Eight newly restored films by stop-motion powerhouse, Aardman Animation, were revealed to the public for the first time at the Cinema Rediscovered film festival in Bristol this week. The short films, made between 1971 and 1983, are some of the very first claymation shorts made by Aardman founders, David Sproxton and Peter Lord.
Aardman Animation commissioned Nulight Studios to digitally remaster each of the films in 4K resolution from the original 16mm negative film to achieve the best possible quality. At first the film and original soundtracks had to be tracked down since much of it was on separate rolls and in some cases in different archives. This also meant some reels were in worse condition that others requiring delicate repairs needed to be made before scanning.
The screenings were introduced by David accompanied by Aardman archivist, Tom Vincent who offered some history behind the making of the the films. Afterwards Sam Livingstone from Nulight gave a presentation about the particular challenges of restoration the short films presented and the approaches used to address them.
The eight fully restored and digitally remastered films were Aardman and the Hole (1971), Down and Out (1977), Confessions of a Foyer Girl (1978), On Probation (1983), Sales Pitch (1983), Palmy Days (1983), Early Bird (1983) and Late Edition (1983).