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katie Aardman Staff Posted: Oct 1st 2007

On Saturday 15th September at 6:00pm, Bristol Zoo opened its gates and admitted ticket holders for ‘A Grand Night Out with Wallace and Gromit’. Our super-fan and ace reporter, Sebastian Hamilton, went along to check out the festivities:

“Thousands of people flooded into the gardens, looking at the attractions as they went. On show was the wonderful Shaun the Sheep Land Rover, with a life-sized posable Shaun attached so you could have your picture taken with him!

As you moved deeper into the gardens there was a ‘PicKnit’ stall, publicising the work of the Shaun the Sheep PicKnit Challenge – where groups of knitters from all ages and all abilities have been knitting a life-size picnic. On show were some examples of what to make, including some beautiful sandwiches and a nice bottle of bubbly! Overseeing the whole stall was a life-sized knitted Shaun the Sheep, which received a lot of attention from all ages of fans.

Deeper still into the gardens took you to the Aardman stall, where there were many Aardman models on show, including the ‘His Master’s Voice’ Gromit statuette recently used as a logo for HMV. Aardman had also set up a challenge whereby people could take packs of plasticine and try to create their own models. Actual Aardman model makers then judged them and picked the best from three age groups.

The main ‘hub’ for the evening was the large grassy area below their giant outdoor screen. Here, visitors were invited to set up a picnic of their own and have a bite of food before the main attraction. I had stopped off on the way and stocked up on my cheese supplies again, so enjoyed some official Wallace and Gromit Wensleydale with my Jacob’s crackers.

Finally, at 7:30pm, the main attractions started. The big screen was turned on and we were treated to a special Shaun the Sheep episode – ‘Save the Tree’. This very cute episode showed the sheep trying their best to stop the Farmer from chopping down their favourite tree. It was a very special episode as well, because for the first time we saw the Farmer as a child – something that touched the hearts of many visitors. Shaun was followed by highlights of the new Creature Comforts USA – never before seen in this country!

Finally the real moment of the night started and they played through the entire ‘Curse of the Were-Rabbit’ on the big screen. Having seen it over 50 times but only once before on a big screen, this was a very special opportunity for me.

By the end, as most visitors had sat on the floor to view the movie, everyone’s bones were badly aching, but we had a 5 minute short break to stretch ourselves, and for families with younger children to leave, before they showed the new Aardman film, ‘The Pearce Sisters’. This disturbing, but visually fascinating film showed two spinster sisters and the life they lead.

Overall this night was a real treat for all involved, and I certainly had the impression that everyone had enjoyed themselves. People from all ages went; families, couples, and even fans on their own! It was a real testament to just how universal Wallace and Gromit have become.

I hope to see more of these in the future, and the attendance that it got really made me think that a Wallace and Gromit Convention would go down very well. Who knows what the future could hold…”

Thank you to Sebastian for his fantastic report. For more exciting W&G information check out his fan site at: featuring podcasts, film guides, comic reviews and more!

Did you attend this event? We'd love to hear what you thought, so post your comments below!

conty Posted: Oct 2nd 2007

this is conors (conty) mum, we went as a family, and we all enjoyed our evening, like seb weve seen the film dozens of times but it was still great watching it on a giant screen, in fact everytime you watch any wallace and gromit film, you always spot something small you missed before. conor got involved in the model making of coarse and made a great rabbit, amanda and jim (aardman staff) were very friendly and helpfull and we took loads of photos, one of conor getting attacked by the ware rabbit, though i think she just wanted a cuddle fron my hansom son!! i wish we wrapped up a bit more though as the evening soon got nippy, if i have any complaints it would be that we wished it had been a longer event, but we had a great time and would go again

jordan Posted: Oct 2nd 2007

cant believe theres no pics anywhere!

Seb Moderator Posted: Oct 2nd 2007

Keep an eye on my site Jordan, I'm uploading lots of pictures of the event tonight.

jordan Posted: Oct 2nd 2007

ah great any of the models etc?

Seb Moderator Posted: Oct 2nd 2007

take a look at it now, there's 10 pics. There are one or two others on my forum as sent in by other visitors too.

purple and brown Posted: Jan 22nd 2008

i went there and i won the model mking compotition

Mark the shark Posted: Jan 26th 2008

I don't know where it is?!:'(

cinders1 Posted: Jan 26th 2008

what model did you make? purple and brown

purple and brown Posted: Jan 27th 2008

i called it yettie it was a brown monster thing

cinders1 Posted: Jan 27th 2008

i thought i might of remembered it but i dont im sorry, but it must of been great to of won!!! well done;)

Mark the shark Posted: Jan 30th 2008

Won what? Sorry?:O

purple and brown Posted: Jan 31st 2008

i won tickets to the zoo|-)

Mark the shark Posted: Feb 6th 2008


doag Posted: May 1st 2009

ilkka Posted: May 3rd 2009

cool!!! :D

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