Movie News

British Animators Split from Hollywood Studio

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Jan 31, 2007 | 11:14am EST

Hollywood film studio DreamWorks Animation and the makers of the Wallace and Gromit films have severed their troubled partnership after their quirky British characters failed to catch on in the U.S.

The collaboration yielded Oscar-winning film Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, featuring cheese-loving Wallace and his dog Gromit, Chicken Run and Flushed Away about an upper-class rat who disappears down a toilet.

Arthur Sheriff, a spokesman for the film's British makers, Aardman Animators, said it had been "extremely hard" for their films to crack the United States.

He explains, "It seems that in the U.S. market, Wallace and Gromit are incredibly popular in the main cities, but it's more difficult when you go to Middle America. The humor is a bit more subtle. We want to stay with our English quirkiness and I think the fans want us to as well."

Jeffrey Katzenberg, the U.S. firm's chief executive officer, adds, "While I will always be a fan and an admirer of Aardman's work, our different business goals no longer support each other."

Speculation the deal could be doomed emerged last year after Dreamworks said it expected to lose money on Flushed Away, which cost well over $100 million to make, but only grossed $63.4 million.

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