A Grand Day Out
|A Grand Day Out|
Original cover art of the A Grand Day Out VHS. (United States)
|Directed by||Nick Park|
|Produced by||Rob Copeland|
|Written by||Nick Park|
|Music by||Julian Nott|
|Edited by||Rob Copeland|
|Distributed by||The National Film School Distribution Company|
|24 minutes (NTSC)|
23 minutes (PAL)
A Grand Day Out with Wallace and Gromit, later marketed as A Grand Day Out, is a 1989 British stop-motion animated short film directed and animated by Nick Park at Aardman Animations in Bristol. In the film, Wallace and Gromit spend a bank holiday by building a homemade rocket to the moon to sample cheese.
The short premiered on 4 November 1989, at the Bristol Animation Festival at the Arnolfini Gallery in Bristol. It was first broadcast on 24 December 1990, Christmas Eve, on Channel 4. 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 and 2008's A Matter of Loaf and Death.
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.
Frustrated by a lack of things to do over a bank holiday, combined with annoyance at running out of his favourite cheese, Wallace decides to build a rocket and go to the Moon to sample moon cheese.
Landing on the moon, Wallace and Gromit set up a picnic and sample some of the moon's landscape, finding its taste unfamiliar. Looking for a different spot, they encounter a robot. Believing it's a vending machine, Wallace inserts a coin, but nothing happens. After he and Gromit leave, the robot activates and gathers all the rubbish that Wallace and Gromit have left behind.
The robot discovers a skiing magazine and yearns to travel to Earth and try it out. It repairs a broken piece of landscape, issues a parking ticket for the rocket, and is annoyed by oil leaking from the rocket. The robot prepares to strike Wallace, but powers down. Wallace takes the robot's truncheon as a souvenir, inserts another coin and he and Gromit prepare to leave.
Reactivating, the robot realizes the rocket can take it to Earth and excitedly follows. Wallace panics, thinking the robot is after them, and he and Gromit retreat into the rocket. Unable to climb the ladder, the robot cuts into the fuselage, but accidentally ignites the fuel. The resulting explosion allows Wallace and Gromit to lift off.
The robot is left on the moon with two strips of metal from the rocket. Initially dejected, it fashions the metal into skis and happily starts skiing across the lunar landscape. It waves goodbye to Wallace and Gromit as they return home.
- Peter Sallis as Wallace, an inventor and cheese enthusiast.
- Peter Hawkins as Gromit, Wallace's loyal, intelligent, and smart but silent dog. (uncredited)
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.
For Wallace, Park offered Peter Sallis £50 to voice the character, and his acceptance greatly surprised the young animator. Park wanted Wallace to have a Lancastrian accent like himself, 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.
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".
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.
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 DVD series. In the US, it was released on DVD in 2009 by Lionsgate VOD and HIT Entertainment. In the UK, it was released on DVD in the 2000s. In February 2019 it was released on Netflix in the UK
The short premiered on 4 November 1989 at the Bristol Animation Festival and premiered in the US on 18 May 1990.
Awards and nominations
The official soundtrack album to the short was released by BBC Records in the 1990s.
- "Annual Report 1990" (PDF). Channel 4. p. 20. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2 September 2014. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
- Jeffries, Stuart (16 September 2005). "Lock up your vegetables!". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
- "A Grand Day Out (1989)". British Film Forever. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
- Martins, Holly (September 2000). "13th BBC British Short Film Festival". Netribution. Archived from the original on 29 July 2001. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
- 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.
- "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
- "Gromit! It has been 25 years". The Telegraph. 4 November 2014. Archived from the original on 7 November 2014. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
- Midgley, Neil (26 November 2010). "Christmas telly is a reassuring British tradition". The Telegraph. Retrieved 25 November 2014.
- "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!
- Nigel Farndale (18 December 2008). "Wallace and Gromit: one man and his dog". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 18 December 2008.
- Nigel Kendall (20 December 2008). "Nick Park on Wallace and Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death". The Times. London. Retrieved 26 December 2008.
- Andy Lane (2004). The World of Wallace and Gromit. BoxTree. p. 53. ISBN 9780752215587.
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