THE WHIMSICAL GENIUS OF AARDMAN ANIMATION
From Wallace & Gromit to Shaun the Sheep and Chicken Run and many more, Aardman’s claymation creations have been enchanting audiences for over four decades.
At Melbourne's Australian Centre for the Moving Image (aka ACMI) latest exhibition, take an extraordinary trip from sketches and models through to elaborate sets as these beloved characters take shape on screen. Highlighting over 350 objects from Aardman’s most amazing animations, celebrate the Oscar-winning studio’s unique artistic vision.
Wander among Wallace’s cracking contraptions along with over 50 authentic film sets, including Gromit’s famous vegetable garden, city streets from Shaun the Sheep the Movie, the flying machine from Chicken Run and the spectacular five-metre tall ship from The Pirates! Band of Misfits.Hand crafted plasticine models, concept drawings, character studies, storyboards and production design are all revealed, including never-before-seen treasures like the first ever drawings of Wallace & Gromit and the rocket from A Grand Day Out.
It will be a grand outing for the family, animation aficionados and art lovers alike, with activities and displays illuminating the incredible intricacy, humour and artistry of the studio. View extracts of Aardman’s most famous films selected from more than 60 shorts and features, imaginative advertisements and music videos. Created by French museum Art Ludique, in close collaboration with the award winning creators and producers of the celebrated Bristol studio, this exhibition is a celebration of Aardman’s artists and animators and their never-ending pursuit of excellence.
Part of the exhibition also includes the studios brillaint short and full length features. The screenings of Wallace and Gromit will be all the more poignant with the recent passing of Wallace's voice actor Peter Sallas.
WALLACE & GROMIT IN THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT (2005)
Wed July 12th 10:30am, Sat Aug 26th 10:30am & Sat Oct 14th 1pm
“This might be plasticine's finest hour.” - Anthony Quinn, Independent
Aardman Animations' lovable claymation characters make their feature film debut in a caper dubbed "the world's first vegetarian horror movie". Inventor and cheese-lover Wallace and his devoted canine Gromit run their own vegetable protection agency, Anti-Pesto, but get into all manner of mischief when they unintentionally create a Were-Rabbit with a voracious appetite. With the town's beloved vegie plots at risk of disappearing into the jaws of the veg-ravaging beast, Wallace and Gromit are hired to save the day. Ralph Fiennes and Helena Bonham Carter add their talents to a terrific voice cast. Winner of the 2006 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature as well as over 30 international film awards!
FLUSHED AWAY (2006)
Thurs July 6th 10:30am, Thurs July 13th 10:30am, Sat 9th Sept 1pm, Sun Oct 15th 1pm
Roddy (Hugh Jackman) is a decidedly upper-crust "society rat" who makes his home in a posh London flat, complete with two hamster butlers named Gilbert and Sullivan. When a common sewer rat named Syd comes spewing out of the sink and decides he's hit the jackpot, Roddy schemes to rid himself of the pest by luring him into the "whirlpool." But its Roddy who winds up being flushed away into the bustling sewer world of Ratropolis.
Immediately wanting out he decides to enlist an enterprising scavenger, Rita (Kate Winslet) and her faithful boat, the Jammy Dodger, to help get him back home. But Rita doesn't come cheap and there is a villainous toad determined to rid Ratropolis of all things rodent. The Toad dispatches his two hapless hench-rats, Spike and Whitey, to get the job done. When they fail, the Toad has no choice but to enlist that dreaded French mercenary Le Frog.
WALLACE & GROMIT: THE AARDMAN COLLETION
This special compilation features several classic Aardman multi-award winning short films including early installments of Creature Comforts, the complete works of William Shakespeare (in under five minutes!) and the brilliant Oscar winning third Wallace and Gromit adventure, A Close Shave plus many more Aardman treats!
Selected highlights include:
Early Bird (1983). Director Peter Lord and David Sproxton
My Baby Just Cares for Me (1987). Director Peter Lord
Next: The Infinite Variety Show (1990) 5 mins. Director Barry Purves
Not Without My Handbag (1993) 13 mins. Director Boris Kossmehl
Pib and Pog (1995). Director Peter Peake
Pop (1996) 3 mins. Director Sam Fell
Wallace and Gromit: A Close Shave (1995) 30 mins. Director Nick Park
War Story (1989) 5 mins. Director Peter Lord
Wat's Pig (1996) 11 mins. Director Peter Lord
CHICKEN RUN (2000)
Tues July 11th 10:30am, Sat July 29th 1pm, Sat Oct 7th 10:30am
Ginger, Bunty, Babs and Fowler are chickens trapped on a farm and desperate to escape. If they don't produce any eggs for the week, Mr. and Ms. Tweedy will have their heads and turn them into chicken pot pies. Just when it seems all hope is lost an American rooster called Rocky, who had just escaped from the circus, falls from the sky into their midst. Ginger, realising that their best chance of escape is to fly, agrees to protect Rocky from the circus in exchange for flying lessons. Aardman Animations' first stop-motion feature film won numerous awards, including the Los Angeles Film Critics Best Animated Feature.
ARTHUR CHRISTMAS (2011)
Fri July 7th 10:30am, Fri July 14th 10:30am, Sat Sept 16th 1pm
How can Santa deliver billions of presents to the whole world in just one night? With an army of one million combat-style Field Elves and a vast, state-of-the-art control center under the ice of the North Pole! So how could this incredible operation have missed one child? To Santa’s young son Arthur, it threatens to end the magic of Christmas. With retired Grandsanta, a rebellious young elf, an old sleigh and some untrained reindeer, Arthur sets out on a crazy mission to deliver the last present. Deck the halls with excitement, fun and wonder in this modern Christmas classic.
James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Bill Nighy, Jim Broadbent, Imelda Staunton, and Ashley Jensen are just some of the stars lending their voices.
THE PIRATES! BAND OF MISFITS (2012)
Sat July 8th 10:30am, Sat July 15th 10:30am, Sat 23rd Sept 10:30am and Sun Oct 22nd 1pm
Set sail for a fun-filled voyage and hilarious pirate antics with the biggest Band of Misfits on the seven seas! When the infamous Pirate Captain (Hugh Grant) is shunned once again by his rivals Black Bellamy (Jeremy Piven) and Cutlass Liz (Salma Hayek), he sets his sights to win the coveted Pirate of the Year Award.
With his trusted dodo, Polly and rag-tag crew at his side, the Pirate Captain will need to battle a diabolical queen, save a young scientist and never lose sight of what a pirate loves best –adventure!
SHAUN THE SHEEP MOVIE (2015)
Sun July 9th 10:30am, Sun July 16th 1pm, Sun Sept 24th 10:30am, Sat Oct 28th 1pm
Shaun is a clever, mischievous sheep who lives with his flock on Mossy Bottom Farm, under the supervision of The Farmer and Bitzer, a well-meaning but ineffectual sheep dog. Despite Shaun's best efforts, life on the farm has got into a bit of a rut, so Shaun concocts a cunning plan – to have a day off! But be very careful what you wish for. Events rapidly escalate out of control and Shaun's mischief inadvertently leads to the hapless farmer being taken away from the farm. With the flock's help, Shaun must travel to the Big City in order to rescue the Farmer and failure is not an option. But how will the sheep survive? Can they avoid being recognised as sheep? Will they avoid the clutches of a fearsome animal catcher? In the course of the action-packed adventure they experience a host of wild, funny mishaps. And Shaun meets a little orphan dog called Ship who makes him realise that having a home and family is not something to be taken for granted.
Program notes by Australian Centre for The Moving Image.