Aardman Animations is to partner with StudioCanal on the production of a feature based around claymation character Shaun the Sheep.

Shaun the Sheep

First seen in Oscar-winning short film A Close Shave, starring popular Aardman characters Wallace and Gromit, the character and his “flock” have since featured in a TV series that has been exported to more than 170 countries.

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The film will be shot using stop motion animation and is written and directed by Richard Starzak and Mark Burton.

It is being lined up for release in spring 2015.

StudioCanal is financing and will distribute the film in the UK, France, Germany, Australia and New Zealand. It will also handle international sales.

The story will see Shaun’s mischief inadvertently lead to the Farmer having to leave the farm. Shaun, Bitzer and the flock then have to go into the big city to rescue him in an “epic adventure”.

David Sproxton, executive chairman and co-founder of Aardman, said: “Shaun and his friends have a massive global following and we are very excited about being able to put them into a bigger adventure for the big screen.

“We are naturally also very excited about partnering with StudioCanal for this project. Their track record and expertise in international film financing and distribution seems a perfect fit.”