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Wolverhampton helps bring Shaun the Sheep to life


A University of Wolverhampton graduate has played a leading role in transforming a furry star from small screen sheep to a big screen celebrity.

Richard Phelan, who studied BA (Hons) Animation at the University between 2003 and 2005, and is now a Feature Story Artist for Aardman Animations- the makers of popular children’s TV show Shaun the Sheep.

The TV show has now made the transition to the big screen and Shaun the Sheep the Movie has been a big hit with families at the cinema.

As part of his role Richard works as both a writer and storyboard artist and worked on the BAFTA winning series four of the animation series.

The feature-length film sees Shaun and his flock heading in to the big city to rescue their farmer while trying to avoid being detained by villain, Trumper, from animal containment.

Richard worked as a Senior Story Artist on the film, creating all the storyboards. He said: “It was a great challenge going from six-minute episodes of Shaun to a feature-length film. It gave us the opportunity to really explore the world beyond the farm and to allow Shaun to go on a grand emotional journey that wouldn't have been possible before.

 “The film took roughly two years to make and the first time I saw it in all its glory was at the European Premiere in London. It was great fun walking down the green carpet and seeing lots of models and life-size props from the film.

“The best part though was seeing the film, as it was a great feeling to see what we had all worked so hard on for two years and it’s a fun film.”

Richard says that the best thing to do if you are interested into getting into animation is to start making your own films as soon as possible.

He added: “Carry a sketchbook with you at all times so you can jot down ideas or sketch the things that you see. Try and watch lots of different types of animation from around the world and let it open you up to the storytelling possibilities and start making your own films.”

For more information on animation courses at the University of Wolverhampton visit


For more information please contact James Allen in the Media Relations Office on 01902 322003

For more information please contact the Media Relations Office on 01902 32 2736 or 01902 518647.

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