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New Wallace and Gromit Shorts 146

disco_stu00 writes "Aardman Animations has produced 10 new one-minute Wallace and Gromit shorts entitled Cracking Contraptions in preparation and training for the upcoming feature length film. BBC News has the first short available for download."
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New Wallace and Gromit Shorts

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  • by MosesJones ( 55544 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2002 @08:17AM (#4452552) Homepage

    Clearly with the Soccermatic Wallace is looking to expand into the US Soccer Mom market, the domestic version will of course continue to be called the "Footymatic" :-)

    More Cheese Gromit ?
  • by mong ( 64682 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2002 @08:19AM (#4452561) Homepage
    I had a look at this at lunch, and I'm relieved to say that it's clear that we're in for a treat with the new movie - if this clip is anything to go by. People have suggested that W&G is old and stale now (as Chicken Run wasn't *amazing*). But this made me giggle, and I can't wait! Nice Work!!
    • by Pike65 ( 454932 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2002 @08:26AM (#4452591) Homepage
      That's the thing, isn't it?

      Wallace and Gromit should have been stale when it first came out (regional English accents and dogs that are smarter than their owners?), but the sheer quality of the animation and clever direction made all three some of the most loved short films ever.
      • by mong ( 64682 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2002 @08:29AM (#4452606) Homepage
        Hrm, but us Brits don't complain about southern drawl, or Seattle slur in Hollywood movies! I was quite amused that a US reviewer of "Reign of Fire" (avoid, it sucks) complained about the non-rp accents of the Brits.

        Hrm, off topic I guess.

        What needs to be noted is that a soft yorkshire accent like that of Wallace is entirely appropriate. It makes perfect sense.

        But I accept your points anyway... sorry.. I'm rambling!
        • ...a soft yorkshire accent like that of Wallace is entirely appropriate. It makes perfect sense.

          Heh, as a foreigner (Australian, no less) living in Yorkshire, I reckon that's because a proper yorkshire accent would need subtitles!
        • Can you explain "Seattle slur?" I'm sitting here at work in Seattle and I'm quite curious -- we (maybe just the royal "we") have a tendency to think our "American English" sounds rather indistinguishable.

          I've lived other places within the U.S., and I've travelled some (London was nice, btw), so my frame of reference isn't too narrow.

          Actually, when I moved here, I didn't notice anything aurally outstanding. It was quite nice.
    • Unlike a lot of my friends, i wasn't dissapointed in Chicken Run. I think the reason was I went in under the presumption that this animation style didn't really lend itself to a feature film

      What I mean is the pacing... The wallace and Gromit shorts were side splittingly funny but you couldn't keep up that level of humor for an hour and half. It's just not possible. The audience isn't strong enough. So then at points the story can start to drag, and even the cute and charming quality of animaton won't carry it.

      But anway, W&G have a little more character than the chickens. Maybe they'll be able to carry a full length movie better. Maybe not. I'm sure I'll enjoy it either way, even it it's not the fantastic experience of the original W&G shorts

  • ITYM (Score:5, Funny)

    by the grace of R'hllor ( 530051 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2002 @08:20AM (#4452564)
    Don't you mean 'trousers', instead of 'shorts'?

    Yeah yeah, 'boo', 'hiss' and all that.
  • by fruey ( 563914 )
    So many content providers using custom consoles that don't work in Linux. It's a shame. Just like those that only stream in Windows Media.

    But what gets me here is that it is Real Player content, and Real One is available for Linux, but they add a console and bang! it won't work in Linux :(

    I made the switch to Linux a long time ago as my main desktop OS, and I can say that the main thing I go back to Windows for is for streamed content. Not because Linux doesn't support it, but because there is too much obfuscation on the part of streaming providers, they virtually want you to be running Windows XP with the latest media player in order to let you see their content. I can handle Office files, I can handle any email you throw at me, I can do VPN and SSL and all that, I can even get reasonable HTML rendering with Opera or Mozilla, but why no sensible Real Player content available? Why oh why is there always loads of javascript bullshit?

    • Are you sure it's Real movie? I clicked on the link, and it launches a console of Quicktime on my WinXP box (Only XP box in my office, dude). Maybe someone could clarify on this?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 15, 2002 @08:34AM (#4452623)
      It's quicktime actually, and here are the direct links
      Broadband Version [bbc.co.uk]
      56K Version [bbc.co.uk]
    • The link to the content talks about downloading Real Player, but indeed as some of you have pointed out it's Quicktime.

      Is there a choice, or is QuickTime just the *default* transport?

    • It's QuickTime not Real - it's the discussion forum which appears to require Real for some reason..

      I'm probably exposing my ignorance here: is there anything which plays Quicktime movies on Linux?

    • Unfortunately, you are mistaken about RealOne. With the release of RealOne, Real has dropped support for Linux. The same is true for the latest version of Flash, and QuickTime 4+ and Windows Streaming Media never did work with Linux (big surprise). So if you're using Linux, get used to being excluded from streaming content. This is another case of the Linux crowd failing to pay attention to critical issues until it's too late. Linux's viability on the typical end-user desktop is doomed unless this lockout is corrected.
      • Unfortunately, you are mistaken about RealOne. With the release of RealOne, Real has dropped support for Linux.

        Real never supported their player, but RealOne is available. I have it running here. The support is not there, but at least there is a binary that kinda works for most RealOne content.

        The same is true for the latest version of Flash

        I can live without the latest Flash improvements. It's the streaming I want. I'm sure Microsoft is paying these people to support Media Player above all. Arrrgh!

    • While this wasn't available when the story was posted, it seems that they now offer downloadable ASF files, instead of just the Quicktime. So it'll work even for people without Crossover, now! See my other post [slashdot.org] here . . .
  • Here's a (Score:5, Informative)

    by oever ( 233119 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2002 @08:22AM (#4452577) Homepage
  • by pokeyburro ( 472024 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2002 @08:23AM (#4452580) Homepage
    ...I was hoping for actual clothes.
  • by Dynamoo ( 527749 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2002 @08:26AM (#4452590) Homepage
    Shaun the Sheep (from A Close Shave [aardman.com] is a huge cultural icon in the UK, even more so that Gromit. In five hundred years time when archaeologists dig through the remains of our era, they'll clearly come to the conclusion that the plethora of Shaunie socks, toys, character bags, ornaments, mouse mats etc are part of some religious thing.

    Umm maybe that's just my confession that all of these items currently exist in my household. Plus a single solitary Gromit.

    One.. two.. three.. baaaah!

  • NO CGI! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by scrod98 ( 609124 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2002 @08:31AM (#4452616)
    So glad they are producing the feature in the same medium and not moving to the computerized version of W & G. Stop motion animation has such a great feel to it.
    • Re:NO CGI! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by doi ( 584455 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2002 @09:02AM (#4452713)
      So glad they are producing the feature in the same medium and not moving to the computerized version of W & G. Stop motion animation has such a great feel to it.

      I totally agree! I think George Lucas needs to sit down with Nick Park and learn from Nick how to infuse an animated character with personality and performance in a way that engages the audience. Simply using CGI to show off the latest whiz-bang Flame/Maya/Photoshop plugin that renders Yoda's hair with the appropriate translucency is not a substitute for character...especially considering that Frank Oz made the "old technology" Yoda puppet far more convincing than the CGI version was.

    • Actually, if they follow the same general methods as they did in Chicken Run, there will be some CGI, just not for the characters. In Chicken Run they used CGI for shots such as the explosion of the factory. It is very difficult (if not impossible) to do good stop motion plasticine models of exploding liquids.
  • The players and club (Score:5, Informative)

    by MosesJones ( 55544 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2002 @08:32AM (#4452619) Homepage
    Stanley Matthews [bbc.co.uk], Tom Finney [pnefc.net] and Nobby Stiles [manutdzone.com] and of course the club in question Preston North End [pnefc.net]
  • by ackthpt ( 218170 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2002 @08:52AM (#4452681) Homepage Journal
    You can have your Anime, I'm just plain crackers for W & G!

    Best line: "Cracking toast, Grommit!"

    Best Scene: Grommit releasing the parking brake on the rocket.

    Best Book: Electronics for Dogs

  • by ewanrg ( 446949 ) <[ewan.grantham] [at] [gmail.com]> on Tuesday October 15, 2002 @09:03AM (#4452724) Homepage
    The "official" [shockwave.com] website for the series.
  • by simong_oz ( 321118 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2002 @09:05AM (#4452735) Journal
    The National Museum of Photography, Film and Television [nmpft.org.uk], in Bradford actually has a couple of the sets from the Wallace and Gromit films. They are only about 2m x 2m in size, but the attention to detail is absolutely amazing. It really brought home just how special the work these guys do is.

    The short is great ... can't wait for the new film!
  • by Alioth ( 221270 ) <no@spam> on Tuesday October 15, 2002 @09:14AM (#4452764) Journal
    Additionally, Frontier Developments [frontier.co.uk] are making a Wallace and Gromit game. How well it'll translate to a game, I don't know, but FD do seem to have some good animation stuff.

  • by surprise_audit ( 575743 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2002 @09:41AM (#4452890)
    OK, it's probably just that I'm tired and just read the RIAA/Webcasting story, but...

    Did anyone else read "Cracking Contraptions" and immediately think of the DMCA and illegal circumvention devices??

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Anyone from Arizona?? That was a great show.
  • by cjpez ( 148000 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2002 @09:51AM (#4452939) Homepage Journal
    Drat. I was poking around on the Aardman site, and they've got a section where you can preorder the VHS or DVD version of the shorts, which includes Creature Comforts (which is phenomenal, btw) and a bunch of other things, but it's not available in the US or Japan. Curses! Will they ship to Canada, I wonder?

    I suppose that means that there's no NTSC version of the tape. I guess I'll have to settle for having 'em online, then. Ah, well.

  • Deos fortioribus adesse!
    -- Cornelius Tacitius, Histories bk. 4, ch. 17.
  • by danger42 ( 302987 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2002 @10:08AM (#4453033) Homepage
    New shorts. Wrong trousers.
  • They will be viewable on the internet on a pay-per-view site from Wednesday

    there's no way I'm going to pay-per-view them, even if it's a penny. It's just not worth pulling out a credit card and registering.

  • I've got to say it, the site design sucks somewhat...navigation isn't brilliant, there doesn't seem to be a proper search, the W&G DVD ad is hard to see down in a corner, and the thing isn't shipping till the end of November...the press release on BBC-online just reads like a godawful press release (what writes these things and does it have a 6502 processor?) which detracts from the alternative and gently satirical brand image.

    Great product, sack the marketing department. The PR people might be able to get a job with a well known OS company if they promise to switch their CPUs in public.

    • The site design does suck--I spent a lot of time there a couple of years ago downloading the Angry Kid shorts (very funny in a sick sort of way). But, while annoying, it was nice to see that whatever money coming in wasn't going to publicity. It would be nice to get to the products faster, but I like to think that they haven't bothered because so many people think W&G, etc. is worth looking for. Why bother to market what's great?

  • by Antity ( 214405 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2002 @11:35AM (#4453600) Homepage

    Since BBC only seems to support "in-browser" playback (and needs popup windows to be enabled - buah)... Here are the download links, extracted and reassembled:

    Have fun.

  • It's a pitty the only format proposed is QuickTime.
    • so quit bitching and take a few moments to convert it, Bink and Smacker's Rad Vidoe Tools [divx-digest.com] does *.mov to DivX'd *.avi in minutes
      • I tried your link and on this particular .mov the rad tools can't convert the sound (uninformative error message).

        The output video-only output with divx5 is twice as big too.

        Did anyone get better luck?
        • that happens sometimes with the sound, i don't use it that much, only to convert the ocasional music video for my winamp3 playlist, but when the audio works, which is most of the time, it converts them *fast*, and even though its twice the size, a meg a minute for decent quality video isn't bad, much better than mpeg2 10 megs a minute or so
  • from "Cracking Contraception"... Not the kind of subject you would expect in a claymation about a man and his dog.
  • Rhyming Slang (Score:3, Informative)

    by angst_ridden_hipster ( 23104 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2002 @02:36PM (#4455216) Homepage Journal
    Of course, "Wallace & Gromit" is rhyming slang for "vomit."

    But how many people knew that it was originally the name of a wassail?

    (How many care?)

  • Does anyone know how to convert a file like this (Sorensen v3 Quicktime) to MPEG1? I'd love to do it in Linux, but I know that transcode and mencoder don't support Sorensen v3. Are there any WIN32 tools that can do this?

    Ultimately I'd like a VCD of all of these shorts.
  • "Stp tlkng bt Grmt!" - Dawn Summers, paralyzed but posable
  • They weren't available when the story was released, but atomfilms is now distributing the Soccamatic short (and the trailer) in ASF format, so in case anyone's not gotten aroud to buying Crossover yet, you can still easily watch them. In better resolutions, too. The download page is here [shockwave.com], and if you want some direct links, here you go: Note that the files are zipped . . . Also it looks like if you buy all of them (for $10) online, you get the downloadable versions as well, so you're not stuck with streaming. Happiness!
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Forty two.