Netflix is set to revive the beloved animation duo Wallace and Gromit for the first time in 15 years. Creator Nick Park is going to produce a new film featuring his two most famous characters. The film does not yet have a title, and will be the sixth in almost 35 years. Animation fans worldwide are sure to be thrilled for a new installment. In the United Kingdom, the upcoming feature will be shown on the BBC, and Netflix elsewhere. The twee British adventures of a gentle inventor and his brilliant dog have been a cult hit for decades. They are considered cultural icons in the UK, and are critically acclaimed. The new film is reported to be released on Netflix in 2024.
The first Wallace and Gromit short film, A Grand Day Out, was released in 1989. It was co-written, directed and animated by Nick Parks for Aardman Animations. The stop-motion duo quickly became a hit and the film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 1991. Amusingly enough, it lost to another creation of Nick Parks, a stop-motion mockumentary called Creature Comforts.
Since then, Wallace and Gromit have appeared in films, comic books and video games. The next few years promise to be quite the comeback for the duo and Aardman Animations, as an open world video game is in the works along with the new film. While details about the latter project are still scarce, the weird mixture of lighthearted fun and bizarre danger of Wallace and Gromit will hopefully translate.
The characters of Wallace and Gromit, a somewhat absentminded inventor and his brilliant dog, have had a gentle sense of adventure that has captivated audiences for years. Their quintessential British-ness has made them de facto cultural ambassadors of a kind of fanciful image of tea, cheese and weird machinery. The upcoming film reportedly deals with a new invention of Wallace’s known as a “smart gnome” going haywire. It fits with the general quirkiness of the Wallace and Gromit adventures, which have thus far involved a Were-Rabbit, a serial killer targeting bakers, and robo-trousers. Funny stuff, and sure to be a hit for Netflix.
Aardman Animations and Netflix have also announced a sequel to the animated classic Chicken Run. Although the first film’s star Mel Gibson has been experiencing a career revival after his well-reported legal issues, he is being replaced by Zachary Levi in Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget. This sequel comes a full 23 years after the original, but has a built in audience that has grown up with DVDs of the original.
Of course, Netflix is never shy at revivals, remakes and sequels. They are currently set to make a Korean version of their own Money Heist, originally a Spanish production. While their recent remake of the anime classic Cowboy Bebop was received with mixed reviews (to put it charitably), it does not seem to be stopping them with the Wallace and Gromit revival. We will just have to wait till 2024 for it.