Early Man sneak peak – with Tom Hiddleston and Maisie Williams!
Early Man is one of the most anticipated family films of 2018, and Movies4Kids got a sneak peek at some of the character models made by those talented folk at Aardman Animation and met two of the voice cast, Maisie Williams and Tom Hiddleston, along with the movie’s creator, Nick Park.
The team behind Shaun the Sheep and Wallace And Gromit are back with another ‘claymation’ movie, to be released on January 26 in the UK (February 16 in the US, March 29 in Australia). It’s the story set at the dawn of time and follows the adventures of Dug and his friends, who unite against a new enemy – pudgy Bronze Age baddie Lord Nooth – to protect their home.
Directed by Nick Park, the film features Eddie Redmayne as the voice of Dug, Maisie Williams as his new friend Goona and Tom Hiddleston as Lord Nooth.
“I’ve always liked the idea of cave men and women,” Nick Park says, about the idea behind the movie, “and this medium, clay, really fits that idea, so we went from there.”
After two years of sketches and storyboarding the ideas behind the movie, the next step was finding the voice cast for the film. “The vocal cast is very important for us here at Aardman,” Park continues. “As we’re coming up with the models, we look at actors and their performances. Often, we use a previous film that an actor has done and look at that next to the models, to see if it works, and then we ask actors like Tom and Maisie to do a test and we combine in with a few seconds of animation.”
For Game Of Thrones’ star Maisie, voicing the sparky Bronze Age character of Goona was a complete departure from roles she had done before. “I was so excited to be able to do an animated film, especially with Aardman. When I was younger I used to make little claymation movies with my friends!”
“It’s really different to anything else I have ever done – to take away all the other tools except your voice to portray your character and tell the story, it was a real challenge as an actor.”
For Tom Hiddleston, there was a special reason for signing up to voice Lord Nooth in Early Man. “Wallace And Gromit were part of my childhood,” he says. Nick’s work, and Aardman’s work is so distinctive, and has such a particular British charm that when this came towards me, the script and little sketches of Nooth, and I read it very quickly and it made me laugh.”
“I was so honoured to be asked to be involved,” he adds. “I got the sketch of Nooth, this overweight, frustrated middle manager with small hands and thought – ‘Nick Park is the first director to really see me as I am!’ It was clear from the script that he was incredibly pompous and puffed up and self-important, and ridiculous, and he thinks he is so much more important than he is. He’s obsessed with money, and he wants civilisation for the money. A very small man..”
“Our first session was really about finding him,” Tom explains. “Nick had lots of ideas and one of the first things he said was ‘I think you should do the voice in French.’ So I went with Allo Allo sort of French accent, as it was the funniest version. My job was to make Nick laugh, and he did!”
Check out the trailer and meet the cast, below: