Monday, April 5, 2010

Wallace and Gromit

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Channel 4 was a great opportunity for fresh, new animators in the United Kingdom to broadcast their works at Aardman Studios. Nick Park was one of those animators who is well known for being the phenomenal inventor of Wallace and his judicious dog, Gromit.
  • He used stop motion animation to bring them into existence.
  • As a student of the National Film and Television School, Park developed a half-hour short called, A Grand Day Out which was launched in 1985 and became a huge hit on Channel 4.
  • The episode was about Wallace building a rocket to the moon in order to restock on cheese.
  • The amazing thing about Park's work is the lip sync technique he uses for his characters in order for them to have “coat hanger mouths.”
  • Six years were spent finishing this film which ended up winning an academy award nomination.

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With the success and high ratings of A Grand Day Out, Park decided to produce two more sequels.
  • The second one he named, The Wrong Trousers which introduced a pair of mechanical trousers invented by Wallace and a diabolical Penguin who operates under the alias of a Chicken.
  • The third film, A Close Shave, involves Wallace falling in love and his sidekick Gromit is framed by a sheep herder.

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Over time, winning award after ward, Aardman decided to lean towards producing full-length films such as Chicken Run which took four years to complete. It was about a flock of chickens trying to break out from a farm before they are cooked into pies.

Grossing over $220,000,000 worldwide, the film was a hit and he followed it up in 2005 with his second theatrical film, The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.

  • The film takes place during a Giant Vegetable Competition and Wallace and Gromit start a pest control service to round up all the rabbits in town in order to prevent them from getting into peoples greenhouses or gardens.
  • Wallace makes a device that alters a rabbit's instinct and prevents them from harming any vegetables; however, the operation goes wrong when Wallace's brainwaves gets switched with the brainwaves' of a rabbit.
  • As a result, Wallace transforms into a mammoth-sized rabbit.
The film did very well at the box office, grossing $192,610,372 internationally and winning the award for Best Animated Feature Film of 2005.

Nick Park's Wallace and Gromit have and will always be remembered as one of the most original and creative works in the history of clay animation.

Images all copyrighted property of Aardman and Nick Park.

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