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Wallace And Gromit creator Nick Park criticises celebrity voice roles

Oscar-winning animator Nick Park has criticised movie studios for making films “bland” by signing big name celebrities to voice roles.

The Wallace And Gromit creator has cast British stars Tom Hiddleston, Eddie Redmayne and Maisie Williams in voice roles in his new big screen comedy adventure Early Man.

But the director, 59, told the Press Association too many films were hiring celebrities with no voice talent to bring characters to life as a “marketing exercise”.

Tom Hiddleston, Nick Park, Maisie Williams and Eddie Redmayne attending the Early Man premiere (Ian West/PA)

“It’s always important that their voices are really special for the characters,” he said of how he “hand-picked” the voice cast for Early Man.

“I don’t like it when it’s just a line-up of famous people doing a film for no reason, except for publicity.

“Quite often it happens and you can see it’s just a marketing exercise. Quite often they’re not known for their actual voice talent.

“It happens all the time and makes it bland and everyone knows what the game is.”

But he added: “Most films are done very well and most actors will really commit and bring all that they can to their character.”

Park, who has four Oscars to his name, said of hiring The Night Manager star Hiddleston to voice tyrant Lord Nooth in his new film: “I thought it was an interesting choice, that people won’t expect, to play a large, fat, French buffoon.”

Early Man is the first first feature-length film Park has directed since Wallace And Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit in 2005.

The Shaun The Sheep creator said of the inspiration for movie: “Prehistoric landscapes was somewhere we hadn’t been before as a studio. It’s a new look. it’s not terraced houses and machines.”

Early Man is in cinemas on Friday January 26.