1. Wallace Was Inspired by Nick Park's Father:
Peter Sallis is well-known for his role as Wallace, but it is less well known that the character was inspired by Nick Park's father. Wallace was inspired by his father, who was always tinkering with things and had a can-do attitude, Park has revealed in several interviews over the years.
Wallace started out with a thick mustache and smaller cheeks, but after hearing Sallis say "cheese," he realized Wallace needed bigger cheeks and a wider mouth with big teeth. It should also be noted that Wallace was not always known as Wallace, but rather Gerry.
2. The First Film Could Have Lasted Four Hours:
It goes without saying that stop-motion animation is time-consuming to produce. In fact, an entire day's work on a stop-motion animation film may result in only a few seconds of usable footage at the end. A Grand Day Out took Nick Park seven years to complete, but it would have taken him even longer if he had followed his original script.
Park once stated that his first film would have been a four-hour marathon. "There was once a moon McDonald's that served banana milkshakes," Park explains. It was going to be like the Star Wars scene with all the aliens in the bar."
3. The Wrong Trousers Only Had a Couple of Animators:
The Wrong Trousers was Wallace and Gromit's second short film. In the 1993 short film, Wallace rents out a room in his apartment to a small penguin. Feathers McGraw, the penguin, would later attempt to rob a museum by dressing Wallace in high-tech trousers.
While stop-motion animation is time-consuming, Nick Park revealed that the film only had 2 to 3 animators. Park was still a rising filmmaker at the time, as his later animated adventures would employ dozens of animators at the same time.
4. Several scenes from A Close Shave had to be cut:
Wallace fell in love with Wendolene, the proprietor of a wool store, on Wallace and Gromit's third journey. A Close Shave introduced Shaun the Sheep, who would later star in his own film and television series, as well as being the first time we heard a character other than Wallace speak. While there are many memorable moments in the short, such as Preston pursuing Wallace and Gromit, one sequence was cut from the final product.
According to Aardman co-founder Peter Lord, A Close Shave was over 50 minutes long instead of 30, so some scenes had to be cut.
5. A New Wallace And Gromit Short Is In Development:
Wallace and Gromit's World of Invention was their final appearance for fans. Despite the fact that it has been nearly ten years, it appears that Wallace and Gromit are back for another adventure. When asked about his current Wallace & Gromit endeavors, Park said, "[It's] early days, but I'm working on some new Wallace & Gromit concepts."
Wallace and Gromit may not return for a theatrical release, but they may appear in a short film, according to Park. Although Park has previously stated that he has considered writing a Wallace & Gromit prequel or a sequel with a published Feathers McGraw, it is currently unknown what he is working on.
6. Curse Of The Were-creative Rabbit's control was sought by DreamWorks:
Nick Park had been with Aardman since 1985, but DreamWorks hired him in the late 1990s to create the animated feature film Chicken Run. The film did extremely well at the box office. They eventually approached him about producing Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, a feature-length Wallace & Gromit film.
DreamWorks also saw success with the film, but Park and DreamWorks frequently disagreed. DreamWorks demanded complete control over The Curse of the Were-Rabbit in order to ensure that the gags were delivered to American children, but Park only wanted to do what was right for his characters. Dreamworks had a problem, according to Park, working with characters they didn’t own the rights to, so filming the movie wasn’t exactly an easy task.
7. Wallace and Gromit Films Aided in the Sale of Cheese:
Anyone who has seen a Wallace & Gromit film is familiar with Wallace's love of cheese. Wallace and Gromit travel to the moon because "everyone knows the moon is made of cheese," according to A Grand Day Out. In the 1990s, Wensleydale Creamery was on the verge of ceasing production of Wensleydale cheese, but they were soon aided by Wallace and Gromit.
Sales of Wensleydale cheese skyrocketed after Wallace suggested in A Grand Day Out that the moon is made of Wensleydale cheese and then stated in A Close Shave that Wensleydale is his favorite type of cheese. The same thing happened to Stinking Bishop cheese when The Curse of the Were-Rabbit was released in 2005, with farmer Charles Martell claiming that his orders had increased by 500%.
8. Gromit Almost Became A Cat:
While Gromit has become as well-known as his pal Wallace, he appears to be a very different character. Nick Park previously revealed that he nearly turned Gromit into a cat while working on A Grand Day Out. According to Park, Gromit was originally a cat, but he quickly realized that dogs were easier to sculpt than cats, so he changed Gromit's species.
He also stated that he had a packet of dog noses from an arts and crafts store on him while sculpting the character, which influenced his decision. Gromit was also named after his brother, who was an electrician who used grommets (rubber pieces used to insulate wires).
9. Nick Park once had lunch with Queen Elizabeth II:
While Nick Park did not win an Academy Award for all of his Wallace & Gromit shorts, he did capture the attention of the Queen. Nick Park was invited to lunch with the Queen of England in 1997 after receiving a CBE (Commander of the British Empire) for his contributions to filmmaking.
Park, of course, accepted the honor and the invitation to lunch, where the Queen is said to have asked Park to sit next to her. Park isn't the only celebrity to receive a royal title, but that doesn't diminish his career achievements.
10. Nick Park Has Won 4 Oscars In His Career:
Only three of Nick Park's eight films have been feature-length productions. His filmography is largely comprised of Wallace & Gromit films and shorts, for which he has received a few Academy Award nominations.
Park has received four Academy Award nominations for his work on Creature Comforts, The Wrong Trousers, A Close Shave, and The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. A Grand Day Out was nominated for an Oscar in 1991, but Creature Comforts won. A Matter of Loaf and Death received a nomination in 2009, but it was defeated by the French film Logorama.