DreamWorks andAardman have formally announced the premature ending of their five-film exclusive partnership that dates back to 1999.

They worked together on award winning animanations including Chicken Run, Oscar winner Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit and, most recently, Flushed Away.

But the split was widely expected.

'Both companies areaware that our ambitions have moved apart,' said Aardman co-owners Peter Lord and DavidSproxton.

The partnership started strongly but Flushed Away took a disappointing $170m at the box office and DreamWorks took a $25m write-down on the Wallace and Gromit collaboration.

JeffreyKatzenberg, chief executive officer of DreamWorks Animation said, 'Today, DreamWorks Animation is focused onproducing two computer animated movies per year, with a full film slatelaid out into 2010. While I will always be a fan and an admirer ofAardman's work, our different business goals no longer support eachother.'