Everyone knew it was coming. Following the disappointing box office of Flushed Away, there was speculation that it would happen. And now it is certain: Dreamworks has cut Aardman Animation loose. Sadly, the studio is now also citing the weak performance of the Oscar-winning Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit as an added reason for the end of the partnership. Aside from winning prestigious awards, that film made more than $192 million worldwide (actually, only $20 million more than Flushed Away). I guess when you're used to Shrek 2-size figures ($920 million), though, a lot of numbers look small.

I'm not too worried about Aardman. They were doing amazing work before the Dreamworks deal, and they'll do amazing work after. The animation studio still has a thing going with CBS, which is sitting on seven episodes of a Creature Comforts series, which I think is based on Nick Park's Oscar-winning short. However, there may not be any features from Aardman for awhile. I was very upset to learn that Crood Awakening, which was co-written by John Cleese and was to be the next Aardman feature, is being left behind at Dreamworks, where it will presumably be shelved for good. I'm sure that Dreamworks is hoping the Shrek movies will never lose their steam, but I just can't believe that there's much more to do with those characters.