“A Grand Tail” in Bristol and some costumes

June 19th, 2013

Sarah Chidgey has passed along the latest video promoting Bristol and the upcoming 80 Gromit statues coming to the city and writes:

A Grand Tail is a slapstick romp around some of Bristol’s most iconic locations, to publicise the unveiling on 1st July of 80 life-sized Gromits painted by a host of high-profile celebrities and artists, including Harry Hill, Cath Kidson and One Direction’s Zayn Malik. The summer trail and film are aimed at families and couples looking for a UK break or ‘staycation’.

The film features two hapless delivery drivers trying to drop Gromit off in time for the Trail, but getting hopelessly lost in the city.

Tourist attractions in the city include Bristol Zoo, Clifton village, the Harbourside area of town, where the SS Great Britain is docked, two theatres, the recently revamped music and comedy venue Colston Hall, Bristol Museum and @Bristol (a science museum suitable for adults and families), two cinema complexes, plus an enormous range of restaurants and the recently-built Cabot Circus shopping area. Other attractions include the Clifton Suspension Bridge, the Downs, and Leigh Woods.

Check it out here:

In related news, Brunel’s ss Great Britain has announced the arrival of their very own Gromit, “staying with us over the summer and presiding over Brunel Square for ‘Gromit Unleashed’ from Monday July 1st 2013.”

From their press release:

The artist is Thomas W. Dowdeswell; whose piece ‘Being Gromit-Malkovich’ incorporates an abstract cityscape in a Vorticist style. It is an industrial yet contemporary construction which strikes an interesting balance with the historic engineering of Brunel’s ss Great Britain.

Thomas W. Dowdeswell said: “As Gromit is taking over the streets of Bristol, I thought it would be an interesting twist to turn [him] into a cityscape in his own right. Gromit now is not just a dog but an idea, a vision and a hope which encompasses the whole city; on the streets, in our homes, under blue skies and neon-lights people are volunteering to live, at least for a while, in Gromit’s world”

And thanks to the folks at Carbon Costume who create “Famous outfits made from everyday gear” and also reached out to show me a couple recent posts featuring Wallace and Piella Bakewell costumes!

See the Wallace costume here and Piella here.

Gromit Unleashed ads unleashed!

June 12th, 2013

The Gromit Unleashed campaign features a series of 80 Gromit statues made by area artists that will be placed throughout Bristol for 10 weeks from July 1st to September 8th 2013.

In preparation, a series of videos have begun to be released:

Wondering where you’ll find 80 Gromits this summer?”A Grand Tail” coming soon

Gromit stirs up the Clifton set in this outtake from “A Grand Tail,” coming soon

Thanks to Sarah Chidgey for letting me know about these videos!

Gromit in CACM

February 16th, 2013

It’s rare when my love for Wallace and Gromit intersects with my career in technology, but today was one of those days! While reading an issue of Communications of the ACM this morning I found an article titled “Saving Private Gromit” (membership required to view, alas) about efforts to preserve and legal issues around preservation of video games, with a focus on the industry in the UK.

Here’s hoping video games of our beloved duo can be preserved for future generations!

Wallace and Gromit star in Google+ Hangouts ad!

December 18th, 2012

Thanks to my friend Miia Ranta for showing me this – Wallace and Gromit, along with a host of other Aardman characters “get together” for the holidays via a Google+ Hangouts advertisement!

BBC Proms wrap-up, Gromit sculptures coming to Bristol and a new amusement park ride

December 1st, 2012

It’s been a few months since our last roundup update! Here’s a roundup of some of the news that came in since then.

It will probably not be a surprise to long time fans, but at an interview back in July Nick Park talks about the origins of the characters: Gromit was ‘nearly a cat’ says animator Nick Park

Last time we talked about the upcoming performance at the BBC Proms, and with those long behind us there were some great articles that came out covering it, including…

The Telegraph did an amusing interview with Wallace: Proms 2012: Wallace and Gromit: interview. And not to be outdone, The Guardian also featured an interview with Wallace: Wallace: ‘I have a feeling Gromit has a hankering to be a composer himself’.

As for the event itself, this article from the BBC covers it and has a great photo from the event: Wallace and Gromit take over Prom

Wallace and Gromit brought some animated anarchy to the BBC Proms on Sunday with a family-themed concert featuring new sequences created by Bristol-based film studio Aardman.

So, what was the music actually like? Julia Savage of Bachtrack writes a great description and review here: Prom 20: Wallace & Gromit’s Musical Marvels!

With the proms behind them, where did the duo surface next? One event was the Preston Guild celebrations as reported here: Wallace and Gromit creator honoured at the Preston Guild celebrations. They also showed up at Wensleydale Creamery following a cycling event for charity as reported here: A grand day out at creamery. And while on the topic of charity, it’s been announced that Wallace and Gromit’s Grand Appeal to be official partner for this year’s Bristol 10k.

Finally, a couple pieces of news that I’m pretty excited about. First is news brought to my attention by Emily Koch Gromit sculptures to be unleashed on Bristol. I’ll probably not be able to see it in person, but Gromit sculpture all over Bristol, how cool!

And the other big news, a Wallace and Gromit amusement park ride is coming to UK’s Blackpool Pleasure Beach in 2013!

Set to open in 2013, the $7.8 million Wallace & Gromit Thrill-O-Matic dark ride at the United Kingdom’s Blackpool Pleasure Beach will whisk visitors through the world of the eccentric cheese-eating inventor and his anthropomorphic dog.

The 4-minute ride will feature a dozen scenes inspired by the animated short films starring the beloved British claymation characters, including “A Grand Day Out,” “The Wrong Trousers,” “A Close Shave” and “A Matter of Loaf and Death.”

Quote from the Los Angeles Times article Wallace & Gromit ride heading to UK’s Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Artist’s rendering of the ride:

How exciting! Now this may be worth a trip over the pond for… 🙂

D&AD Auction in London of Wallace and Gromit sketches

November 23rd, 2012

Jana Labaki, Awards manager of the educational charity D&AD, reported that they are are auctioning four original Wallace & Gromit pencil drawings from Nick Park on 3 December!

Educational charity D&AD champions excellence in the fields of commercial creativity. In D&AD’s 50th year, we invited 50 creative greats to design their dream cover for the D&AD Annual, the organisation’s yearly publication.

Designers, advertising creatives, filmmakers, photographers, illustrators and artists have all contributed. The result, a magnificent collection of original artwork.

Of the 50 pieces, 39 are being auctioned online at auction.dandad.org, and 11 pieces, including the Wallace & Gromit drawings, will be auctioned on 3 December. Proceeds raised through the auction will go to the D&AD Foundation, to help support the next generation of creative talent.

The four great sketches are as follows:

More details on the lot page: http://auction.dandad.org/lots/nick-park

The auction is happening on Monday 3 December, at the Gallery at The Hospital Club in London but is by invitation only, to attend please email sophie.moss@dandad.org, more details about the auction itself at:


BBC Proms, philanthropy projects, Scienceworks exhibit, Jubilee video

June 23rd, 2012

As mentioned in the last update, the US DVD and Blu-ray release of Wallace & Gromit’s World of Invention was on March 13th, io9 has a great review of it: Let Wallace and Gromit teach your kids about science. Animated Views also reviews the show and the Blu-ray itself, discussing extras, packaging and more: Wallace & Gromit’s World Of Invention. As a love of science shows in general, I was delighted to receive my own copy!

Back in April it was announced that Wallace and Gromit would join music greats with an appearance on the BBC Proms 2012 on July 29th.

“Concerto in Ee, Lad will be unveiled at a children’s Prom on July 29 and is, according to a tongue-in-cheek explanation by Proms organisers, a composition by Wallace himself.

The Aurora Orchestra will perform the concerto while Prom-goers are treated to a new Wallace and Gromit film devised especially for the occasion by Nick Park of Aardman Animations.

From: BBC Proms 2012: Wallace and Gromit compose their own concerto for Royal Albert Hall

The BBC covers it: Wallace and Gromit to feature at BBC Proms and the event page featuring Wallace and Gromit is also now online: Prom 20: The Wallace & Gromit Prom: Musical Marvels!

In my last update I also mentioned the Big Breakfast event on 20th -27th April, and the site has been updated to thank participants:

Thank you to everyone who took part in Wallace & Gromit’s first BIG Breakfast with our friends Foresters. We are very excited to let you know that over 100,000 people nation wide took part .

All the money you raised will help improve the quality of life of sick children and their families in local hospitals and hospices across the country. Thank you.

A few articles also covered some of the breakfast events across the country:

And in more Wallace and Gromit philanthropy news, this article from May about the success of The Grand Appeal: £250K appeal launched for children in Bristol fighting cancer. Finally, the Wallace and Gromit’s Children’s Foundation is hosting their annual Wrong Trousers Day this upcoming Friday, June 29th!

In May Museum Victoria Scienceworks in in Melbourne, Australia opened the Wallace & Gromit’s World of Invention exhibit, making Australia the first country outside of the United Kingdom to host the exhibition.

Wallace & Gromit’s World of Invention explores how innovation and inventiveness are a part of everyday life through a series of interactive exhibits modelled on the devices built by much loved TV character Wallace; a resourceful and creative inventor helped by his clever companion, Gromit the dog.

The museum itself covers the opening on May 17th in a media release, Wallace and Gromit set up shop. Karl Quinn of The Age also writes about the exhibition Just claying around: animation stars roll into Scienceworks and Jim Schembri of the Herald Sun covers it in his article, Inspiring feat of clay at Scienceworks.

There was a lot of excitement leading up to the next bit of news – a new 1 minute, 14 second Wallace and Gromit tidbit – released for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee (which apparently is a big deal in the UK, even if we don’t know what it’s about here in the US!). Sponsored by the National Trust they released some teaser photos, a short video and a “making of” video before the Jubilee, covered in the following articles:

And can be viewed on the National Trust website: Wallace & Gromit: A cracking weekend, which also includes more details, activities, games and even a shop!

Wallace & Gromit in National Trust’s A Jubilee Bunt-a-thon video:

Direct YouTube links:

Finally, the Cracking Idea Award Winners for 2012 have been announced! And the author of the Wallace & Gromit newspaper strip from Titan Comics and Aardman, Richy K. Chandler, has announced that he has a new non-Wallace and Gromit webcomic in the works, to be released June 27th: Lucy the Octopus.

World of Invention bluray, Foundation and other news and some cool products

March 28th, 2012

First off, the news I’m most excited about, the United States release of Wallace and Gromit: World of Invention on DVD and Blu-ray on March 13th! You can snag a copy for yourself on Amazon, Animation Magazine was one of the several outlets that covered the release.

From the Wallace and Gromit Foundation there are a couple bits of news. First, the release of their Impact Report for 2011. The report, available for download as a PDF, covers their extensive work with hospitals and hospices for children, fundraising highlights, partnerships and more.

They’ve also announced thier new Big Breakfast event on 20th -27th April.

We are very excited to let you know that in April 2012 we will be launching a Brand New Fundraising event- Wallace & Gromit’s BIG Breakfast 20th -27th April. It is easy to take part simply register today and we will send you a free BIG Breakfast fundraising pack with all you need to take part, then simply invite friends, family, work colleagues or school friends to Breakfast.

In more general news, we have several articles to share:

From the Daily Mail: EXCLUSIVE: Wallace and Gromit creator Nick Park reveals his first ever animated film – shot aged 13 and featuring characters made from his mother’s sewing kit, not only that, but the article also features some excellently detailed drawings of the workings inside some well known Wallace and Gromit machines!

From Capital New York: Wallace and Gromit: Engaging, noble, and content not to conquer the world

From the Los Angeles Times blog: Shorts Awards honors Oscar nominees, ‘Wallace & Gromit’ creator

Duchess of Cornwall: Wallace and Gromit are Prince Charles’s ‘favourite people in the world’

And slightly off-topic for Wallace and Gromit, the latest Aardman feature “The Pirates! Band of Misfits” as it’s know internationally or “The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists” as it’s known in the UK, is being released March 28, 2012 in the United Kingdom and April 27, 2012 in the United States. I’ve been excited about this film for a while, the late release date here in the states will be rough!

Finally, in the “cool Wallace and Gromit products” department we have…

Wallace & Gromit’s Biscuit Assortment TV Tin

The View-O-Matic TV set model HP400.
An assortment of bicuits containing Jam Rings, Milk Chocolate Digestives, Nice, Oaties, Bourbon Cream Fingers, Custard Creams Finger, Digestive Finger and Fruit Shortie.

They also offer a tin shaped like their van in A Matter of Loaf or Death.

And the Wallace and Gromit Sandwich Toaster (via geekalerts.com)

Cook up a cracking toasted sandwich with the classic Wallace & Gromit Sandwich Toaster from Swan.

In just a few minutes you could be enjoy a toasted sandwich filled with your favourite fillings. What’s more is the unit will stamp creative images onto both sides of the bread to make your sandwich a whole lot more enjoyable. Featuring non-stick trays you can easily remove your food and clean after use.

Very fun!

Upcoming Exhibit in Melbourne, Chat-O-Matic and Home Sheep Home apps, Charity Auction

December 28th, 2011

There are frequently Wallace and Gromit exhibits throughout England (like World of Cracking Ideas that I was able to visit while visiting England in 2009!) but it’s not every day that we see exhibits open elsewhere in the world. It’s a delight to be able to report thatWallace & Gromit’s World of Invention at Scienceworks, Melbourne will be opening on May 19th 2012. Based on the exhibit description it sounds like there will be a lot of overlap with the Cracking Ideas exhibit, but also some new things from the recent World of Invention series. Also see: article by Sydney Morning Herald.

Still no reports of Wallace and Gromit for Android, but in December Widebeam Digital Ltd. released the Wallace And Gromit – Chat-O-Matic, “an app that turns an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad into Wallace’s mouth, complete with a selection of catchphrases. The idea is that the device is placed in front of the user’s real mouth” as reported by The Guardian.

Also in iOS app news, Brad Cook of Virtual Programming contacted us about their “Home Sheep Home” application mentioned here. They have now published the The Ultimate Home Sheep Home Walkthrough, and Brad reports:

We added 5 new levels to the game in a recent free update, and this walkthrough includes them, so it’s a complete tutorial to the entire game.

App store link here, you can grab it for just $0.99.

Finally, some exciting news for disadvantaged young people helped through Prince’s Trust, two watercolour illustrations from Wallace and Gromit creator Nick Park were among the 35 artists featured in a recent auction at the Prince’s Trust Evening of Art and helped raise £74,000! Article here: Artists raise £74,000 for youth charity.

Baker Interview, Google Maps, Grand Appeal news and Twitter

November 23rd, 2011

Here’s the latest roundup of Wallace and Gromit news from the past couple months!

Thanks to Nick Hilton for letting me know about this interview with classic Wallace and Gromit writer Bob Baker about his career in British television: Interview with Bob Baker

Play with Google Street Maps much? There are lots of goodies to be found by browsing through neighborhoods, and one of the recently sighted gems is the Wallace and Gromit Floral Display! Google Maps link here.

Image © Google Maps

Source: Roaming the Google Streets: Wallace and Gromit Floral Dispaly

In this The artists’ artist: Animators article from September several artists talk about talk about some of their own favorite living artists, the list starts off with Sharon Colman talking about Nick Park.

Wallace and Gromit’s Grand Appeal hosted an auction of art from November 1-10.

The auction is now over, but if you click through the auction link you can still visit the auction link for a few other items still being sold by thegrandappeal on ebay. Also, see here for their Christmas catalog, including beautiful Wallace and Gromit Christmas cards: grandappeal.org.uk/christmas/

Have a Garmin GPS? There is now a Wallace-voiced GPS bundle for download to your GPS, guaranteed to “work better than most of Wallace’s crazy contraptions”!

Source: Garmin Garage: Wallace & Gromit – Reporting for Duty!

Finally, a fan of Twitter? Check out these official Twitter accounts for Wallace and Gromit!

Know of more? Let me know!