Wallace and Gromit
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Wallace and Gromit are the main characters in a series of four British animated short films, a series of ten short-animated sequences, and a feature-length film by Nick Park of Aardman Animations. All the characters were made from moulded plasticine modelling clay on metal armatures, and filmed with stop motion clay animation.
Wallace is an absent-minded inventor, cheese enthusiast (especially for Wensleydale cheese), and companion to the dog, Gromit, who appears to be rather more intelligent than his master. Wallace is voiced by veteran actor Peter Sallis; Gromit remains silent, communicating only through facial expressions and body language.
The original half-hour shorts for both the PBS/BBC Children's networks, each of which had approximately 35,000 frames, were:
- A Grand Day Out (1989), won BAFTA Best Animated Film, nominated for Academy Award for Best Short Film, Animated
- The Wrong Trousers (1993), won BAFTA Best Animated Film, won Academy Award for Best Short Film, Animated
- A Close Shave (1995), won BAFTA Best Animation Film, won Academy Award for Best Short Film, Animated
In addition, following the success of A Close Shave, the duo were used as BBC2's official Christmas campaign in 1995, appearing with the famous "2" in the main ident and several shorter versions for in between trailers.
"A Grand Day Out" quickly introduced viewers to the humour and in-jokes that would remain with the series, for example Wallace was seen using Duck matches to light the spaceship, a pun on the actual brand of Swan matches.
The original theme music, which was re-orchestrated for The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, was composed by Julian Nott.