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Wallace, Gromit stage Net comeback

Wallace and Gromit
The lovable Wallace and Gromit breakfast together in the Oscar-winning film "The Wrong Trousers"

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Will you click online for Wallace and Gromit's new films?


LONDON, England -- Oscar-winning "plasticine" heroes Wallace and Gromit are staging a movie comeback on the Internet -- nearly seven years after their last screen appearance.

Animator Nick Park has made a series of 10 one-minute movies centred on the long-suffering dog Gromit and his owner, Wallace, demonstrating his garage inventions that will be available on the Net, DVD and UK television.

The "Cracking Contraptions" series will be the first time the pair have had a new adventure since their half-hour sheep-rustling drama "A Close Shave" was screened in 1995.

The series will showcase some of Wallace's latest cranky inventions, from a Christmas card-making machine to a device to cure insomnia -- the Snoozatron.

Park told the Press Association: "Wallace and Gromit are like family to me. I couldn't be prouder of Cracking Contraptions, which provides new insights into the relationship of my characters."

The 10 films were inspired by a set of photos Park was commissioned to create by a U.S. magazine.

He was asked to come up with a set of photo vignettes with the theme of Wallace's Workshop, looking at the gadgets dreamt up by the amateur inventor.

Park then expanded the idea to make them into mini-movies where Gromit demonstrates the innovations, which include a high-powered cricket ball bowling gun and a toaster-cum-TV.

Park, who won an Oscar for the film "The Wrong Trousers," has also been working on the script for a full-length film featuring the duo, "The Great Vegetable Plot," which is due to be shown in 2004.

The animator's company Aardman has been a pioneer of Internet animation, with the series "Angry Kid" having been released on the Web.

He has also enjoyed movies success with "Chicken Run", screened two years ago, in which a group of daring battery hens stage a World War II prison camp-style escape.

One of the new shorts, "The Soccamatic" can be downloaded for free through the Aardman studio Web site.

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