A Grand Day Out

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A Grand Day Out
Wallace & Gromit in A Grand Day Out.jpg
VHS cover
Directed byNick Park
Produced byRob Copeland
Written byNick Park
Steve Rushton
StarringPeter Sallis
Music byJulian Nott
CinematographyNick Park
Edited byRob Copeland
Production
company
Distributed byThe National Film School Distribution Company[1]
Release date
  • 4 November 1989 (1989-11-04) (Bristol Animation Festival)
  • 24 December 1990 (1990-12-24) (Channel 4)
Running time
24 minutes (NTSC)
23 minutes (PAL)
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish
Budget£11,000[2]

A Grand Day Out with Wallace and Gromit, later marketed as A Grand Day Out, is a 1989[3] British stop-motion animated short film starring Wallace and Gromit. It was directed and animated by Nick Park at Aardman Animations in Bristol.

The short premiered on 4 November 1989, at the Bristol Animation Festival at the Arnolfini Gallery in Bristol.[4][5][6][7] It was first broadcast on 24 December 1990, Christmas Eve, on Channel 4.[8][9] A Grand Day Out is followed by 1993's The Wrong Trousers, 1995's A Close Shave, 2005's The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, 2008's A Matter of Loaf and Death, and many other productions.

The short was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film at the 1990 Oscars, but it lost to Creature Comforts, another stop motion animated short film made by Nick Park and Aardman Animation, released in the same year.

Plot[edit]

Wallace and Gromit are devastated when they realize that they have run out of cheese. With the local corner shop closed for the Bank Holiday, Wallace decides to take a trip to the moon, as "everybody knows the moon's made of cheese." Naturally, he has to take his faithful dog with him. The two build a rocket in Wallace's basement and set off to the moon.

Upon landing, Wallace tries the cheese (which he suggests tastes like Wensleydale) but starts to question his theory on the moon. Also, a strange coin-operated cooker shaped like an oven (complete with arms, wheels, and a creepy weird eye) is encountered by the duo and tries unsuccessfully to stop Wallace from eating the cheese. The cooker later seems to wish to go with them to Earth so he can try out some skiing. Wallace and Gromit believe it is after them for stealing the moon cheese and try to escape.

The cooker breaks into the rocket but is blown out by a gas explosion, allowing Wallace and Gromit to escape back home. The cooker uses wreckage from the rocket as skiing equipment, and happily skis across the moon's surface, waving goodbye to Wallace and Gromit as they return home.

Production[edit]

Nick Park started creating the film in 1982, as a graduation project for the National Film and Television School. In 1985, Aardman Animations took him on before he finished the piece, allowing him to work on it part-time while still being funded by the school. To make the film, Park wrote to William Harbutt's company, requesting a long ton of Plasticine.

The block he received had ten colours, one of which was called "stone"; this was used for Gromit. Park wanted to voice Gromit, but he realised the voice he had in mind — that of Peter Hawkins — would have been difficult to animate.[10] For Wallace, Park offered Peter Sallis £50 to voice the character, and his acceptance greatly surprised the young animator.[11]

Park wanted Wallace to have a Lancastrian accent like his own, but Sallis could only do a Yorkshire voice. Inspired by how Sallis drew out the word "cheese", Park chose to give Wallace large cheeks. When Park called Sallis six years later to explain he had completed his film, Sallis swore in surprise.[10]

Gromit was named after grommets, because Park's brother, an electrician, often mentioned them, and Nick Park liked the sound of the word. Wallace was originally a postman named Jerry, but Park felt the name did not match well with Gromit. Park saw an overweight Labrador retriever named Wallace, who belonged to an old woman boarding a bus in Preston. Park commented it was a "funny name, a very northern name to give a dog".[12]

According to the book The World of Wallace and Gromit, original plans were that the film would be forty minutes long, including a sequence where Wallace and Gromit would discover a fast food restaurant on the Moon. Regarding the original plot, Park said:

The original story was that Wallace and Gromit were going to go to the Moon and there were going to be a whole lot of characters there. One of them was a parking meter attendant, which was the only one that remained — the robot cooker character — but there were going to be aliens, and all sorts. There was going to be a McDonald's on the Moon, and it was going to be like a spoof Star Wars.

Wallace was going to get thrown into prison and Gromit was going to have to get him out. By the time I came to Aardman, I had just started doing the Moon scene and somebody told me, "It's going to take you another nine years if you do that scene!" so I had to have a check with reality and cut that whole bit out. Somehow, I had to tie up the story on the Moon and finish the film.[13]

Home media[edit]

The short film was released on VHS in the 1990s by BBC Video. It was also released on DVD multiple times, as part of the Wallace and Gromit in 3 Amazing Adventures series of DVDs. In the United States, it was released on DVD in 2009 by Lionsgate VOD and HIT Entertainment. In the United Kingdom, it was released on DVD in the 2000s.

Release[edit]

The short premiered on 4 November 1989 at the Bristol Animation Festival, and premiered in the United States on 18 May 1990.

Reception[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Animated Short Film, but lost to the short Creature Comforts, which was also a creation of Nick Park.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Annual Report 1990" (PDF). Channel 4. p. 20. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2 September 2014. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  2. ^ Jeffries, Stuart (16 September 2005). "Lock up your vegetables!". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  3. ^ "A Grand Day Out (1989)". British Film Forever. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  4. ^ Martins, Holly (September 2000). "13th BBC British Short Film Festival". Netribution. Archived from the original on 29 July 2001. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  5. ^ Media Monkey (4 November 2009). "Wallace and Gromit's 20th birthday present from Google Doodle". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 4 March 2014. Retrieved 15 August 2015. Park unveiled Wallace and Gromit to an unsuspecting public on this day in 1989 at an animation festival at the Arnolfini gallery in Bristol.
  6. ^ "2012 Annual Review" (PDF). Nick Park on A Grand Day Out when shown at Bristol Animation Festival in 1989. 2013. p. 4. Retrieved 15 August 2015. Nick Park on A Grand Day Out when shown at Bristol Animation Festival in 1989
  7. ^ "Gromit! It has been 25 years". The Telegraph. 4 November 2014. Archived from the original on 7 November 2014. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  8. ^ Midgley, Neil (26 November 2010). "Christmas telly is a reassuring British tradition". The Telegraph. Retrieved 25 November 2014.
  9. ^ "A Grand Day Out". Wallace & Gromit. Archived from the original on 7 February 2008. Retrieved 22 August 2015. A Grand Day Out was finally finished and transmitted on Channel 4 on Christmas Eve, 1990 - 6 years after production began!
  10. ^ a b Nigel Farndale (18 December 2008). "Wallace and Gromit: one man and his dog". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 18 December 2008.
  11. ^ Manger, Warren (5 June 2017). "Peter Sallis dead aged 96 after decades as Clegg in Last of the Summer Wine and unlikely Hollywood success with Wallace & Gromit". Daily Mirror. Archived from the original on 8 November 2017. Retrieved 18 August 2019.
  12. ^ Nigel Kendall (20 December 2008). "Nick Park on Wallace and Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death". The Times. London. Retrieved 26 December 2008.
  13. ^ Andy Lane (2004). The World of Wallace and Gromit. BoxTree. p. 53. ISBN 9780752215587.

External links[edit]