Monday, October 10, 2005

Aardman Warehouse Fire




Terribly sad news that a fire has destroyed warehouse containing Aardman's Animation archive. Fortunately no-one was hurt, and Nick Park has downplayed the incident, which keeps it in perspective (especially when the news is full of the ghastly earthquake in Pakistan), but a great shame nevertheless.

Having done some work for Aardman's Planet Sketch show, I was delighted to able to go into the company's HQ (unscathed, as far as I know) where they keep various classic Aardman characters in reception, in glass cabinets that now have my smeary fingerprints all over them - sorry guys. I'm hoping some of these models will have been out of the warehouse at the time, as there's something truly magical about seeing the original character models of Wallace, Gromit and the others, and realizing just how much hard work and imagination went into bringing them to life.

On the plus side, the Wallace and Grommit film seems to be doing fantastically well, despite/because of being wildly parochial with puns to groan at and and old-fashioned ethos of slightly ramshackle British craftsmanship running throughout. Chaps, I salute you. And I know it's not Aardman, but can I just apologise again for thinking that the Corpse Bride was CGI? I had a number of corrective emails on the subject a while ago, and I really am very sorry.

I just hope the tortoise made it.

7 comments:

Pashmina said...

This is terrible news (comparatively, of course). And much more upsetting than the warehouse fire a while back that destroyed lots of 'BritArt' stuff, by which I was largely unmoved.

Miss Moon said...

Oh no! That's awful. I like your pictures though. V. good condidering the refelective glass cabinets. Oooh hope curious cabinet is going well. I'm looking forward to reading it when it's a proper book that I can hold in my hand. Anyway better get back to my top secret work...

cello said...

Very sad. One can't help but believe that they are not just lumps of plasticine (non-technical comment)but that, once they have had the spark of life breathed into them, they are truly living beings.

Wallace is my favourite, because he reminds me of my Dad, dead now for 20 years exactly. Except that his favourite cheese was Red Leicester.

Stef the engineer said...

I used to work at a well-known Wiltshire company that had 'interesting' people with local connections in to give talks once a month - Jonny Ball, Adam Hart-Davis, Cameron from the balloon company, the people behind the London Eye, the guy behind the Eden project and, of course, Nick Park. He gave a great talk, and it does seem terribly sad. However, I also heard NP's comments on the radio, and it was impressive how in context he kept it, compared to more tragic events worldwide. Compare and contrast to the "tragic" loss of the Saatchi Brit art, and the reaction of (some of) the artists there. Fair play.

irony in motion said...

I was very upset when I saw this on the news (coincidentally, I found and watched a video of the three films yesterday, which made me even more distressed). Very noble of Nick Park to keep it in perspective. Can't say I would have been able to do the same. Would probably have been sobbing over remains of charred plasticine (does plasticine char?) and begging the cameras to go away and let me deal with my grief alone. Or something.

Matt said...

hum....i vaguely remember going to see an exhibition of Aardman figures (i was too young to know what they actually were at the time but i destinctly remember seeing the blue chicken things from Creature Comforts where one of them pulls the other ones beak and it snaps back on elastic...)

i have always been a huge fan of Aardman. they are the reason im now sat in a small room in Stafford and studying Digital Film, Animation and 3D Technology. i own most of the films they've made. i even have a soft toy of Vince from Rex the Runt.

no one was funking hurt? what about all the Wallaces and Gromits and Morphs and Chas' and chickens and other assorted animals who died in there?

im going to go to bed now cos anger, loss and tiredness arent a good mix. i'll see how much this seems like an overreaction in the morning...

Anonymous said...

Where are Pugh, Pugh, Barney Magrew, Cuthbert, Dibble and Grubb when you need them?