Aardman Animations confirmed that it is developing a feature film to be released in 2013/2014 revolving around Shaun the Sheep. The character first appeared with Wallace and Gromit in 1995's 'A Close Shave' and since 2007 featured in his own hugely popular spin off series made for children's BBC.
The film is expected to be largely silent and inspired by Buster Keaton. Aardman creative director Richard Goleszowski said "My goal is to make a modern day silent movie starring Shaun. When we started writing the television series we stuck a picture of Buster Keaton on the studio door.
"I grew up watching slapstick films and some of the jokes have become embedded in my psyche."
And added that the senior team at Aardman had been thinking about running screenings of silent films to help the newer animators develop their skills.
He said one of the reasons he had originally developed Shaun the Sheep as a non-speaking character was because animation with dialogue is time consuming and expensive.
He said: "I thought making him silent would make it cheaper and easier but it makes life more difficult.
"Telling a story through pictures means you can't cut corners. It's very cinematic and involved."
Shaun The Sheep - Party Animals