Like plasticine? Discover more about the creative genius as we put Nick Park In the Spotlight...
Wallace And Gromit: Three Cracking Adventures [DVD]
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DVD Special Features:
BBC Christmas Idents
Subtitles: English SDH
A Grand Day Out
Nominated for an Academy Award in 1990, the first short-film adventure of Wallace and Gromit was this 24-minute comedy, created by clay animator Nick Park over a six-year period at the National Film & Television School in London, and at the Aardman Animation studios that Park boosted to international acclaim. In their debut adventure, Wallace and his furry pal Gromit find themselves desperate for "a nice bit of Gorgonzola", but their refrigerator's empty and the local cheese shop is closed for a holiday! Undeterred, Wallace comes up with an extreme solution to the cheese shortage: since the moon is made of cheese (we all know that's true, right?), he decides to build a rocket ship and blast off for a cheesy lunar picnic! Gromit's only too happy to help, and before long the inventive duo is on the moon, where they encounter a clever appliance that's part oven, part robot, part lunar skiing enthusiast ... well, you just have to see the movie to understand how any of this whimsical lunar-cy can make any sense! It's a grand tale of wonderful discoveries, fantastic inventions--and really great cheese!
The Wrong Trousers
Clay-animation master Nick Park deservedly won the 1993 Academy Award for Best Animated Short for this 30-minute masterpiece, in which the good-natured inventor Wallace and his trusty dog, Gromit, return for another grand adventure. It all begins on the morning of Gromit's birthday, when Wallace gives his beloved pooch the gift of his latest invention--a pair of mechanical "techno-trousers" that can be programmed to take Gromit out for "walkies" while Wallace sits comfortably at home. Gromit's not exactly thrilled with the new gadget, and things go from bad to worse when Wallace rents a room to a new boarder--a rather suspicious-looking penguin--to offset his rising expenses. As it turns out, the penguin's a notorious thief, and the amazing techno-trousers provide a foolproof method of pulling off a diamond heist! It's Gromit's big opportunity for canine heroics, and The Wrong Trousers turns into one of the funniest, most inventive caper-comedies ever made, with an action-packed climax on a speeding miniature train. Will the notorious "Feathers" wind up in jail where he belongs? Will Gromit finally get his due recognition? Watch this amazing marvel of clay animation to see why Wallace and Gromit have become global celebrities--this is comedic ingenuity at its finest.
A Close Shave
Hot from the international triumph of The Wrong Trousers, clay animator Nick Park knew that his third Wallace and Gromit film was going to have to be the biggest and best adventure yet for the mild-mannered inventor Wallace and his perceptive pooch Gromit. With the ambitiously zany plot of A Close Shave, Park and his fellow animators rose to the occasion and their film won the 1995 Academy Award (Park's second Oscar) for Best Animated Short. This time out, Wallace and Gromit have teamed up to provide a window-washing service, and that's how Wallace meets the lovely Wendolene Ramsbottom, a wool-shop owner whose malevolent dog Preston turns out to be the mastermind of a sheep-napping scheme! Of course, no Wallace and Gromit adventure can be without a grandiose gadget, so Wallace's latest invention is the Knit-O-Matic, a yarn-making machine capable of shearing a whole flock of sheep just a bit too efficiently! When the villainous Preston gains control of the mechanical knitting marvel, Gromit must race to the rescue, and A Close Shave reaches new heights of clay-animation mastery. Every shot is a testament to Nick Park's patience, his clever ingenuity, and his film-making flair. The movie's so technically impressive, in fact, that the whole world wondered where Park could go next. It was no surprise, therefore, to find him making the transition to the big screen with Chicken Run. --Jeff Shannon
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Top customer reviews
The first ten minutes of A Grand Day Out were made by Nick Park by himself. It took two years to film and so he needed help, and Aardman needed animators - wayhay! They got together and finished A Grand Day Out in 1989. The animation is a bit etchy at times, but nevertheless, it is a hilarious escapade!
The Wrong Trousers has better clay animation as it shows the breakfast routine in Wallace and Gromit's house, plus some excellent clay animation to show Gromit crying, which is funny to watch as it is animated so well. The gags and jokes in this one are better than A G. D. O., but it is original too, especially the train scene at the end!
A close shave shows a new breakfast routine, and Wallace and Gromit's new job - the Wash'n'Go Window Cleaning Service with a Thunderbirds style launch. And there is a new hero in this episode - Shaun the Sheep! And now to prove them all wrong, watch this one to show those who said a motorcycle sidecar cannot fly, how wrong they were!
The bonus features include a gallery section, a documentary with Nick Park and several BBC2 idents for Christmas - those are funny, even for the brief seconds they last!
All in all, a great DVD for parents and children alike!
Instead of 'Happy Birthday', Gromit's card now plays an uninspired version of 'For He's A Jolly Good Fellow'. The penguin's radio still starts playing 'Tie A Yellow Ribbon', but in place of 'Happy Talk' and 'How Much Is That Doggie In The Window', we get what seems to be generic electronic organ noise, on what is obviously a different organ. This being issued by the BBC, the changes were doubtless done as cheaply as possible.
That said, the most thrilling chase in television history still involves a bald inventor, his dog and an armed penguin racing around a living room on an electric train set.
Full marks to Aardman, but not BBC Worldwide.
A touching scene, but something that is all but expected from Nick Park's big balls of play-dough. The story lines are funny, the characters - especially the animals have terrific personalities, including Wallace's rather unusual obsession for cheese.
All in all good fun, with the outakes on the DVD limited, but interesting nonetheless, giving insight into the creation. An original idea, and not one any other has dared to copy