10 Crazy Facts About Wallace And Gromit
Updated: Aug 24
Nick Park’s Father Was The Inspiration For Wallace:
Peter Sallis is well-known for his role as Wallace, but it is less well known that Nick Park's father inspired the character. Park has revealed in several interviews over the years that Wallace was inspired by his father, who was always tinkering with things and had a can-do attitude.
Wallace had a thick mustache and smaller cheeks at first, but after hearing Sallis say "cheese," he knew Wallace needed bigger cheeks and a wider mouth with big teeth. It's also worth noting that Wallace wasn't always known as Wallace, but rather Gerry.
The First Film Could Have Been Four Hours Long:
It goes without saying that stop-motion animation takes a long time to create. In fact, an entire day's work on a stop-motion animation film may yield only a few seconds of usable footage at the end of the day. A Grand Day Out took Nick Park seven years to complete, but if he had followed his original script, it would have taken him even longer.
Park once stated that his first draught would have been a four-hour film. "At one point, there was a moon McDonald's that served banana milkshakes," Park says. It was going to be like the scene in Star Wars with all the aliens in the bar."
The Wrong Trousers Only Had 2-3 Animators:
The Wrong Trousers was the second Wallace & Gromit short to be released. Wallace rents out a room in his apartment to a small penguin in the short, which was released in 1993. The penguin would later be known as Feathers McGraw and would attempt to rob a museum by dressing Wallace in high-tech trousers.
While stop-motion animation requires a lot of work, Nick Park once revealed that the film only had 2 to 3 animators. This just goes to show how Park was still a rising filmmaker, as his later animated adventures would employ dozens of animators at the same time.
Several Scenes Had To Be Trimmed From A Close Shave:
Wallace and Gromit's third journey saw Wallace fall in love with Wendolene, the proprietor of a wool store. In addition to being the first time we heard a character other than Wallace speak, A Close Shave also introduced Shaun the Sheep, who would subsequently star in his own film and television series.
While the short contains many memorable moments, such as when Preston is pursuing Wallace and Gromit, one sequence was dropped from the final product. A Close Shave was over 50 minutes long instead of 30, according to Aardman co-founder Peter Lord, thus some scenes had to be removed.
A New Wallace And Gromit Short Is In Development:
Wallace and Gromit's World of Invention was the final time fans saw them. Although it has been almost ten years, it appears that Wallace and Gromit are returning for another adventure. "[It's] early days, but I'm working on some new Wallace & Gromit concepts," Park said when asked about his current Wallace & Gromit endeavors by Yahoo.
Wallace and Gromit may not make a comeback for a theatrical release, but according to Park, they might make an appearance in a short film. Although Park has already stated that he has considered a Wallace & Gromit prequel narrative or possibly a sequel with a published Feathers McGraw, it is currently unclear what he is working on.
DreamWorks Wanted Creative Control Over Curse Of The Were-Rabbit:
Nick Park had been working for Aardman since 1985, but in the late 1990s, DreamWorks hired him to create the animated feature film Chicken Run. The movie had a great box office performance. They eventually asked him to produce Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, a feature-length Wallace & Gromit film.
DreamWorks saw success with the movie as well, but Park and DreamWorks frequently had disagreements. DreamWorks demanded extensive control over The Curse of the Were-Rabbit in order to ensure that American children would get the gags, but Park only wanted to do what was right for his characters. Dreamworks had a problem, according to Park, working with characters they didn’t own the rights to, so filming the movie wasn’t exactly an easy task.
Wallace & Gromit Films Helped Sell Cheese:
Anyone who has seen a Wallace & Gromit film is aware of Wallace's fondness for cheese. A Grand Day Out revolves around cheese, with Wallace and Gromit traveling to the moon because "everyone knows the moon is made of cheese." Wensleydale Creamery almost had to stop making Wensleydale cheese in the 1990s, but they were soon helped by Wallace and Gromit.
After Wallace suggests in A Grand Day Out that the moon is made of Wensleydale cheese and then says in A Close Shave that Wensleydale is his favorite type of cheese, sales of the cheese skyrocketed. The same thing happened to Stinking Bishop cheese when The Curse of the Were-Rabbit was released in 2005, with farmer Charles Martell claiming that his orders had increased by 500%.
Gromit Was Almost A Cat:
While Gromit has become as iconic as his pal Wallace, Gromit appears to be a completely different character. Nick Park previously revealed that while working on A Grand Day Out, he nearly turned Gromit into a cat. According to Park, Gromit was almost a cat in his original sketches, but he quickly realized that dogs were easier to sculpt than cats, so he changed Gromit's species.
He also stated that while sculpting the character, he had a packet of dog noses on him from an arts and crafts store, which influenced his decision. Gromit was also named after his brother, who worked as an electrician and used grommets, which are rubber pieces used to insulate wires.
Nick Park Once Had Lunch With The Queen:
While Nick Park did not win an Academy Award for all of his Wallace & Gromit shorts, he did catch the Queen's attention. After receiving a CBE (Commander of the British Empire) for his contributions to filmmaking, Nick Park was invited to lunch with the Queen of England in 1997.
Park, of course, accepted the honor and lunch invitation, where the Queen is said to have requested Park to sit next to her. Park isn't the only celebrity to receive a royal title, but that doesn't diminish his accomplishments in his career.
Nick Park Has Won 4 Oscars In His Career:
Only three of the eight films that Nick Park has directed are feature-length productions. His filmography is largely made up of Wallace & Gromit films and shorts, which have earned him a few Oscar nominations.
For his work on Creature Comforts, The Wrong Trousers, A Close Shave, and The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, Park has amassed a total of four Academy Award victories over his career. In 1991, A Grand Day Out was up for an Oscar; nevertheless, Creature Comforts ultimately won. 2009 saw A Matter of Loaf and Death receive a nomination as well, however it was defeated by the French movie Logorama.