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gets ones bearings

A Grand Day Out

A Grand Day Out (full name A Grand Day Out with Wallace and Gromit) is an award-nominated 1989 animated film directed and animated by Nick Park at Aardman Animations in Bristol, featuring his characters Wallace and Gromit. This was the first adventure featuring the eccentric inventor Wallace and his quiet but smart dog Gromit. It was followed by 1993's The Wrong Trousers, 1995's A Close Shave, 2005's Curse of the Were-Rabbit and A Matter of Loaf and Death, scheduled for a late 2008 broadcast.

Nick Park started making the film in 1982 as his graduation project for the National Film and Television School. Aardman Animations took him on before he finished the piece, allowing him to work on it part time while still being funded by the school.

The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Animated Short Film, but lost to the short Creature Comforts, which was also a creation of Nick Park.

On 30 December 2006 the short received another BBC One repeat. The information transmitted alongside falsely stated that the animation was made in 1998, nine years following its actual release date.

Summary

Wallace and Gromit are relaxing in their living room in the evening pondering where to go for the upcoming Bank Holiday. Wallace decides to make them some tea and cheese and crackers to help them think; but upon opening the fridge discovers they have no cheese. He is disappointed at first; but then sudden realizes that when it's what they can do for the bank holiday; they can go somewhere where there is cheese. After thumbing through a magazine entitled "Cheese Holidays", he notices the Moon outside the window, which "everyone knows" is made of cheese. He decides that that is where they will go for the holiday.

Wallace goes down to the basement and designs a rocket. Over the weeks, he and Gromit construct it. Then, finally, it is time for them to go. Wallace lights the fuse to start the engines; but then suddenly realizes that they haven't got any crackers. He rushes to the kitchen while the countdown is ticking and grabs all the crackers he can, and then makes it back to the rocket just in time. There is some trouble with the takeoff until Gromit realizes he's left the hand brake on. Then the rocket takes off into space. During the flight, Wallace snaps a few pictures and makes himself some toast, while Gromit builds a house of cards, which falls down upon landing.

The rocket lands upon the moon; which is covered with enormous yellow spikes made out of cheese. Wallace and Gromit set off to find a spot to eat. Along the way, Wallace kicks their beachball up into the air; but due to the low gravity, it goes up and never comes down again. Wallace and Gromit then find a nice spot and make themselves a picnic. Wallace cuts one of the cheese spikes, puts some of the lunar cheese on a cracker and tastes it; but it is like no cheese he has ever tasted. He and Gromit decide to go and try another spot.

Along the way, Wallace and Gromit encounter a strange machine standing vacant in the middle of nowhere. It resembles an oven on casters with a drawer, optic eye, and a coin slot. Wallace puts a coin in the slot but nothing happens, and he and Gromit go off angrily. Just after they have left, however, the machine springs to life with robot arms popping out of the sides. The moon-machine straightens its antenna, gets its bearings, and then takes out of its drawer a telescope and looks around. It notices Wallace and Gromit's abandoned picnic, and goes over to it. The moon machine appears angry about the stuff lying about; it picks it up and puts it in its drawer, and then mends the cheese-spike which Wallace cut with some glue. Then it finds, in Wallace's bag, a magazine advertising skiing holidays. The moon-machine is transfixed by the thought of skiing up and down a snowy slope and vies to try it.

Then the machine notices the rocket. It goes over and (because the rocket is somehow parked in the wrong place) writes it a ticket. It also notices an oil leak, aggravating it further. It takes another look around and notices Wallace, sitting in the new spot. It notices another cut cheese-spike at the ground. Realizing that Wallace is responsible for the littering, wrong parking and cut spikes, the furious moon machine goes over, sneaks up behind him, and prepares to whack him on the head with a police truncheon. Gromit notices it's about to whack Wallace, but just then, the money runs out and the machine turns off.

Not knowing that the truncheon is directly above his head, Wallace gets up and bumps his head on it. Interested, Wallace takes it from the moon machine, then, for no apparent reason, he puts another coin in the coin slot. He and Gromit go off. Once again, the machine comes to life after they've left, and it is furious about its truncheon being taken. It takes another look with the telescope and notices the Earth in the sky, and the rocket on the lunar surface below it. It realizes that the rocket is its transport to earth; wherein it can fulfill its dream of skiing. The moon machine goes berserk and rushes over to the rocket. Wallace and Gromit, who are boarding the rocket to go back to earth, notice it, and think it is coming to attack them because Wallace has taken some more lunar cheese.

Wallace frantically organizes an emergency countdown. The moon machine tries to climb up the ladder to board the rocket, but cannot due to having casters for feet. It swats aside the ladder, takes a can opener from its drawer, and then cuts itself a door in the metal of the rocket and boards. The countdown for the rocket ends, but nothing happens. Wallace realizes that they forgot to light the fuse. In the engine room below, the moon machine finds a box of matches, lights one, and then puts it near the fuel tank. This causes a massive explosion. The machine tries to hold on, but is sent flying backwards with two strips of metal it was hanging on to and the rocket takes off without it.

The moon machine is crestfallen. It throws the two strips of metal to the ground. But then it realizes that it can bend the ends. Doing this, the machine is able to make itself a pair of skis. The moon machine is able to ski up and down the slopes of the moon, and waves in thanks to the two up in the rocket. Wallace and Gromit wave back, and then set coordinates for West Wallaby street, and fly off back home.

After the credits, the ball that Wallace kicked up in space is seen going higher and higher into space.

The approximate 22 minutes are packed with sight gags and exaggerated physical comedy, as well as a few subtle film parodies. Voice acting is the sole duty of Peter Sallis (the voice of Wallace). Gromit remains silent throughout almost all of the film, the only exceptions being a whimper as he falls foul of an electric drill while building the rocket and another whimper after hearing Wallace exclaim that he forgot to light the rocket's fuse that would get them off the moon.

Credits

  • Animation and Design: Nick Park
  • Additional Model Making: Janet Sanger, Michael Hort, Michael Wright, Andrew Davies
  • B/W Dream Sequences: Joan Ashworth, Andy Staveley, Martin Greaves
  • Special Thanks to: Peter Lord, David Sproxton, Richard Goleszowski, Sara Mullock, Melanie Cole, Glen Hall, Alan Gardner
  • Thanks Also to: Lesley Manning, Stephen Lawrence, Andrea Gardner, David Fine, Alison Snowden, Jeremy Clarke, Darren Long, Charles Paley, Cliff Thorne, Roy Swift, Peter Bath
  • Written by: Nick Park
  • Music: Julian Nott
  • Sound Effects and Sound Editing: Adrian Rhodes, Danny Hambrook, Chris Billing
  • Rostrum Camera: Danny Boon, Jeremy Moorshead
  • Production: Soozy Mealing
  • Editor: Rob Copeland
  • Photographed and Directed by: Nick Park

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