Arts: Animators all agog with the lure of Hollywood fame

The quirky tales of Wallace, the inventor, and Gromit, his long-suffering canine sidekick, have captured a niche market for British talent. Almost single-handedly, Nick Park, 37, the characters' inventor, has blazed the 3D animation trail in this country. But now he has a rival. Make way for Gogs, courtesy of young, animators from north Wales, Deiniol Morris, 33, and Michael Mort, 25.

If you have not heard of Gogs, you soon will. The animated series features an earthy Stone Age family consisting of grandfather, parents, son, daughter and baby. Refinement is not in their vocabulary: this lot are up to their ears fighting dinosaurs and inventing fire.

Until now Gogs has only been seen on S4C, the Welsh-language fourth channel - though as the characters grunt rather than speak, the language could be immaterial. Soon, though, the animated Plasticine characters may appear on BBC2. The network has shown an interest, perhaps spurred by ratings beingpushed up by the adventures of Wallace and Gromit.

This month Gogs won the top animation award at the prestigious Banff television festival in Canada.

Three weeks ago the down-to-earth animators, who together formed AAArgh! animation a year and a half ago, were invited to Steven Spielberg's Los Angeles ranch.

Spielberg, a founder of the new production company, DreamWorks SKG, is interested in luring them to the United States to work on animation projects, which possibly could include a feature film.

"It was quite nerve-racking, but great," said Morris. "The meeting took place in this little ranch of Spielberg's. I think it was given to him as a gift from the investors of ET. The toilets were like something out of The Flintstones. We sat with them for an hour going over some ideas. We had some ideas we wanted to do, too."

Spielberg was particularly taken by the first episode of Gogs, which shows how the family discover fire after lightning hits a tree. They order their son to guard it but the warmth sends him to sleep.

"In the morning there's a dinosaur right in front of him and there's one flame left, so the son picks up the burning twig and sticks it up the dinosaur's backside. The dinosaur runs away and in triumph the son blows the twig out, so the family kick him in," said Morris.

Unlike Park, who has met Spielberg for talks but resisted being bought by Hollywood "lock stock and barrel", Morris and Mort admit they would be tempted by an offer from DreamWorks.

Morris, who left school at 16 to do a foundation art course, agrees it would mean moving to Los Angeles: "But obviously, we wouldn't like to turn down the chance."

This spring Park won his third Oscar - in the Best Animated Short Film category - with Wallace and Gromit in A Close Shave. If they do take up Spielberg's offer, it might not be long before the men behind AAArgh! are on the Oscar podium, too - thanking, among others, the grunting Gogs.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Feeling all at sea: Barbara's 18-year-old son came under the influence of a Canadian libertarian preacher – and she had to fight to win him back
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Living the high life: Anne Robinson enjoys some skip-surfed soup
TV review
Arts and Entertainment

Great British Bake Off
Arts and Entertainment
Doctor Who and Missy in the Doctor Who series 8 finale

TV
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Chvrches lead singer Lauren Mayberry in the band's new video 'Leave a Trace'

music
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Home on the raunch: George Bisset (Aneurin Barnard), Lady Seymour Worsley (Natalie Dormer) and Richard Worsley (Shaun Evans)

TV review
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Strictly Come Dancing was watched by 6.9m viewers

Strictly
Arts and Entertainment
NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton

film
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dormer as Margaery Tyrell and Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones
Arts and Entertainment
New book 'The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep' by Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin

books
Arts and Entertainment
Calvi is not afraid of exploring the deep stuff: loneliness, anxiety, identity, reinvention
music
Arts and Entertainment
Edinburgh solo performers Neil James and Jessica Sherr
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
If a deal to buy tBeats, founded by hip-hop star Dr Dre (pictured) and music producer Jimmy Iovine went through, it would be Apple’s biggest ever acquisition

album review
Arts and Entertainment
Paloma Faith is joining The Voice as a new coach

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Dowton Abbey has been pulling in 'telly tourists', who are visiting Highclere House in Berkshire

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Patriot games: Vic Reeves featured in ‘Very British Problems’
TV review
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

    Who is Oliver Bonas?

    It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

    60 years of Scalextric

    Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones