Sometimes, Britain does it best. For almost 40 years, Aardman has been top of their game for claymation animation – simply clay models moved miniscule amounts to make them look like their moving. America are good, with the likes of Tim Burton and occasionally Pixar using similar techniques in their big screen pursuits, but nothing quite has the same charm as Aardman.
Starting off with adverts like Creature Comforts and creatures like Morph, Aardman moved into short films, creating the ever loved Wallace and Gromit. Back in 1989, Wallace and his faithful hound Gromit graced our screens in their first adventure A Grand Day Out, travelling to the moon in the search for cheese. Since then, Wallace and Gromit have been household names so you can guess the level of excitement when it was announced they were to get their own feature length film.
In 2005, Aardman released Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. With Tottington Hall’s annual Giant Vegetable Competition quickly approaching, eccentric inventor Wallace and silent Gromit are eager to help the village residents from thieving rabbits. Running a vegetable security and humane pest control business, “Anti-Pesto”, Wallace is up to his old tricks again, inventing a brain washing machine to rid the rabbits of their vegetable munching ways. But, things take a turn for the worse and just days before the competition, the village is plagued by a mutant Were-Rabbit with a taste for giant vegetables.
The transition from small screen to the big screen has been a brilliant one for Wallace and Gromit. None of the Aardman charm is lost, but in fact made better. On the big screen, the little in-jokes and puns are easily seen in the background, rather than being little blurs on the TV screen. The figures are covered in fingerprints from where they’ve been moved around, making the film that little bit more real. Rather than computer generated creatures, these people are real. No need to worry about whether the fur on the Were-Rabbit looks real, because it is!
It’s safe to say that The Curse of the Were-Rabbit is the best thing Aardman have ever done, winning them best Animation at the Oscars in 2006. They may have moved back onto the small screen, but Wallace and Gromit are never far from the hearts of Britains. They are currently starring in VisitEngland adverts (check out the 50 Shades of Greyhound book!) and soon Gromit will be scattered around the streets of Bristol, raising money for charity. Check out where the sculptures are going to be here.