Wallace and GromitBig Screen

Thursday, 20th October 2005

wooded slopeThe Showcase cinema at Birstall must have one of the best views from the foyer of any cinema in the country but the wooded slopes that we're looking out on as we sit having a coffee before the movie actually screen the busy M62 a few hundred yards away, while the grassy slopes to the south of the motorway were, until a few years ago, a huge rubbish dump.

One of the reasons that this panorama doesn't look glaringly new is that a few existing pockets of mature trees were left in place while the landscape was redesigned around them.

Wallace and GromitIt's the first time we've seen Wallace and Gromit on the big screen. I'm surprised how many parallels there are between my Rough Patch sketchbook and the storyline of The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, involving back garden vegetable patches and a battle to defeat marauding pests.

The characters are strangely familiar too: there's Wallace, the tall one, with his waywardly creative, over-ambitious projects that always end in disaster and then there's the exasperated but ever faithful Gromit who runs the house, grows the vegetables, cooks the breakfast and works quietly in the background to get Wallace out of all his scrapes.

Richard and BarbaraGromit's hobbies, in the rare times that he has a spare moment, are reading and knitting . . . which, come to think of it, are Barbara's hobbies too.

Just what is it that makes these animated Plasticine characters seem so familiar . . .

'Barbara! - any chance of a nice bit of Wensleydale?' Next Page


Aardman Animations

Richard Bell, richard@willowisland.co.uk