A Close Shave
|A Close Shave|
Original USA VHS artwork cover.
|Directed by||Nick Park|
|Produced by||Carla Shelley|
|Written by||Bob Baker|
|Music by||Julian Nott|
|Cinematography||Dave Alex Riddett|
|Edited by||Helen Garrard|
|31 minutes (NTSC)|
30 minutes (PAL)
A Close Shave is a 1995 British stop-motion animated short film directed by Nick Park at Aardman Animations. It is the third film featuring the eccentric inventor Wallace and his dog Gromit, following A Grand Day Out (1989) and The Wrong Trousers (1993). In A Close Shave, Wallace and Gromit uncover a plot to rustle sheep by a sinister dog. Like The Wrong Trousers, it won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.
Inventor Wallace (Peter Sallis) and his dog Gromit (Peter Hawkins) operate a window cleaning business. Wallace falls for wool shopkeeper Wendolene Ramsbottom (Anne Reid); her sinister dog, Preston, who rustles sheep to supply the shop. After a lost sheep wanders into the house, Wallace places him in his Knit-o-Matic, which shears sheep and knits the wool into jumpers, and names him Shaun (Justin Fletcher). Preston steals the Knit-o-Matic blueprints.
While Gromit investigates Preston, Preston captures him and frames him for the sheep rustling. Gromit is arrested and imprisoned, while Wallace's house is inundated with sheep. Wallace and the sheep rescue Gromit and hide out in the fields. Wendolene and Preston arrive in the lorry to round up the sheep. When Wendolene demands Preston stop the rustling, he locks her in the lorry with the sheep and drives away, intent on turning them into dog food.
Wallace and Gromit give chase on their motorcycle. When Gromit's sidecar detaches, he activates its aeroplane mode and resumes the chase from the air. Wallace becomes trapped in the lorry and he, Wendolene and the sheep are transported to Preston's factory, where Preston has built an enormous Knit-o-Matic. The captives are loaded into the wash basin, but Shaun escapes. Shaun activates neon signs to reveal the factory's location to Gromit, who attacks Preston. Shaun sucks Preston into the Knit-o-Matic, removing his fur. Wendolene reveals that Preston is actually a robot created by her inventor father for good, but became evil.
When the Knit-o-Matic dresses Preston in a sweater made of his fur, he inadvertently hits the controls, and the group become poised to fall into the mincing machine. Shaun pushes Preston into the machine, crushing him. Gromit is exonerated and Wallace rebuilds Preston as a harmless remote controlled dog. When Wendolene visits, Wallace invites her to eat cheese, but she declines, saying that she is allergic. As Wallace decides to help himself, he finds Shaun eating the cheese, much to his chagrin.
- "A Close Shave". British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved 27 November 2014.
- "Production History – A Close Shave". Telepathy. Retrieved 24 September 2012.
- "The 68th Academy Awards (1996) Nominees and Winners". The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 25 March 1996. Retrieved 24 September 2012.
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