6 July—3 November 2019

Aardman: Animating Early Man

This exhibition has finished.

Step behind the camera with Aardman and discover how the world-famous animation studio made their hit film, Early Man.

This exhibition features original puppets, exquisitely crafted sets, tiny props and tons of behind the scenes footage to show you the incredible skill behind stop-motion animation.

Follow Dug, Goona and the Message Bird through the stages of production to reveal the secrets of how an Aardman film gets from sketchbook to screen.

Become part of the action by dressing-up as a member of the Stone Age tribe, create a live action sequence on a green screen and use unexpected materials to make sound effects. Perhaps you could be the animation star of the future!

Not only that, but you’ll be able to see the inner workings of Aardman’s most complex puppet to date – a not-so-woolly mammoth!

There will also be original Stone Age and Bronze Age objects from the museum’s stores and two loans from the Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation (charity no. SC001419).

In addition to the exhibition, make sure you pick up an Age of Discovery family trail to make your own ‘Early Man’ discoveries. Dug, Goona and the Message Bird are hiding around M Shed waiting for you to find them!

About Early Man

Set at the dawn of time, when prehistoric creatures roamed the earth, Early Man told the story of plucky caveman Dug who, along with his sidekick Hognob, united his tribe against the mighty Bronze Age in a battle to beat them at their own game – football.

Early Man opened in cinemas in 2018 starring Eddie Redmayne, Tom Hiddleston and Maisie Williams.

Aardman Animations is the Bristol based, four times Academy Award winning studio behind Wallace & Gromit and Shaun the Sheep.

Watershed offer

Get half price Early Man exhibition entry when you show us a ticket from one of Watershed’s Prehistoric Family Adventure screenings.


M Shed would like to thank exhibition sponsors, Canada Life.

The Canada Life logo

Additional information

Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

M Shed opening times:
Tue-Sun: 10am-5pm
Closed Mondays except Bank Holiday Mondays and Mondays during Bristol school holidays: 10am-5pm

Last entry is 45 minutes before closing.

Concessions are available with proof of identity for 16-25 year olds, students, people over 65, unemployed people, disabled people (carers free) and Friends of Bristol Museums, Galleries and Archives.

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