These two paper toys are Wallace and Gromit, created by Toy a Day. Wallace and Gromit are the main characters in a British series consisting of four animated short films and a feature-length film by Nick Park of Aardman Animations. The characters are made from moulded plasticine modelling clay on metal armatures, and filmed with stop motion clay animation.
Wallace, an absent-minded inventor living in Wigan, Lancashire, is a cheese enthusiast who is especially fond of Wensleydale. His companion, Gromit, is an anthropomorphic intelligent dog. Wallace is voiced by veteran actor Peter Sallis; Gromit remains silent, communicating only through facial expressions and body language.
Because of their endearing personalities and widespread popularity, the characters have been described as positive international icons of both modern British culture in particular and the British people in general. BBC News has called them "some of the best-known and best-loved stars to come out of the UK". Icons has said they have done "more to improve the image of the English world-wide than any officially appointed ambassadors". The short films The Wrong Trousers and A Close Shave and the full length feature The Curse of the Were-Rabbit all received Academy Awards. The first short film, A Grand Day Out, was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film, but lost to Creature Comforts, another animated creation of Nick Park.
The two characters appear in the monthly BeanoMAX comic and daily in The Sun. They are also heavily featured in 'Aardmag', the free online magazine that is unofficial but supported by Aardman Animations. Wallace & Gromit: The Thrill-O-Matic is due to open at Pleasure Beach Blackpool in 2013.
Wallace is the main protagonist and can usually be found wearing a white shirt, brown wool trousers, a green knitted pullover, and a red tie. He is best known for his love of cheese, especially Wensleydale, and crackers. His birthday is 7 August. The thought of Lancashire hotpot keeps him from going into crisis. He enjoys tea or a drop of Bordeaux red for special occasions. He reads the Morning, Afternoon and Evening Post.
Wallace is an inveterate inventor, creating elaborate contraptions that often do not work as intended. He is a self-proclaimed genius, evident from his exclamation when he discovers Hutch's borrowed skill, a talent for all things mechanical. Most of Wallace's inventions look not unlike the designs of W. Heath Robinson and Rube Goldberg, and Nick Park has said of Wallace that all his inventions are designed around the principle of using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. Wallace's official job varies; in A Close Shave he is a window washer. In The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, Wallace runs a humane pest extermination service, keeping the captured creatures in the basement of his house. In the most recent short he is a baker.
He has a kindly nature, and is perhaps a little over-optimistic. At times he can be a little selfish and inconsiderate, but he has a good heart and always means well. Nick Park, his creator, says: "He's a very self-contained figure. A very homely sort who doesn't mind the odd adventure." He is loosely based on Nick Park's father, whom Nick described in a radio interview as "an incurable tinkerer". He described one of his father's constructions, a combination beach hut and trailer, as having curtains in the windows, bookshelves on the walls, and full-sized furniture bolted to the floor. The way he dresses and his love for cheese is based on an eccentric school teacher.
In the first photo shown on The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, it was revealed that once, when Gromit was little, Wallace had much more hair and a beard. On the photo that shows Gromit's graduation at Dogwarts, he had lost his beard, but still had a little hair, in the form of little patches just above his ears. The reason behind Wallace's loss of hair is unknown. As shown in The Wrong Trousers, he still uses a hair-dryer. In a "Matter of Loaf and Death", when Wallace is talking to Gromit, a picture is seen behind Gromit of Wallace with a brown beard and brown hair.
Wallace has had three love interests. The first was Wendolene Ramsbottom, which ended quickly when Wallace realised that she was allergic to cheese. The second was Lady Tottington in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, whom Wallace fondly calls "Totty." In A Matter of Loaf and Death, Wallace becomes engaged to Piella Bakewell, but this ended when she turned out to be a murderess who hated bakers, and was eaten by crocodiles upon trying to escape justice.
Gromit is Wallace's pet dog and also is generally more intelligent than Wallace, also the main protagonist. His birthday is 12 February. Gromit graduated from "Dogwarts University" with a double first in Engineering for Dogs. He likes knitting, playing chess, reading the newspaper and cooking. His prized possessions include his alarm clock, bone, brush, and a framed photo of himself with Wallace. He is also very handy with electronic equipment and an excellent aeroplane pilot. Though not mentioned a lot but according to Wallace or any other person he is a beagle.
Gromit is the deuteragonist and has no visible mouth and he does not express himself with spoken words, but his facial expressions and body language speak volumes. Original plans were that Peter Hawkins was going to voice him, but Nick dropped the idea of it when he realized how clear Gromit's expressions could be just through small movements.Many critics believe that Gromit's silence makes him the perfect straight man with a pantomime expressiveness that drew favourable comparisons to Buster Keaton. He does at times make dog-like noises, such as yelps and growling.
Sometimes, Gromit refuses to take Wallace's orders, such as in A Close Shave and Shopper 13, wherein Wallace orders him to get rid of Shaun, but Gromit doesn't.
Gromit has had one love interest: Fluffles, a poodle and pet to Piella. Fluffles does not share her mistress's hatred of bakers and joined Wallace and Gromit delivering bread at the end of A Matter of Loaf and Death, where she is seen with Gromit making a delivery, while listening to "Puppy Love".
In 2010, Empire Magazine placed Gromit first in their list of "The 50 best animated movie characters". Empire wrote that; "Gromit doesn't ever say a word, but there has never been a more expressive character to grace our screens."