The first three Wallace & Gromit
shorts are grouped together in a single volume.
A Grand Day Out
Nominated for an Academy Award in 1990, this was the first short-film adventure starring Wallace & Gromit. This 24-minute comedy was created by clay animator Nick Park over a six-year period at the National Film and Television School in London and at the Aardman Animation studios, which 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 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 & 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 & 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 & 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 & 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 filmmaking flair. The movie's so technically impressive, in fact, that the whole world wondered where Park could go next. It was clear that Wallace & Gromit would eventually star in an animated feature-length movie, since this marvelous 30-minute film represents its own kind of short-form perfection. --Jeff Shannon