inspirational animation company in the World, in the eyes of its talent, partners and audiences, for generations to come.”
Nathan Love was founded by Joe Burrascano in 2007 and is a respected New York animation house, that produces advertising for brands including Kellogg’s, Kraft, Pepsi, NBC Universal and Nickelodeon.
“The partnership feels very natural, our values and philosophy are closely aligned, and the potential for what we can do together is incredibly inspiring,” said Joe Burrascano. “We hope agencies and clients will feel the same way, and that in working with us they will have access to a unique wealth of talent and storytelling experience.”
Aardman has previously had strategic relationships with American companies. Dreamworks Animation at one time had a $250 million co-financing, co-production pact with the company. The two worked together on Chicken Run and Flushed Away Subsequently, Aardman inked a co-fi, co-distribution deal with Sony, that included Arthur Christmas.
Aardman is currently in production on the ambitious Early Man, a caveman comedy that will trace the world’s first game of soccer with StudioCanal. The $50 million project is a stop-frame feature film that sees Nick Park going behind the camera for the first time since Wallace & Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit. Park also co-directed Chicken Run. Mark Burton and John O’Farrell have written the script. The BFI is also a partner on the film.