Awards, book deal and new show, games, upcoming Simpsons cameo and WnG sand creation

July 31st, 2010

Wallace and Gromit have seen their share of awards this year due to hitting the award cycle late with the Christmas day release of A Matter of Loaf and Death in 2008. First, they were nominated for a Oscar which they unfortunately didn’t get, in what Los Angeles Times blogger Steven Zeitchik called possibly the biggest upset of the show: Oscar liveblog: One of the night’s biggest upsets?

But on to more winning news, Christopher Dalby gave me the heads up that Aardman did quite well at the British Animation Awards back in April. The duo walked home with the “Children’s Choice” award for A Matter of Loaf and Death, and their spinoff Shaun the Sheep won for “Best Children’s Series”! More details over on the BBC website: Aardman wins at British Animation Awards. This award adds to the 36th annual Annie Award for “Best Animated Short Subject” they won in 2009.

Awards aside, Wallace and Gromit have been doing quite well elsewhere too. There is a new Spaceport Exhibit: Wallace & Gromit in Space with activities.

HarperCollins Publishers recently announced that they were to become the official publisher for the forthcoming Wallace and Gromit six-part TV series due to air this autumn on BBC One, with a hardback collection of inventions entitled Wallace and Gromit: A World of Invention. (as reported by booktrade.info: Harpercollins’ Smashing Deal Secures Wallace And Gromit Tie-In)

But wait, a six-part TV series, you say? Yes, announced last summer it’s due to be released this fall! A wikipedia entry has even sprung up about the upcoming series: Wallace and Gromit’s World of Inventions.

And in case you’ve missed them, Aardman is now doing a series of Podcasts, you can grab the first six here: http://www.aardman.com/about-us/podcasts/podcast/

Up for playing a fun new web-based game? I had some fun with Sprocket Rocket over on the Cracking Ideas website the other day: http://www.crackingideas.com/exhibition/games/

Wallace and Gromit on American television? It’s true! The duo will be guest appearing on The Simpsons some time during the next season! A Los Angeles Times article talks about it here: COMIC-CON: ‘The Simpsons’ get ‘Glee’-ful for upcoming season.

And finally a bit of fun, The Daily Mail reports Sand-tastic! Shakespeare and Wallace and Gromit hit the beach in Somerset


Credit: The Daily Mail, caption “No need to feel sheepish” – Wallace and Gromit join other tributes to Great Britain

Wallace and Gromit made of sand, outstanding!

Merchandise Update!

July 18th, 2010

Looking for Wallace and Gromit merchandise like I always am?

First in the news, a competition for FREE merchandise! I have mentioned the great Wallace and Gromit figurines made by Robert Harrop, but now you have the opportunity to WIN some!

Competition Details Here!

But hurry, the competition is only open through the end of July. Which reminds me, I’ve been quite tempted to join their Collectors Club, one of the options for your yearly free gift is something from the Wallace & Gromit Collection.

I received an email from Christopher Dalby recently letting me know that Marks and Spencer has started selling a small but growing range of Wallace and Gromit products! A quick search of “Wallace and Gromit” currently yields several results, including an alarm clock, tea set, mugs and keychains. (Side note for folks outside the UK: Order several things at once! The shipping costs are high but don’t increase quickly with more items, for me ordering mugs AND a keychain had the same 15 pound shipping charge to the US.)

And as always, there is the Aardman store! Check out their Wallace and Gromit section for the ever-changing offerings of merchandise:

http://www.aardstore.com/Wallace-Gromit/

And international shipping? The rates are shockingly reasonable.

Another NPower Advert – World Cup Bid Support!

July 18th, 2010

England is one of the many countries seeking to host the World Cup in 2018, and NPower has gotten behind the bid – with a Wallace and Gromit video!

In one of the funniest football ads to be shown on British TV for many years, Wallace & Gromit, the eternal entrepreneurs, are all set to profit from an English World Cup with their madcap pie-making business – “WAG’s Pies Ltd”. As usual, their best-laid plans are threatened when Wallace’s latest invention – a pie-delivery machine – threatens the game with an errant pie.

More information at https://www.npower.com/handofdog

Now I want some pie.

New npower ad – and contest!

March 22nd, 2010

The latest npower advertisement featuring Wallace and Gromit has been unveiled over on their website:

http://www.npower.com/wallacescreen

And if you’re a UK resident (I’m not, darn!) they are giving out free smartpower electricity monitors to new and existing customers in order to help people raise awareness on how to save energy.

They’re also running a competition for UK residents where participants will have a chance to win:

  • a 42” flatscreen eco TV
  • a Toshiba eco-friendly laptop
  • three eco kettles
  • three DAB radios
  • two ‘money can’t buy’ Aardman claymations models of you!

Check out more over on the npower website, here.

20 years, Nick Park Interview, Marks & Spencer Ad, Children in Need and Comics on iPhone!

November 12th, 2009

First up, why did Google.co.uk have Wallace and Gromit grace their homepage for a day? To celebrate 20 years of Wallace and Gromit!

Then we have a link to a 21 minute interview with Nick Park, where he answers 20 questions from fans including: Did you think Wallace and Gromit would become so popular? What is your favorite Wallace and Gromit film? And why did Gromit’s appearance change after A Grand Day Out?

And while we’re on the subject of clips that feature the duo, they are in a Children in Need ad which you can check out over at Guardian.co.uk: Wallace and Gromit star in Children in Need ad

But wait, there’s more! Wallace and Gromit also make a cameo appearance in a Marks & Spencer holiday ad which you can also check out over at Guardian.co.uk Life on Mars star lands in Marks & Spencer Christmas campaign (they appear about 28 seconds into the ad)

…speaking of the holidays, Aardman has redone their Wallace and Gromit store! Check out the new goodies and an offer for a free gift for orders over 25 pounds: http://store.digitalstores.co.uk/aardman/Wallace-Gromit/department.html?b=wallaceandgromit

And finally, have an iPhone? I don’t (the HTC Dream with Android is more my style) but to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Wallace and Gromit lucky owners of the iPhone and the iPod Touch can purchase select Wallace and Gromit comics from Titan for viewing on their devices!

Wallace and Gromit on google.co.uk

November 3rd, 2009

Quick update to make note of the fact that today (well, tomorrow, but it’s already tomorrow in the UK!) Wallace and Gromit are gracing the front page of google.co.uk. How exciting! 🙂

Thanks to Christopher “RoboNuggie” for letting me know about this!

Happy Halloween!

October 29th, 2009

Happy Halloween from WallaceAndGromit.net!

To celebrate I picked up the delightful US DVD release “Shaun the Sheep: Little Sheep of Horrors” which included:

  • Little Sheep of Horrors
  • Abracadabra
  • Things That Go Bump
  • Heavy Metal Shaun
  • Troublesome Tractor
  • Sheepwalking

New show, Art of Wallace and Gromit, DSi shorts, DVD release in US

October 13th, 2009

A new show where Wallace and Gromit are the presenters, could it be true! Reports say “Yes!”

WallaceAndGromit.com reports:

Wallace & Gromit present: A World of Invention, will take a light-hearted and humorous look at real-life contraptions, gadgets and inventions and aims to inspire a whole new generation of innovative minds by showing them real, but mind-boggling, machines and inventions from around the world that have influenced Wallace’s ‘illustrious’ inventing career.

The show will be broadcast from Wallace’s basement, where he has created what he considers to be a ‘state of the art’ TV studio. Each episode will have its own ‘theme’, including Flying, Communication, Water and Space, and will made up of live action segments about real life inventors and inventions, with animated Gromit working on World of Invention links by Wallace and Gromit themselves.

The series is expected to broadcast in late 2010

We reported a while back that a Wallace and Gromit statue – but we haven’t heard much in months! Turns out that they are moving forward with plans in Preston: Sir Tom sculptor in talks over Wallace and Gromit statue.

Aardman has also released an exciting new book (also reported here with more photos!): The Art of Wallace and Gromit. I am very excited about this book and will be picking up a copy soon. If you’re in the UK you can snag a copy from amazon here. In the US Amazon has it available from several resellers, just follow this link. Tied to this book release is a a brand new exhibition in London’s The Illustration Cupboard Gallery featuring the duo, opened on September 29th the exhibit is open through October 24th, more information can be found on the exhibit page of the Illustration Cupboard Gallery website: Nick Park and Twenty Years of Wallace and Gromit.

Next up in the news – Aardman is producing a series of shorts to be released on the Nintendo DSi:

Blast Magazine explains:

Nintendo today announced a partnership with Oscar-winning Aardman studios to create 12 animated shorts in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

Aardman, a studio noted for their extreme diligence and craftmanship working on characters from the Wallace and Gromit series, will use the FlipNote Studio alone to craft their work.

The FlipNote Studio is a free-to-download DSiWare application that allows for flipbook style animation and sound to be brought to life all with the simple use of your handy stylus. Anyone who doesn’t already have the tool is missing out! It’s free, go download it!

Hmmm, maybe it’s time for me to trade in my regular DS for a DSi!

Very exciting news for us fans in the United States – late last month A Matter of Loaf and Death is now Out on DVD in the US!, being sold as a DVD itself or as part of the new Wallace and Gromit: The Complete Collection. I received a promotional copy of this Complete Collection in BluRay, unfortunately I don’t own a BluRay player! So I went ahead and picked up the DVD collection as well to have a peek:

I’ll be writing up a review compared to the last collection within the next few weeks. Have you purchased your copies yet? If not, a couple clips to whet your appetite:

Lastly, a reminder that the Wallace & Gromit’s Children’s Foundation Tea Party is being held November 4th to 14th, if you’re in the UK check out the website for more information.

Npower Insulation Ad, another award and nomination, US DVDs, game music, giveaway

August 7th, 2009

A couple weeks ago Npower released the latest in their Wallace and Gromit energy saving tv ad campaign. This time? Insulation and sheep!

Just like last time they have also released making of npower Wallace and Gromit loft insulation TV ad.

In the awards area, A Matter of Loaf and Death picked up another award. It was over at the 35th Seattle International Film Festival where the snagged the Best Short Film Golden Space Needle Award. Check out their page for the film here: Wallace and Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death | 2009 Seattle International Film Festival | Nick Park | United Kingdom

The film is also one of the five finalists for this year’s Cartoon d’Or prize!

The 2009 Award Ceremony will take place during the Cartoon Forum in Stavanger (Norway) on Thursday 24th September 2009. The name of the winner will be announced after the screening of the five nominated short films.

The 5 finalists were selected by the jury composed of directors Serge Elissalde (France), Tomm Moore (Ireland) and Kari Juusonen (Finland), among 29 short films that were singled out at one of our partner festivals.

And finally, Animation Magazine reports that AMoLaD is one of the selected films to be screened at the Oct. 14-18th Ottawa International Animation Festival. They are one of the finalists for the Independent Short Films Competition Narrative Short category.

In the last post I mentioned that the 4 shorts will be released in the US on Blu-Ray in September. DVD Times has also confirmed that there will be a region 1 4-DVD setrelease as well: Wallace & Gromit: The Complete Collection (R1/US BD) in September. Plus, they report: “In addition, the DVD set includes packaging that features the duo in 3-D molded forms.”The Cracking Contraptions shorts are also included in this release, split up between 3 of the discs. A Matter of Loaf and Death will also be available on DVD separately.

I also mentioned that the last of the Wallace and Gromit’s Grand Adventures games by Telltale had been released. Well, they’ve also released several mp3s of the music from the games! So head on over to their blog to listen and download: http://www.telltalegames.com/community/blogs/id-483. Enjoy!

Robert Harrop has created a new series of Wallace and Gromit Collectable figurines for AMoLaD and Aardman is celebrating by hosting a giveaway for the collection! Additionally, 10 Fluffles figurines are available to give away as runner up prizes. Hop on over to WallaceAndGromit.com to enter! http://www.wallaceandgromit.com/competition_harrop

Finally, are you a fan of Wallace and Gromit on Facebook yet? I am! Join me and now over 100,000 others: http://www.facebook.com/wallaceandgromit

Games, Animated Adventures Exhibit, US AMOLAD premiere and Blu-Ray, Wrong Trousers Day

August 7th, 2009

It’s been too long! Over the next few days I’ll be catching up on the news from the past couple months with a few posts covering the still interesting and relevant portions.

First up, I received an email from Jennifer Danese letting me know about a new, free game over on Candystand.com. Developed by Aardman Animation Online, Wallace & Gromit: Invention Suspension has the tagline “Help Wallace & Gromit build their contraption!” Head on over and check it out!

Interested in other games? As previously reported Telltale Games was releasing a series of Wallace and Gromit Games for Windows and Xbox Live. All of the games have now been released, and for $34.95 they can all be yours – plus a special collectors disc (shipping not included)! As a side note, LucasArts and Telltale are also resurrecting the Monkey Island series, which I played from the beginning, and bought the latest one that was released for the PS2 several years ago. Wallace and Gromit PLUS Monkey Island? Almost enough for me to load up a Windows computer again 🙂

Next up is information about an exhibit that opened in June, but is running through October: Animated Adventures Exhibition featuring Wallace and Gromit, Sensation, Dundee Science Centre. From their release:

This summer, visitors will get an amazing behind-the-scenes insight into the science and magic of animation with the fabulous exhibition, Animated Adventures featuring Wallace and Gromit, beginning on 1st June and running until 11th October.

The exhibition contains seven original sets used in the making of Aardman and DreamWorks’ feature film Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. Visitors can take a sneak peek inside Lady Tottington’s luxurious home, see Wallace and Gromit’s bunny-laden basement and get a closer look at Wallace’s Anti Pesto van. They can even see how the furry buck-toothed Were-rabbit was constructed in a stage-by-stage display!

Taking visitors on an interactive journey through all things animated, Animated Adventures captures the full animation process from storyboards to post production. Find out how the world’s top animators create their on-screen characters and discover the art of cel painting, stop frame, CGI technology and plasticine modelling. Many industry secrets are revealed through a fun and engaging mix of hands-on exhibits, mini documentaries, sets, models and graphic pods that guarantee to get everyone animated!

Visitors to this fun-filled exhibition will also get the chance to try producing their very own animation.

For more information hop on over to their website: Sensation.org.uk: Animated Adventures featuring Wallace & Gromit.

It’s a shame I missed this news, but better late than never! “A Matter of Loaf and Death” was finally premiered in the US on AT&T’s U-verse TV on June 5. It’s great to know it finally was released on this side of the pond, even if the release was limited to these customers. AT&T even had some nice things to say about Wallace and Gromit!:

“Wallace and Gromit are followed by fans worldwide, and we’re very proud to be the first U.S. distributor to offer this new family-friendly film to our customers” said Jeff Weber, president of video services, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. “This is the perfect example of how our three-screen capabilities provide value to our millions of TV, wireless and broadband customers, and also give AT&T an exclusive opportunity to work with leaders in the entertainment industry to deliver their compelling content to audiences across devices.”

For more check out the press release: New Wallace and Gromit Short Film Makes Exclusive U.S. Premiere on AT&T U-verse TV

Want to bring a physical copy of A Matter of Loaf and Death home in the US? If you have a Blu-Ray player – you’re in luck! The Region A release of Wallace & Gromit: The Complete Collection including all 4 shorts, is schedule for September 22nd. You can also check out the article here for further details on the release: Wallace and Gromit Shorts Coming to Blu-ray

Back on June 26th the Wallace and Gromit Foundation hosted another successful Wrong Trousers Day! Click here so see a picture of their promotional poster, and hop on over to The Weston Mercury’s article Whoops – it’s the Wrong Trousers! for a report and some photos of just a few of the people who participated this year!

That’s all I’ve got time for now, stay tuned for another update very soon!