Monday, October 10, 2005

A Sad Day Out

Even as the new Wallace and Gromit feature seizes a well-deserved #1 at the US box office, a tragedy has left Aardman Animations, the home of the clay inventor and his long-suffering dog, in ruins:

The roof of the Aardman Animations building in Silverthorne Lane, near Temple Meads station in Bristol, collapsed after fire tore through the Victorian building early today.

A spokesman for Aardman said the building housed all the props and sets from the company's history, which has scored a string of successes with its trademark "clay-mation" and gentle humour, beginning with the Morph cartoons on the BBC and going on to huge international success with Nick Park's Creature Comforts, the movie Chicken Run and the Wallace and Gromit films.
...
Aardman spokesman Arthur Sheriff said: "Today was supposed to be a day of celebration, with the news that Wallace and Gromit had gone in at number one at the US box office but instead our whole history has been wiped out. The early reports are that the whole building has been destroyed.

"For us, it held everything we had done since day one. Everything from Morph to Creature Comforts to Wallace and Gromit was there. It had all the film sets, the props, the models, everything. It was very important to us. We used it for tours and exhibitions. It really is a bit of tragedy. It's turned out to be a terrible day."

Sad indeed. This is a loss not only for Nick Park and his collaborators, but for film history.

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