Notes from a small island
A weblog by Jonathan Ali

Sunday, February 23, 2003  

Wallace and Gromit are back. The claymation man and dog duo, created by Nick Park, have featured in three wonderful, hilarious films - A Grand Day Out, The Wrong Trousers, and A Close Shave, the latter two winning Academy Awards for best animated film. Now, ahead of next year's anticipated new feature, The Great Vegetable Plot, they can be seen in a series of shorts entitled Cracking Contraptions, available exclusively online from Atom Films.

From the Time review of Cracking Contraptions:

"They are everyman and everydog. Cartoon lovers embraced Wallace and Gromit when Nick Park created them out of Plasticine for three stop-motion animated shorts... Here was the definitive English couple, manacled to each other for life: Wallace, a bachelor with a love for cheese and a weakness for inventing things that blow up, and Gromit, his silent pet, indentured servant and reluctant savior. Next year they'll star in The Great Vegetable Plot, Park's first feature film since the delicious Chicken Run in 2000. But now they can be seen, in byte-size form, on the internet (at 10 savory japes with the general title Cracking Contraptions.

"In each two- to three-minute film, Wallace concocts a daft labor-saving robot - meant to serve dinner or covercome a burglar or produce Christmas cards or vacuum up cracker crumbs - while Gromit watches in mute exasperation or buries his snout in a favorite book (one is Men Are from Mars, Dogs are from Pluto). Something usually goes explosively wrong, but that doesn't dampen either Wallace's enthusiasm or Gromit's obligation to restore the status quo.

"These little films, supervised by Park and directed by Loyd Price and Chris Sadler, have a lovingly handmade look to them. They might be Wallace's crackpot creations, except that here everything works beautifully. They only explosions are the viewer's laughter."

The first of the ten films can be downloaded free of charge. The whole lot is available for US $9.95.

posted by Jonathan | 8:33 PM 0 comments


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