A Grand Day Out (1990)
A Grand Day Out (1990)

Genre: Adventure, Comedy, and Short Running Time: 23 min.

Release Date: May 18th, 1990 MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Director: Nick Park Actors: Peter Sallis, Peter Hawkins

 


 

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allace has been searching diligently for a place to vacation. Uninspired and exhausted, he decides to make a cup of tea. But much to his horror, there’s not a bit of cheese anywhere in the house. And his crackers are dreadful without it. This is the hint he’s been hoping for; after browsing through Cheese Holidays Magazine, he glimpses the night sky. “Everybody knows the moon’s made of cheese.”

And so Wallace sets about building a rocket ship (mostly out of wood) to journey into space – all within the confines of his basement. Yet his faithful dog Gromit isn’t amused. Seemingly before the night is through, an orange-colored spacecraft is completed – containing everything the duo might need, right down to Wallace’s favorite armchair and fresh wallpaper on the inside that matches their humble apartment. In no time at all, they’re on the cheesy surface of Earth’s satellite, having themselves a merry picnic and slicing off chunks of moon-cheese to adorn their crackers.

From the opening seconds of “A Grand Day Out,” there’s something engaging and charming about the realistic look of claymation. The backgrounds and the props perfectly match the characters, which are as present in the scene as any inanimate object. The animation itself is a touch clunky, but the details are spectacular. Plus, the designs are cute, humorous, or unexpectedly quirky.

While the gimmick of having a lowly pet represent the brains between a duo of human and animal isn’t entirely original, Gromit’s silent routine works nicely against Wallace’s limited intelligence. And though it’s a short, the plot itself is undeniably unique. Plus, the conflict in the film is an incredibly singular concept: a robot villain who just wants to tidy up the moon – and ski. “A Grand Day Out” isn’t the best of Wallace and Gromit’s misadventures, but it’s nevertheless a solid piece of family-friendly entertainment.

– Mike Massie

  • 6/10