Wallace & Gromit

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This page is dedicated to Peter Sallis, who passed away on June 2nd, 2017, and all of the props destroyed in the Aardman warehouse fire of October 10th, 2005. May they rest in peace.

Wallace & Gromit
Wallace and gromit.jpg
"All's well that ends well, eh, lad?"
Genre: Adventure
Comedy
Claymation
Running Time: 4-30 minutes
Country: United Kingdom
Release Date: November 4, 1989 – present
Network(s): Channel 4 (1990)
BBC One (2002, 2008, 2010)
BBC Two (1993, 1995)
Created by: Nick Park
Distributed by: BBC Studios
Starring: Peter Sallis (1989–2010)
Ben Whitehead (2009, 2011–present)
Episodes: 4 (short films)
1 (feature-length film)
6 (World of Invention)
10 (Cracking Contraptions)
1 (BBC Proms special)


WallaceandGromitlogo.jpg

Wallace & Gromit is a classic series of British stop-motion claymation short films created by Nick Park of Aardman Animations. During its original run, Aardman produced four shorts from 1989 to 2008. A feature-length film, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, was released in 2005.

Premise

The series centres on Wallace, a good-natured, eccentric, cheese-loving inventor, along with his companion Gromit, a silent yet loyal and intelligent anthropomorphic dog.

Why It's Cracking Cheese, Gromit!

  1. The stop-motion animation gets better with each consecutive short.
    • The Wrong Trousers featured smoother textures on the characters, A Close Shave had clearer visuals and a wider screen, and A Matter of Loaf and Death has gorgeous visuals for the late 2000s.
  2. Likable and memorable characters, such as Wallace and his dog Gromit, who make a superb comedy duo.
  3. Despite Gromit never talking, it's very easy to understand his personality through his facial expressions and body language, thus making him famous for the no-speaking trope.
    • Wallace himself is notable for his love of cheese, especially Wensleydale.
  4. Some of Wallace's inventions are pretty cool, like the Moon Rocket from A Grand Day Out and the Techno Trousers from The Wrong Trousers.
  5. Many hilarious moments, such as the Porridge Gun scene in A Close Shave.
  6. Many memorable scenes throughout the series, such as:
    • The duo's trip to the moon in A Grand Day Out.
    • The jewel heist and the model train chase from The Wrong Trousers.
    • The motorcycle chase in A Close Shave.
    • The final showdown between Wallace, Gromit, Fluffles and Piella in A Matter of Loaf and Death.
  7. Some funny lines, such as:
    • "NO CRACKERS, GROMIT! WE'VE FORGOTTEN THE CRACKERS!"
    • "It's the wrong trousers, Gromit... and they've gone wrong!"
    • "Gromit! I've got a bomb in me pants!"
  8. The shorts are known to have a relaxing and smooth slice-of-life style similar to other British shows like Postman Pat and Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends, where they have a more grounded feel when compared to other cartoons with wacky and absurd antics, with some parts of them even feeling realistic despite the large amount of cartoon logic in them, and to go along with that, they also have a nostalgic 1950s feel and look to them with the amount of sets and props used for them along with the already fantastic animation, making the series feel like a world that is cartoony but realistic at the same time.
  9. Every successive short in the series tries to do something new and inventive to add variety and make them feel creative and innovative as a whole. A Close Shave is the most famous example, adding more characters aside from the typical three in the previous two shorts, and even adds another speaking character called Wendolene Ramsbottom, who is a very likable character and has a lot of charm to her.
  10. Iconic theme song that is one of the most well-known British theme songs of all-time due to its '50s/60s-esque style and British feel that make it feel charming to listen to and make you listen to it again due to how catchy it is.
  11. Shaun the Sheep is extremely cute and adorable due to his small size and the fact that he's only a lamb in these shorts whereas in his own show, he's a fully grown teenager.

The ONLY Bad Qualities

  1. The Complete Collection release has two glaring issues:
    • The audio for the first three shorts has been reduced from 25fps to 24fps, likely because of the difference between PAL standards used in western Europe, Southern Asia, Oceania, parts of Latin America, and Eastern Africa, and NTSC standards used in North America, parts of South America, Japan, South Korea & the Philippines.
    • The first three shorts are surprisingly cropped into widescreen, for whatever reason.
  2. Most of the sets, props and models from before Curse of the Were-Rabbit were destroyed in a warehouse fire in 2005. Fortunately, the Moon Rocket from A Grand Day Out still exists due to being part of Nick Park's personal collection, as do the museum set from The Wrong Trousers and the motorcycle/sidecar from A Close Shave, which are currently on display at the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford, England.

Reception

Wallace & Gromit is one of the most beloved animated franchises by Aardman and is still widely popular today. The series has won three Academy Awards.

Trivia

  • A Matter of Loaf and Death was the last Wallace & Gromit film made before Peter Sallis' retirement due to declining health in 2010, two years after the short came out in the UK.
    • The World of Invention series was the final Wallace & Gromit production that Sallis was involved in.
  • Peter Sallis, Wallace's original voice actor, passed away on June 2, 2017 at the age of 96.
    • Sallis was also well-known for his role as Norman Clegg in the long-running British sitcom, Last of the Summer Wine.
  • Nick Park was inspired by Peter Lord and David Sproxton's work on clay. He also stated that he came up with an idea about an English person who liked cheese, and Gromit was originally going to be a cat. However, a dog was easier to animate.
  • Peter Hawkins originally intended to voice Gromit, but Nick realised that his thoughts and feelings could be told by movement.
  • The franchise has gained a rather large fanbase outside the UK, most notably Japan. The pair have even appeared in a handful of commercials for Japanese food giant Ezaki Glico (the makers of Pocky)!

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