A Close Shave
The most ambitious of the Wallace and Gromit films up to that point, this outing is really quite something.
As a stop-motion animation achievement, it’s outstanding. Really remarkable—the advances over the previous films is highly impressive.
The £1.3 million budget sure helped. And was rewarded with an Oscar for the Best Animated Short Film.
But the story is also great fun and very engaging. Which includes the arrival of that industry legend Shaun the Sheep.
So, we catch up with the man and his dog in Yorkshire. They’re now running an inventive window cleaning service, with Wallace (Peter Sallis) putting his inventing skills to use.
He also falls for local wool shop owner Wendolene Ramsbottom (Anne Reid).
However, her rather sinister looking dog, Preston, is up to no good. He’s running a sheep rustling business. Although Wendolene doesn’t know about that.
What follows is Preston attempts to get Shaun back, with the daring little dude having escaped the truck.
And that embroils Wallace and Gromit in a particularly daring rescue mission, where they go all out to save the day—and the sheep.
There’s a lot of British humour in this one, with nods to stiff upper lip and all that. Fighter pilot mentality, saluting, and porridge.
At 30 minutes, it was one of the most advanced stop-motion animation films in history. Toy Story launched in the same year, which was Pixar’s feature length CGI romp.
But A Close Shave is something else entirely—claymation. And it’s engaging, charming, and lovingly created.
What amazes us is this really was in 1995. Which now makes us feel a lot older, but also reminds us why we love this series. And were so happy to revisit these outings recently.
Plus, this one features the classic line, “Not even Wensleydale?” It doesn’t get any more Yorkshire than that!