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A Grand Day Out (1989) Poster

Trivia

The creators made Wallace say "Wensleydale" because it made his face look nice and toothy. What they did not realize was that the cheese factory where Wensleydale cheese is made was on its last legs and was about to declare bankruptcy. Happily, this film's success brought the factory back from the brink.
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Nick Park loosely based Professor Wallace on his own father, Roger Wulstan Park, who was an incurable tinkerer, inventor and architectural photographer. He once built from scratch a small trailer the family would take on trips to the beach. Park described it as a living room on wheels, complete with wallpapered interiors and wooden furniture bolted to the floor. Much like the rocket ship in A Grand Day Out.
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This film took over six years to make, almost all of it single-handedly done by Nick Park himself. It formed part of his graduation project from the National Film and Television School, hence the co-production credit.
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Gromit was going to originally be a cat, but then changed to a talking dog 'cause it was easier to animate, whose voice was recorded by Peter Hawkins. The idea of Gromit speaking and even him just having a visible mouth was completely scrapped when it became clear how expressive he could be just through small movements of the eyes, ears and brow, so no voices for Gromit were ever used.
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Nick Park offered Peter Sallis £50 to voice Wallace, and his acceptance to record the part greatly surprised the young animator. Nicholas Wulstan Park wanted Wallace to have a Lancastrian accent like himself, but Peter John Sallis could only do a Yorkshire voice. Inspired by how Sallis drew out the word "cheese", Park chose to give Wallace a wide mouth and large cheeks (Wallace's head was originally thinner). When Park called Sallis six years later to explain he had completed his film, Sallis swore in surprise.
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Even though the mysterious mechanical moon patroller had no given name, the official Wallace and Gromit website lists this character as "The Cooker (or "The Moon Machine")" as it does resemble an oven.
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The film began production in 1982 as Nick Park's thesis film, with Park himself doing everything. In two years, he had overshot his budget and deadline and only finished ten minutes. In 1985 he scored a job at Aardman Animations and the film was finished around other projects (most notably Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer" video).
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According to the book The World of Wallace and Gromit, the film was originally 40 minutes in length, including a sequence where Wallace and Gromit discover a Fast-food restaurant on the Moon. Nick Park remarked: "Originally, Wallace and Gromit go to the Moon, and there's a whole lot of characters there. One was a parking meter attendant, and the only one that remained - the robot cooker character, but there were also aliens and all sorts. There was even a McDonalds on the Moon, and it was going to be a spoof on Star Wars. Wallace would get thrown in prison and Gromit had to get him out. By the time I came to Aardman, I had just started the Moon sequence and somebody told me, it will take another nine years to do that. I had a reality check and cut the scene. Somehow, I had to tie up the story on the Moon and finish the film."
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Gromit The Beagle Dog was named after the word "grommets", because Nick Park's brother, an electrician, often mentioned them, and Nick liked the sound of the word.
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To make the film, Nick Park wrote to the inventor of Plasticine William Harbutt's company, where he requested a long ton of it. The block he received had ten colours, one of which was called stone. He used that for Gromit.
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Nick Park once saw an overweight labrador retriever named Wallace, who belonged to an old woman boarding a bus in Preston. Park remarked it was a "funny name, a very northern name to give a dog" so he used that name for Gromit's owner.
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The maker's name on the clock inside the spaceship is "Wulstan". This is Nick Park's middle name.
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Although nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film, A Grand Day Out lost (though it won the BAFTA award), ironically to another one of Nicholas Wulstan Park's creations, the pilot episode of "Creature Comforts (1989)".
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Nick Park's directing debut.
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The robot cooker (or Moon Machine)'s isolated presence is random and unexplained in the final film. It was in the remainder of a large population of characters that would inhabit the moon in the original script (which had to be omitted due to time and budget). In the final film, it simply exists, seemingly alone, though its role as a parking meter attendant remains.
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Professor Wallace was originally a postman named Postman Gerald "Jerry" (named after a postman he knew who was also the inspiration of Wallace's look), but Nick Park felt the name did not fit with Gromit.
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Aardman Animations Ltd. took on Nick Park in 1985, before he had finished A Grand Day Out. He worked on it part time while still being funded by the National Film and Television School.
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Wallace uses Duck matches to light the fuse on the rocket, a reference to swan matches.
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Nick Park originally wanted to voice Gromit.
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Nick Park used school children at a primary school in Longton, near Preston as one of his test audiences for the film. This was because his niece attended the school at the time. The kids loved it!
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The first Wallace and Gromit film.
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The number plate on the space ship reads: "WOL 155" i.e. woliss for Wallace.
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The character of Gromit was inspired by the character of Snowy The Dog from The Adventures Of Tintin which was a favourite of Nick's growing up.
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This is Nick Park's 4th film and also his first to be fully broadcasted and first to win an award.
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Anyone else notice that in the scene at the beginning panning down from the shot of the moon through the grate there is a red sledge with the name Rosebud painted on it. A Citizen Kane reference maybe.
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Peter John Hawkins' voice originally was recorded to play Gromit, but later the recordings of Gromit speaking was cut from the film and the entire idea of Gromit speaking or even having a mouth visible was completely scrapped.
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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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