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Wallace and Gromit humour lost in translation

Animator Nick Park and Aardman Animations, the firm behind Wallace and Gromit, had signed a contract with executives at DreamWorks production company to release five films starring the ‘claymation’ characters.

But the agreement fell apart in 2007 after three films – and Park blames American studio bosses for failing to understand his British humour.

He tells Britain’s Radio Times, “There is a language barrier that often happens with humour. Wallace & Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit was going to be called The Great Vegetable Plot but market research didn’t like it.

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“The verdict was that vegetables are a negative with kids, but of course that’s why it’s good and works. That’s how Wallace and Gromit works. It was elevating the uncool and mundane to something big in Hollywood. That’s the irony.”

And Park admits the stress of the industry prompted him to hand over more control to Aardman’s creative director Merlin Crossingham.

He adds: “As a control freak you just can’t lose control and therefore the stress levels are high. It takes its toll. It’s the industry side that burns you out and the creativity that builds you up. That’s part of the reason I’ve stepped back a little and Merlin has taken over.”

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