LOS ANGELES (AP) _ DreamWorks SKG, Steven Spielberg’s studio, has signed up to develop four additional films with British producer Aardman Animations, DreamWorks’ partner on next year’s animated movie ``Chicken Run.″
DreamWorks announced the agreement Wednesday. Aardman, based in Bristol, England, specializes in stop-motion clay animation.
``Chicken Run,″ due in theaters next June 23, features the voices of Mel Gibson and Miranda Richardson.
The next animated film under discussion between DreamWorks and Aardman is ``The Tortoise and the Hare,″ based on Aesop’s fable.
``I could not be more thrilled about this new creative partnership and am very excited about exploring the many storytelling possibilities of this unique art form with a company that is quite simply the best in the business,″ said Jeffrey Katzenberg, who founded DreamWorks with Spielberg and David Geffen.
Aardman, founded in 1976, has won three Academy Awards for the short animated films ``Creature Comforts,″ ``The Wrong Trousers″ and ``A Close Shave.″