Sony Pictures and stop-frame animation house Aardman Animations are moving forward with two animated features, Arthur Christmas and Pirates!, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Pirates! is based on The Pirates! (in an Adventure with Scientists), the best-selling series of books by Gideon Defoe. The story follows a group of pirates who journey to London and meet Charles Darwin, a talking chimp named Mister Bobo and an enemy looking to wipe them out.
Arthur Christmas will tackle the question of how Santa delivers all his presents in one night.
Pirates! will see Aardman co-founder Peter Lord back behind the camera for a movie done in hand-crafted stop-motion animation, the company's signature style, as seen in films such as Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of Were-Rabbit and Chicken Run, while Christmas will be produced wholly in CGI.
Aardman signed a three-year, first-look deal with Sony in 2007, though no projects had been announced. Pirates! and Arthur Christmas are the first two to land on the production runway.