A Grand Day Out

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A Grand Day Out
Directed byNick Park
Written byNick Park
Steve Rushton
Produced byRob Copeland
StarringPeter Sallis
CinematographyNick Park
Edited byRob Copeland
Music byJulian Nott
Distributed byNational Film and Television School[1]
Release date
  • 4 November 1989 (1989-11-04)
Running time
23 minutes[2]
CountryUnited Kingdom

A Grand Day Out with Wallace and Gromit, later marketed as A Grand Day Out, is a 1989[4] British stop-motion animated short film starring Wallace and Gromit. It was directed, co-written, and animated by Nick Park at the National Film and Television School in Beaconsfield and Aardman Animations in Bristol.

The short debuted on 4 November 1989, at an animation festival at the Arnolfini Gallery in Bristol.[5][6][7][8] It was first broadcast on 24 December 1990, Christmas Eve, on Channel 4.[9][10] A Grand Day Out is followed in the series 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 in 1991.


Cheese-loving inventor Wallace and his dog Gromit, while trying to decide where they will spend their bank holiday, find that their house is bereft of cheese. As "everybody knows the Moon is made of cheese", they decide to build a rocket and fly to the Moon. Upon arrival, they begin sampling and gathering cheese, and encounter a coin-operated robot. Wallace inserts a coin, but nothing happens. After he and Gromit leave, the robot comes to life and gathers the dirty plates left at their picnic spot.

The robot discovers Wallace's skiing magazine, and yearns to travel to Earth to ski for itself. It repairs a broken piece of the Moon that Wallace had cut off, issues a parking ticket for the rocket, and becomes annoyed by an oil leakage from the craft. The robot sneaks up on Wallace and prepares to strike him, but the money Wallace inserted runs out, and it freezes. Wallace takes the robot's baton as a souvenir, inserts another coin as payment, and prepares to leave with Gromit and the cheese they have gathered.

Returning to life, the robot realizes Wallace and Gromit can bring it to Earth, and follows them. Wallace panics, thinking the robot is angry over the cheese he is taking with him, and he and Gromit retreat into the rocket. Unable to climb up the ladder, the robot cuts into the fuselage using a can opener. Upon entering the dark engine section of the rocket, it lights a match and accidentally ignites some fuel. The resultant explosion throws it off the rocket, and Wallace and Gromit lift off. Initially distraught at losing its chance to go to Earth, the robot fashions dislodged scraps of the rocket fuselage into skis, and starts skiing across the lunar landscape. It waves goodbye to Wallace and Gromit as they return home. During the credits, a ball previously kicked by Wallace drifts into space.


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 1 long ton (1,000 kg) of Plasticine.

The block he received had ten colors, one of which was called "stone"; this was used for Gromit. Park wanted to voice Gromit, but he realized the voice he had in mind — that of Peter Hawkins — would have been difficult to animate.[11] For Wallace, Park offered Peter Sallis £50 to voice the character, and the actor's acceptance greatly surprised the young animator.[12]

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.[11]

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".[13]

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 of 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.[14]

Home media[edit]

The short film was released on VHS in the 1990s by BBC Video. It was also reissued as a DreamWorks Pictures release along with The Wrong Trousers and A Close Shave in the Wallace and Gromit in 3 Amazing Adventures DVD on September 20, 2005 by DreamWorks Home Entertainment. In the United States, it was released on DVD on February 10, 2009 by Lionsgate Home Entertainment and HIT Entertainment. In the United Kingdom, it was again released on DVD in the 2000s.

Lionsgate Home Entertainment later released it on Blu-ray for the first time, under the release's name Wallace and Gromit: The Complete Collection, on 22 September 2009 in time for the 20th anniversary of the franchise.[15]


The short debuted on 4 November 1989 at the Arnolfini Gallery in Bristol, UK, and debuted in the United States on 18 May 1990. It was also shown on Channel 4 on 24 December 1990 in the UK.


Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a 100% approval rating based on 20 reviews, with an average rating of 8.2/10.[16]

Awards and nominations[edit]

The short won the first BAFTA Award for Best Short Animation awarded in 1990, beating out Park's other nominated short, Creature Comforts.

However, in 1991, the opposite occurred, with the short being nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.


  1. ^ "Annual Report 1990" (PDF). Channel 4. p. 20. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  2. ^ "A Grand Day Out". BBFC.
  3. ^ Jeffries, Stuart (16 September 2005). "Lock up your vegetables!". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  4. ^ "A Grand Day Out (1989)". British Film Forever. Archived from the original on 21 September 2015. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  5. ^ Martins, Holly (September 2000). "13th BBC British Short Film Festival". Netribution. Archived from the original on 29 July 2001. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ "2012 Annual Review" (PDF). Encounters Film Festival. 2013. p. 4. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 September 2015. Retrieved 15 August 2015. Nick Park on A Grand Day Out when shown at Bristol Animation Festival in 1989
  8. ^ "Gromit! It has been 25 years". The Daily Telegraph. 4 November 2014. Archived from the original on 7 November 2014. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  9. ^ Midgley, Neil (26 November 2010). "Christmas telly is a reassuring British tradition". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 25 November 2014.
  10. ^ "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!
  11. ^ a b Farndale, Nigel (18 December 2008). "Wallace and Gromit: one man and his dog". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 18 December 2008.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ Kendall, Nigel (20 December 2008). "Nick Park on Wallace and Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death". The Times. London. Archived from the original on 16 June 2011. Retrieved 26 December 2008.
  14. ^ Lane, Andy (2004). The World of Wallace and Gromit. BoxTree. p. 53. ISBN 978-0-75221-558-7.
  15. ^ Debruge, Peter (25 October 2009). "Wallace & Gromit: The Complete Collection Blu-ray Review". Collider. Retrieved 2 October 2022.
  16. ^ "A Grand Day Out With Wallace and Gromit". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Archived from the original on 30 October 2014. Retrieved 7 October 2021. Edit this at Wikidata

External links[edit]