A Grand Night In: The Story of Aardman

Watch A Grand Night In: The Story of Aardman

  • TV-PG
  • 2015
  • 1 hr
  • 7.5  (771)

A Grand Night In: The Story of Aardman is a 2015 documentary that explores the history and success of Aardman Animations, the British animation studio behind iconic works such as Wallace and Gromit and Chicken Run. Narrated by actress Julie Walters, the documentary features interviews with Aardman co-founders Peter Lord and David Sproxton, as well as the studio's longtime collaborator Nick Park. It also includes appearances from actors David Tennant and Martin Freeman, who have lent their voices to Aardman's films.

The documentary takes the audience through Aardman's humble beginnings in Bristol, England in the 1970s, when Lord and Sproxton were just two college students experimenting with animation techniques. From there, Aardman went on to collaborate with the likes of the BBC and Channel 4 on animated shorts and TV series.

One of the biggest turning points for Aardman came in 1989, with the debut of Wallace and Gromit. The claymation duo's first short film, A Grand Day Out, quickly became a sensation in the UK and won critical acclaim around the world. This success paved the way for the beloved characters to appear in several subsequent shorts and a full-length feature film, The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, which won the studio its first Academy Award.

In addition to Wallace and Gromit, Aardman has also seen great success with films such as Chicken Run, Flushed Away, and Shaun the Sheep Movie. The documentary takes a behind-the-scenes look at the creative process behind these films, from the writing and storyboarding stages to the painstaking work of animating each scene.

Perhaps one of the most fascinating aspects of Aardman's work is their commitment to using stop-motion animation, a labor-intensive process that involves moving physical models one frame at a time. The documentary delves into the challenges and joys of this approach, from building miniature sets to crafting each tiny detail of a character's expressions.

While Aardman's films are known for their lighthearted humor and whimsy, the documentary also touches on some of the darker moments in the studio's history. In 2005, a massive fire destroyed much of Aardman's warehouse, including original sets and props from some of their most beloved films. The documentary explores the emotional toll this event took on the studio, as well as the resilience and determination that allowed them to rebuild.

Overall, A Grand Night In: The Story of Aardman is a loving tribute to one of the most beloved animation studios in the world. Through interviews, archival footage, and behind-the-scenes glimpses, the documentary offers a captivating look at the passion and creativity that has fueled Aardman's success for decades. Fans of their work will be delighted to learn more about the studio's history, while newcomers will be introduced to a world of imagination and humor unlike any other.

A Grand Night In: The Story of Aardman
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.5  (771)