Monday, December 7, 2009

"cheese, gromit! we'll go somewhere where there's cheese!"

i debated about putting this up on sunday because that was nick park's real birthday, but i thought that wallace and gromit videos might be a nice touch on a monday which i, for one, am not looking forward to.

so, yesterday was nick park's birthday; i think that's awesome; and i think we should all watch some w&g in celebration. i tried to find a full online cut of "a grand day out" which was the first aardman full-length short (er -- that sounds funny -- it was about 20 minutes long and the first long piece they did with wallace and gromit) and my favorite, but the only place i could find it was a chinese site that wouldn't cough up an embed code. at least, i don't think it would. it probably would have if i spoke chinese. which i don't. so it left me rather nowhere.

fortunately, hulu came through! and then hulu totally failed and took down the episodes i linked to. i've taken down the embedded windows because, well, they were totally pointless and quite ugly. you'll just have to take my word for it. wallace and gromit = very fun = go watch some. sorry.

and then because i'm a historian and i find it really hard to look at much of anything without saying, on some level, 'so where did that come from?' i also went and found one of oliver postgate's 'clangers' shorts.

these were -- apparently -- used on the bbc (i'm guessing for filler between shows) in the '60s and '70s; there's actually an episode of doctor who called the sea devils from the early '70s where the master is in jail (temporarily) and sitting in his cell watching television. he's watching what i now realise is an episode of 'clangers;' he's quite cheerfully whistling back to the little clangers and enjoying the show when the warden of the prison comes in and asks what he's doing. the master replies that he's apparently watching some interesting form of extraterrestrial life. the warden looks at the screen and says, "they're only puppets, you know. for children." the master smiles, shrugs, and turns off the television, returning us to the main storyline. but it was incredibly satisfying to discover the 'clangers' through one of my rss feeds last year. anna since tracked down a dvd set of the episodes and they're just great. very cute; entirely reassuring and soothing to watch. and clearly inspirational for nick park and aardman. (there's stephen fry in that last link, too, if you need another reason to click.)

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