Nick's Early Days
Nick was born in Preston, Lancashire. As a boy, Nick loved drawing, especially cartoons as he was a huge fan of the The Beano comic. He would use his mother’s home movie camera to record his early films; his childhood interest in film-making continued, leading Nick to study animation at the National Film and Television School in Buckinghamshire. It was during his time here that Nick created the characters that would develop into Wallace and Gromit.
One of the most frequently asked questions to Nick is where he got the inspiration for Wallace and Gromit from. In Wallace’s case, this came from his own family:
The visual look of Wallace was inspired by a postman Nick knew called Jerry; he was later renamed after a Labrador Nick encountered on a bus in Preston. Gromit, meanwhile, got his name after Nick heard his brother, an electrician, talking about ‘grommets’ – rings, or washers, used in the trade. Gromit’s intellectual, cultured character is perhaps a little inspired by the character Snowy from Tintin - Hergé's classic cartoon creation was a favourite of Nick’s when he was growing up.
Working With Merlin Crossingham
As Nick has become increasingly busy with other projects and commitments, he has entrusted the role of Creative Director for Wallace & Gromit to his long-term colleague Merlin Crossingham. Merlin, who started his career as an animator at Aardman back in 1996, was Second Unit Director on The Curse of the Were-Rabbit and he also co-directed another much-loved Aardman classic, Creature Comforts USA series for CBS, which won him an Emmy nomination.
As Creative Director for the characters, Merlin oversees everything to do with Wallace and Gromit, including new commercials, live shows, products and more, to make sure that the special and unique charm of Wallace and Gromit continues to enchant and inspire fans both old and new. Merlin was Creative Director on Wallace & Gromit’s first Augmented Reality story, The Big Fix Up (launched in January 2021) and will direct the new Wallace & Gromit film, coming in 2024, alongside Nick Park.
New Wallace & Gromit, coming 2024
In early 2022 it was announced that Wallace and Gromit are to star in a new film, arriving in 2024. It will see the ever-thoughtful Gromit becoming concerned that Wallace is a little too dependent on his inventions. When Wallace’s “Smart Gnome” develops a mind of its own, it falls to Gromit to battle sinister forces and save his master…or Wallace may never be able to invent again!
The film will premiere on Netflix globally except for the UK, where it will debut on the BBC.