DIRECTOR: Nick Park
May contain spoilers!
The third short in the Wallace and Gromit series of Nick Park (Creature Comforts) directed films, Ardman Animation were on a role in the 1990’s with these Christmas favourites. Beginning in 1993 with A Grand Day Out and following it up a year later with superior, The Wrong Trousers (1994), this plasticine world led by a strange northern English inventor and his remarkably intelligent dog follows the pair on their adventures together and it was getting better and better.
A Close Shave introduced the now beloved character of Shawn The Sheep and in this case, basically the plot to their first full length feature five later, The Great Escape (1963) parody Chicken Run (2000), in which an evil dog is hell bent on rustling sheep in order to make them into dog food.
Wallace and Gromit work so well on so many levels, playing into old fashioned English eccentricities which we here in Britain will understand and everybody else will find amusing, as well as not being afraid to draw on film’s lavish history to produce plots which are diverse, fun and witty.
Ardman Animation have since gone on over the past 20 years to produce many more films, but it is here, with these early shorts, a mainstay of Christmas time here in the U.K., which served as a springboard for their success and it is most defiantly earned.