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Western Animation / A Grand Day Out

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A Grand Day Out is the first short film featuring Wallace & Gromit.

One evening during a bank holiday, Wallace and his dog Gromit settle down for a nice hot cup of tea and some cheese with crackers only to realize they've no more cheese. With all of the shops closed for the holiday, what's their solution? Build a rocket in the basement and take a trip to the moon... which, as everyone knows, is made of cheese. While there, they have an encounter with a coin-operated robot who's desperate to go skiing.

It was released in 1989. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Animated Short Film, but lost to Aardman's other work, Creature Comforts. General character tropes for Wallace and Gromit should be placed here.

This film provides examples of:

  • Art Evolution and Animation Bump: A rare example in that it occurs during the short itself. The very first scene animated was the sequence in which Wallace plans the rocket then builds it. Wallace only opens his mouth once (where he whistles for Gromit) and it completely lacks any detail, the characters gain tons of thumbprints and Wallace walks down the steps in a very weird way (he keeps his arms in front of him and they don't move at all) - presumably just to keep him balanced. In later scenes (in which Aardman had begun assisting Park) the animation became somewhat smoother and shades of the characters' later designs start to appear. Towards the end of the short and in the credits, a hint of Wallace's famous smile is starting to develop, although nowhere near what it would become.
  • Anti-Climax: Twice.
    • Wallace does some lengthy sketching on a pad downstairs, but when the camera finally shows his page, we see he's played a game of Tic-Tac-Toe with himself before he proceeds to draw the rocket.
    • While riding to the moon, an alert goes off in the rocket and the music takes note...only to reveal that a piece of toast has just finished cooking in the console.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Neither Wallace nor Gromit have any trouble breathing on the moon. (Then again, is this any more of a problem for scientific accuracy than the whole made-of-cheese thing?)
  • Big Ol' Unibrow: Gromit never speaks, so this is the only way you know what he's feeling. It's really incredible, the emotion you can wring out of an artfully-squashed bit of plasticine...
  • Bland-Name Product: Wallace lights the rocket's fuse using a box of Duck matches, an obvious parody of the real-life British Swan Vestas brand of matches.
  • Bold Explorer: Wallace and Gromit head off to explore the moon.
  • Brick Joke: The ball kicked by Wallace shows up after the credits, still in motion.
  • Cartoon Cheese: Averted, as moon cheese doesn't look anything like typical "orange-y swiss" cartoon cheese. More like cheddar. Wallace names several terrestrial cheeses in an unsuccessful attempt to determine what moon cheese tastes like, and finally concludes, "It's like no cheese I've ever tasted." As they move about the terrain to find better-tasting cheese, Wallace keeps trying to name the taste.
  • Cheesy Moon: Wallace wants to visit the moon because it's made of cheese. He's out of his own and can't visit the store due to the ongoing bank holiday.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Wallace and Gromit really only get the first half of this short to themselves. The robot cooker becomes the real protagonist once it comes to life.
  • Early Installment Character-Design Difference: The models for the duo are noticably more basic. Wallace in particular is near-unrecognizable, with an odd-shaped head and a small cheekless mouth that only elasticates for certain words, while many Park trademarks like the expressive unibrows aren't as defined. Much of this was in the name of practicality, as Nick Park was doing everything himself, meaning the characters had to be as easy to animate as possible. In the last half of the film, where Aardman had started assisting Park, the designs start to gain some of their later quirks.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • To date, the only major installment of the series which isn't a genre parody (it was originally a Star Wars parody that had to be downgraded due to time and budget); rather, it's just a quirky story about a guy who randomly decides to build a rocket in his basement and he and his dog go to the moon to get cheese, with no indication that he's a regular inventor.
    • Julian Nott's score is composed mostly of Dixieland jazz rather than the orchestral brass band music of the later films.
    • The comedy is a lot more surreal than it is in the rest of the series, being far more focused on whimsy than on clever wordplay.
    • This film is the only one in the Wallace and Gromit series not to involve a crime in some way (the cooker pursuing Wallace's oblivious vandalism of the moon aside).
  • Epic Launch Sequence: The rocket rumbles tensely for several seconds upon launch - attracting an audience of mice in the process - until Gromit remembers to take the handbrake off.
  • The Faceless: The robot has no face, only a drawer, oven controls and a money meter. All of his emotions are conveyed through his hand gestures and thought bubbles. That said, that black ring on the left side of his body actually serves as an eye. Of a sort.
  • Fall of the House of Cards: During the trip to the moon, after Gromit starts building a house of cards to pass the time. Provides the trope image.
  • Hard-Work Montage: The construction of the rocket.
  • Homage: While not the typical genre parody that the series is known for, the aesthetic is heavily inspired by the works of Georges Méliès, Hergé and Jules Verne (the rocket in particular is based on The Nautilus).
  • Inherently Funny Word: Wensleydale. (Amusingly enough, the popularity of Wallace and Gromit actually saved Wensleydale cheese from bankruptcy.)
  • Matchlight Danger Revelation: The robot has one when it tries to stow aboard the ship.
  • Minimalist Cast: A cast of only three, of which only one (Wallace) has a speaking part. (Not counting the nine rats who watch the launch).
  • No Antagonist: The robot cooker pursues the duo throughout the film, but it's Not Evil, Just Misunderstood.
  • Oh, Crap!: Multiple times.
    • "No crackers, Gromit! We've forgotten the crackers!"
    • "The fuse! You forgot to light the fuse!"
  • Pet the Dog: Wallace putting a second coin inside the robot.
  • Picnic Episode: The purpose of the trip.
  • Please, Don't Leave Me: After the cooker realises the duo are heading back to Earth (where the alpines he so yearns to ski are), the cooker desperately tries to get on board. Unfortunately, the two think he is still after them over earlier and make a panicky escape.
  • Poor Communication Kills: The robot's inability to talk makes him unable to tell Wallace that he wants to come with them to Earth. Wallace misinterprets the robot as wanting to confiscate his cheese carvings.
  • Retro Rocket: The rocket the duo build.
    • Schizo Tech: Which won't lift off unless someone remembers to light the fuse. Or, for that matter, releases the handbrake.
  • Serious Business:
    • Everything relating to cheese, according to Wallace.
    • Likewise, he finds the idea of eating cheese without crackers completely unthinkable.
      Wallace: No crackers, Gromit! We've forgotten the crackers! (Cue dramatic race-against-time music)
  • Shout-Out: Wallace and Gromit's cellar contains a sled labeled "Rose Bud".
  • Silence is Golden: Some sequences, such as Wallace at the drawing board and the rocket construction.
    • Most notably is when Gromit is standing under a door to hold it up as Wallace is sawing through it. This was the scene that convinced Nick Park not to have Gromit speak because of how expressive his eyebrow was.
  • Silent Snarker: Gromit. When the film was in production, he was originally supposed to talk, but a scene where he reacts silently to Wallace stood out so much to the creators that they made him permanently silent.
    • All that remains of Gromit's voice are several whimpers and a yelp. The original voice actor intended for Gromit was the late, great Peter Hawkins, although it is unclear if the noises Gromit makes in the film were provided by him as he was not credited.
  • The Speechless: Gromit and the robot.
  • Stop Motion: The vast majority of the short is made up of this, though there are a few instances where conventional cel animation is used, particularly the shots of the rocket in-flight.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: While looking through the holiday catalogs for anyplace with cheese, Wallace and Gromit both take their eyes off them to look at the moon.
    Wallace: Everybody knows the moon's made of cheese.
  • Tempting Fate: Wallace walks away from the control panel wearing a pair of headphones attached to said control panel, saying, "Everything seems to be under control". Right when he reaches the end of his sentence, there is a loud crash, Gromit looks over to where it happened, and then the headphones bounce over his head back into place. The next shot shows Wallace lying on his back and groaning slightly.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Cheese, for Wallace (Wensleydale, in particular).
  • Tuckerization: The brand of alarm clock seen on the rocket's dashboard is Wulston, which is Nick Park's middle name.
  • The Unreveal: We never find out who built the robot, why it's on the moon or why it's coin-operated. It's just there on the moon and that's that.
    • Doubles as Orphaned Reference: it was the last remaining character from a much more expansive cast when the short originally had the duo going to a restaurant on the moon. The robot was a parking meter attendant.


Video Example(s):


Moon Cheese

Wallace and Gromit try moon cheese, but can't decide what the taste reminds them of.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / CheesyMoon

Media sources: