Animation aficionados are in for a treat this Winter with ACMI’s film season as it coincides with the exclusive-to-Melbourne exhibition Wallace & Gromit and Friends: The Magic of Aardman.
On Saturday July 15, Melbourne animator and Oscar-winner Adam Elliot (Mary & Max, Harvie Krumpet) will take audiences on a journey though animation in Australia, celebrating the unique ties many animators have established with the UK-based Aardman studio. Adam will present a hand-picked collection of short films from some of Australia’s greatest animators, including Shaun Tan, Bruce Petty, Anthony Lucas, Dennis Tupicoff, Sarah Watt, Antoinette Starkiewicz and Anthony Lawrence. The screening will contain a Q&A featuring special guests including Anthony Lucas (The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello) and Antoinette Starkiewicz (High Fidelity).
Elliot will also host the Aardman animation masterclass on Thursday June 29 where Aardman animation co-founders Peter Lord and David Sproxton will discuss their predictions for the animation industry including new platforms, markets and opportunities, including their latest foray into virtual reality.
Elliot expressed his excitement the studio founders’ visit to Australia and the unique program he has put together for audiences: “Having my friends at Aardman travel all the way to Melbourne, here at the bottom of the earth, is so exciting for me as a clay animator who rarely gets time to talk about eyeballs with like-minded plasticine souls. We are all so thrilled they will be bringing shed-loads of their characters, props and sets that have been the wonderful ingredients for their many projects over the last 40 years.”
Meanwhile, at ACMI Cinemas will screen a complete retrospective of the studio’s feature films in the event’s opening week, plus encore screenings of each title on weekends throughout the exhibition. This will include Shaun the Sheep Movie (2015), The Pirates! Band of Misfits (2012), Academy Award®-winning Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005), Arthur Christmas (2011), Flushed Away (2006) and the studio’s highest grossing theatrical release, Chicken Run (2000).
Also screening throughout the exhibition is Wallace & Gromit: The Aardman Collection, a compilation of early Aardman short films. The session features several classic multi-award winning shorts, including the Academy Award® winning Creature Comforts (1990) and A Close Shave (1995), among other Aardman highlights.
As for the exhibition, Wallace & Gromit and Friends: The Magic of Aardman, expect it to reflect the quirky humour and charm of the British studio through sketchbooks, concept drawings and storyboards, to intricate, handmade puppets and sets that have enthralled audiences of all ages. More than 350 objects, including over 50 set pieces, will show in Melbourne alongside never-before-seen artwork from their forthcoming feature film Early Man (2018).
Wallace & Gromit and Friends: The Magic of Aardman is open at ACMI from June 29 through to October 29 2017 as part of Melbourne Winter Masterpieces. For tickets and information, visit acmi.net.au.