PNG images: Wallace and Gromit
Wallace and Gromit is a British clay animation comedy series created by Nick Park of Aardman Animations. The series consists of four short films and a feature-length film. The series centres on Wallace, a good-natured, eccentric, cheese-loving inventor, along with his companion Gromit, a silent yet loyal and intelligent anthropomorphic dog. Wallace was originally voiced by veteran actor Peter Sallis, but as of 2011, this role has been passed on to Ben Whitehead. Gromit remains silent, communicating only through means of facial expressions and body language.
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The first short film, A Grand Day Out, was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 1990, but lost to Creature Comforts, another animated creation of Nick Park. The short films The Wrong Trousersand A Close Shave followed. The full-length feature The Curse of the Were-Rabbit was released in 2005. The latter three each earned Academy Awards.
In January 2007, a five-film deal with DreamWorks and Aardman fell through after only three films, due to creative differences, as well as the box office failure of Flushed Away. Park said later that DreamWorks executives wanted to Americanise the very British Wallace and Gromit after test screenings, which would have tarnished some of the duo's nostalgic charm. A Matter of Loaf and Death was Nick Park's first production since the end of the DreamWorks deal. It was the most watched television programme in the UK in 2008. A Matter of Loaf and Death won the 2008 BAFTA Award for Best Short Animation and was nominated for an Academy Award in 2010. In 2013, Peter Lord stated that there were no plans at the moment for a new short film, and Nick Park announced in the following year that the declining health of Wallace's voice actor, Peter Sallis, had the possibility of preventing any future films despite the availability of Ben Whitehead. On 4 May 2017, Peter Lord stated that more projects with the characters are likely while speaking at an animation event in Stuttgart, Germany. He said, "When Nick [Park]'s not drawing cavemen, he's drawing Wallace & Gromit ... I absolutely assume he will do another, but not a feature. I think he found it was too much. I think he liked the half-hour format."
The original voice of Wallace, Peter Sallis, died on 2 June 2017.