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Nice sketches Gromit! First doodles unveiled

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: May 24, 2014

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Comedy heroes Wallace and Gromit may be facing the end – but sketches have come to light that show them right at the start when they were born, as doodles by creator Nick Park.

The never-before-seen drawings were penned by the British animator when he first came up with idea for a Plasticine master and dog.

Started in the early 1980s, the sketch book charts the life of the characters from their inception all the way to their last film The Curse of the Ware-Rabbit.

The drawings show the dynamic duo in various forms, from scraggly drawings in pencil to more defined versions done in Biro.

Some of the hilarious drawings show Wallace being trapped in a giant mousetrap, paddling on a lifeboat and using a remote controlled iron.

The sketches, which will be unveiled for the first time today, chart the thinking of Nick Park as he thought up different ideas for the duo.

All of the doodles are part of a new exhibition, which opens in the M Shed in Bristol – charting the 25-year history of the characters.

The show opens just days after Nick Park said he was "unsure whether to continue" Wallace and Gromit because of the ill health of voice over artist Peter Sallis, 93.

Merlin Crossingham, creative director of Wallace and Gromit at Aardman, said he was very excited to be holding an exhibition in the place where the characters were born.

He said: "This exhibition really does show off Bristol's creative scene. It's all about stories that were created here by people living in the city.

"But, as well as an exhibition, it will allow people to step into the story board and hopefully inspire creativity, as there will be opportunities for them to do some drawing.

"All of our ideas began as small doodles, and some of them were brought to life and can be seen here, so it would be great to inspire others to do the same. We are so excited to be able to hold this just down the road from where it's all created: we always have such a warm response from people in Bristol."

Other characters that can be seen include one of the slugs from Creature Comforts, Shaun the Sheep, and Preston, the robot dog from A Close Shave.

Original sets from The Wrong Trousers and A Close Shave will also be on display, as well as props from the hit show.

But it's not just props from the show that are going up for display. Visitors will also be able to see the Oscar and Bafta awards that the show have won.

Tim Corum, deputy director of Bristol Museums, Galleries and Archives, said: "We are so excited to be able to host this event. It's something different that we hope everyone will be able to enjoy. The story behind Wallace and Gromit is an inspiring one."

The display includes some ideas that are yet to be used, including a hover-car, a stretch limo and a scene depicting Wallace and Gromit in a floating bath tube.

Speaking previously Nick realised that Wallace was inspired by his dad, who loved tinkering in the shed.

Wallace and Gromit from the drawing board is open from today until September 7

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