Did you know it's been 25 years since Wallace and Gromit got themselves involved with a Terminator-like robot dog and a whole load of sheep?
In celebration of the silver anniversary of Wallace & Gromit: A Close Shave, its original animation studio Aardman has partnered with Bristol memorabilia makers The Vine Lab on an exclusive collectors' model being funded via Kickstarter. Depicting one of the most iconic scenes from the classic short film, the highly detailed, silver-effect model will depict the moment that Gromit flies into the air in his sidecar plane.
For Senior Designer at The Vine Lab and major Wallace and Gromit fan Jon Morse, it's been a real high-in-the-sky feeling. "I absolutely adored Wallace & Gromit growing up as a child and I still do! I was nine years old when A Close Shave first aired on the BBC on Christmas Eve in 1995, and I've followed everything they have done since.
"I am in awe of the sheer time and patience that’s required in stop-motion animation – A Close Shave involved an incredible 65,000 hours of work with the average animator completing just five seconds of film per week! I think today, when content is so quick and fleeting, that it’s really important that we still have an institution that celebrates a more analogue and carefully considered medium."
"From a team perspective, everyone here at The Vine Lab has a real love for Aardman, especially Wallace & Gromit. We have been working all year on this limited edition collectable, and we're really proud to be offering fans a rare opportunity to secure a part of history in the form of this Kickstarter exclusive model."
"The Kickstarter platform enables us to share everything with the fans; from initial concept sketches to the progression of the 3D digital sculpts and our earliest prototypes. We have been given access to hundreds of archived photographs and rarely seen video clips to ensure that Gromit and his plane are an accurate replica of the original. Aardman's creative team have had regular input to ensure everything is accurate. Our digital sculpt has been tweaked, tweaked some more, and tweaked again until we were happy enough to output a 3D white resin prototype which we have checked for scale and the level of detail."
One of the main aims for this project was to put more passion and detail into a model than is usually expected from collectors, as Jon explains.
"We’ve limited the model to 1,995 pieces as a nod to the film's original release date, and there's a heap of little added touches such as a very special Aardman seal of approval fingerprint signature. The Certificate of Authenticity also has a little bite mark out of the corner to reflect the moments in the film where the sheep nibble Wallace's newspaper!"
"Crowdfunding this silver anniversary also means we can get feedback, in real-time, from the people that matter the most - the fans. We’ve put a huge amount of time into the model but there are still lots more decisions to make and we want to encourage Wallace & Gromit fans to have their say."
A Close Shave is full of classic scenes, and The Vine Lab began the project with multiple viewings of the animation to select a couple of really iconic moments.
"We finally settled on the end of Gromit's flight scene as the perfect scene as it’s here that the tables turn against the film’s villain, Preston. The sequence also includes everything we love about the dynamic duo: suspense, action and a little bit of humour too!"
Pledges will be open until 3rd December 2020; visit the Kickstarter campaign.