Commercials, Idents and Other Animations
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Commercials

I think it fair to say that there are not many companies who would turn down the chance for Wallace and Gromit to advertise their products, so it’s perhaps surprising how little Wallace and Gromit have stared in adverts over the years (especially with Aardman’s skills for making them - they say not a day goes by with an Aardman advert being shown!)

At the same time though it does make sense - it keeps the value of the characters, it doesn’t sell them cheap or make them any less special.

Indeed the first adverts were shown in Japan! First Glico, a manufacturer of confectionaries, had three adverts done. Each one is advertising the Glico Putchin pudding - think crème caramel crossed with jelly! The first, of which clips can be seen on the DVD special features for the short episodes, has the duo dancing in a house full of sheep, a reference to ‘A Close Shave.’ Gromit and the sheep are pretty cool and dance well - Wallace is doing his best but looks out of place!

The second has Shaun sleeping peacefully in a meadow when the sound of a Putchin pudding being opened wakes him. Cutting quickly between Shaun running on foot and riding on a bike with Wallace’s spoon edging nearer to the desert finally Shaun swings through the window on rope and eats the desert. It can be viewed here:

The third is a fast paced one where Wallace and Gromit have popped up to the moon in their Rocket for another picnic. Back on Earth Shaun hears them open a Putchin pudding, grabs his crash helmet and pilots a plane into space, dodging meteorites, until it crashes into the moon. Distracted by the explosion behind them Wallace and Gromit look behind them, but when they turn back Shaun has eaten their deserts! His parachute is falling around him still where he jumped out. This is available to view here:

Sumitomo Life, an insurance firm in Japan, have featured Wallace and Gromit heavily - often by taking out insurance from them you get very exciting free gifts (once a fold up scooter! Now Nick Park uses it to get around the studio!). They also had a television advert showing the sort of thing they insure you for. As in ‘A Close Shave’ the duo are riding on their motorbike with a stunt team of sheep. Hitting a tortoise on the road (bearing a strong resemblance to Frank from Nick’s ‘Creature Comforts’) they all fall off, but luckily land again in a vertical line with Wallace and Gromit on the top and Shaun steering, with the tortoise on his head as a helmet. A very short second-long clip can also be found on the behind the scenes features on the DVD of the short episodes.

Coming closer to home the duo appeared in an advert for the new Renault Kangoo. Beginning in a quiet country lane with Wallace testing various parts of the car, such as the lights, as Gromit is still cleaning it, the advert becomes more and more perilous when Gromit is forced to jump onto the car, clinging on for dear life despite being whacked by the windscreen wipers. Finally losing his grip and flying off he lands with a bump against some machinery. Pulling back as Gromit moves the controls to shut it down we see it is all part of Wallace’s new invention - not a Country lane but rather an elaborate running machine to test the car in their basement. Having satisfactorily checked out Gromit jumps in it and, ‘Thunderbird’ style, they are lifted up onto where the pond is (that now seems to be a pool with a diving board! Another ‘Thunderbirds’ reference!) and drive off. Released across Europe the advert was only seen on Cinema screens within the UK. The video can be found here:

The next advert, produced shortly before ‘The Curse of the Were-rabbit’, was for Jacob’s cream crackers. Of course the crackers of choice for the duo bear a remarkable similarity to Jacob’s so this is natural really. With his new invention he battles a ‘Wensleydale Crisis’ by having lots of other nibbles put on top of his crackers - each one complete with a cheesy pun reference. Finally, inevitably, the machine goes wrong and explodes (to Wallace’s cry of ‘It’s Apocalypse Chow!’). They end up enjoying their Jacob’s with different toppings covered in dust with a destroyed living room. To watch it see here:

After ‘The Curse of the Were-Rabbit’ the PG Tips Gromit mug with light-up nose had an advert as well - with Wallace trying to test the temperature of Lady Tottington’s tea when she comes to visit. Although not confirmed I believe all the Lady Tottington voice parts are simply taken from the film. You can see it here:

Recently, to coincide with the Cracking Ideas exhibit, another advert was made. A simple one with little plotline it isn’t helped by the fact that it seems to be the secondary voice artist playing Wallace and not Peter Sallis. However you can view it here:

Also npower have had two adverts (so far) produced with Wallace and Gromit. One showing the benefits of a new boiler and another of their loft insulation. They’re rather good fun so you can view them both here along with a behind the scenes piece:




Idents

1995

To coincide with ‘A Close Shave’ new Christmas idents on BBC2 featured Wallace and Gromit. There was one version for talking over which had the duo at their table with the flashing ‘2’ in front of them, as well as shorts set around their home in preparation for Christmas. You can view them here:

2008

And then, to coincide with ‘A Matter of Loaf and Death’, BBC1’s Christmas idents in 2008 were performed by Wallace and Gromit - beat that Doctor Who!




Other

South Bank Show

For the opening of Nick Park's South Bank Show a short animtion of Melvin Brag was produced, and part of it involved Gromit hitting him with a Boom Microphone. Unfortunately it has been removed from Youtube, but we're working on replacing it.

Children's Foundation

A very short animation was made to promote the Wallace and Gromit's Children Foundation. With the duo sitting at their dining table they give a ringing endorsement for the charity. It might not look that much, but anyone who knows about animation will appreciate the time gone into it.

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A Grand Day Out  -   The Wrong Trousers  -   A Close Shave  -   Cracking Contraptions  -   Curse of the Wererabbit  -   A Matter of Loaf and Death
World of Invention  -   Commericals, Idents and Others
Characters  -   Merchandise  -   Transport Information  -   Aardman Unleashed

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