A Grand Day Out, The Wrong Trousers and A Close Shave - all on one DVD, together with an introduction by Nick Park, 3 nice little documentary programmes: 'The Amazing World of Wallace and Gromit', 'Inside the Wrong Trousers' and 'A Close Shave: How Did They Do It?' I've watched all 3 animations on telly whenever they're shown. By coincidence, The Wrong Trousers was on BBC 1 earlier today and even though I'd only watched it on this DVD yesterday, I watched it again on the BBC (and the disc still in the DVD player) - couldn't resist. And because I'd only watched the DVD yesterday, I noticed that Gromit's birthday card plays "Happy Birthday to You" on the TV version and "For He's a Jolly Fellow" on the DVD version. How odd. In any case, the Wallace and Gromit collection fill me with good cheer whenever I watch them. I guess we all know and love them very well so I'll just say something about the little documentaries bundled with the animations. They are well worth watching. Nick Park tells how he got into animation, the origins of Wallace and Gromit and their personalities, and then we see how he and his fellow animators actually make the animations. It takes infinite time and patience. Several of the statistics he gave almost made me gasp. He started his Grand Day Out when he was still at college and it took him 2 years to complete just 10 minutes of the animation. He explains and shows how Gromit's eye-brows are used to change his expression. This is very clever. Gromit never speaks and yet we know just what he must be thinking and feeling all through the adventure - by nothing other than the shape his brow has been moulded into. It gives him a depth of personality that any writer could envy in an invented character.
The stories are funny and imaginative and the animations are wonderful. It's no wonder they got the Oscars. They richly deserved them.