While it’s true that their partnership with Sony (and previously Dreamworks) has sent Aardman Animation deep into the world of CGI animation, it doesn’t mean they’ve abandoned the proverbial clay-and-toothpicks. Capturing more than just the asethetic of Aardman, The Pirates! is filled with true-blue stop-motion integrated with CG sets and effects to complete a beautiful, classically modern package. You can get a good look at the world they’ve created in the new trailer:

It’s great that this artform continues along and, as evidenced by this and Paranorman, seems to enjoy nearly the same rate of progression and improvement as any other filmmaking tech/craft. Even better is that the style lends itself to a more classic sense of humor, with both films looking like a ton of fun.

Keep in mind that Aardman also has Arthur Christmas coming up this month, which is one of their CGI efforts. I’ve got a great interview coming with Special Effects Director Doug Ikeler about the film, and in it we discussed how the design of that film purposely refrained from emulating Aardman’s stop-motion aesthetic, while still trying to maintain the spirit of the studio’s designs and sensibilities. Look for that soon.

Pirates! hits US theaters on March 30th, 2012, and features the voices of Hugh Grant, Martin Freeman, Brendan Gleeson, Russell Tovey and Ashley Jensen. .

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