Wallace and Gromit are two of the most beloved characters in the history of cinema and television, with the pair being one of the UK’s most popular media exports. Since their debut in 1989, the eccentric inventor and his intelligent dog’s stop motion adventures have delighted adults and children alike. Recently it was announced that a new Wallace and Gromit film will be landing in 2024, making this the perfect time to rewatch the duo’s past adventures.
But which of their outings is the best?
A Close Shave
1995’s A Close Shave sees Wallace fall in love with wool shop owner Wendolene Ramsbottom. When Wallace finds a sheep in his house, he befriends it and calls it Shaun. But, the duo soon learns that something is kidnapping local sheep, and Wendolene Ramsbottom’s dog is acting very suspiciously.
Winner of the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film, A Close Shave is a stand-out film from start to finish. Blending comedy with a dash of B-Movie horror parody, the movie features a legendary sequence, where Gromit takes to the skies for a hilarious aerial dog fight. This film also marks a significant moment in Aardman Animations history because Shaun the sheep would get his own spin-off franchise, which is very popular even today.
A Matter of Loaf and Death
Released in 2008, A Matter of Loaf and Death sees the duo embark on another genre pastiche, this time parodying murder mysteries. A serial killer is lurking in the shadows, murdering local bakers. This is a problem as Wallace and Gromit have gone into the baking business.
However, Wallace is distracted by his infatuation with former bread mascot Piella Bakewell, and thus it is up to Gromit to solve the mystery and save his owner.
This film won both a BAFTA and an Annie Award in 2009. The film is an utter delight, mixing a fun plot with excellent jokes. The rapid-fire gag-packed bomb disposal scene is a highlight that will stick with you long after you finish the movie.
Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
2005’s Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit was the first feature-length, theatrically released Wallace and Gromit film. A parody of classic monster movies, especially those released by infamous British movie studio Hammer. This movie sees Wallace and Gromit start a humane pest control business called Anti-Pesto. Specifically, one that keeps rabbits away from people’s prized vegetables. However, when Wallace realizes he is running out of space to store the captured bunnies, he tries a new plan, inventing a Mind Manipulation-O-Matic to reform the naughty rabbits.
However, when a giant Were-Rabbit starts to terrorize the town, Wallace and Gromit have to get to the bottom of the mystery and protect the local vegetables.
Featuring an all-star cast including Helena Bonham Carter and Ralph Fiennes, the film feels like a natural extension of the franchise, keeping all of the original shorts’ charm while also delivering a more in-depth story.
A Grand Day Out
A Grand Day Out was the first Wallace and Gromit film to be released when it debuted at the Arnolfini Gallery as part of its 1989 animation festival. It was initially broadcast on TV on Dec. 24, 1990, and instantly cemented itself as a classic.
The short sees Wallace and Gromit run out of cheese. Desperate for some more, the duo board Wallace’s homemade rocket ship and head to the Moon to pick up some more. While on the Moon, the duo enjoys a picnic and encounters a robot who isn’t keen on the pair making a mess of the Moon.
Utterly charming in every way, it is easy to see why A Grand Day Out captured the public’s imagination and launched a franchise. Even after all of these years, the film is just as enjoyable, which is a testament to its writing and animation.
The Wrong Trousers
The Wrong Trousers was the second adventure for Wallace And Gromit. Released in America and the UK in 1993, the film sees Wallace struggling for cash, so Wallace decides to rent out one of their bedrooms to make some money. A penguin takes them up on the offer and moves in. However, it turns out that this penguin is actually a famous criminal who likes to cosplay as a chicken. And this robber has taken an interest in Wallace’s new invention. A pair of high-tech trousers.
The film won the 1994 Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film, and it is easy to see why. The film is a delight from start to finish, featuring brilliant comedy, a fun story, and even some genuinely emotional moments. The film is famous for its train chase segment. Which is one of the most hilarious and impressive sequences ever put to film.