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A Close Shave

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A Close Shave
A Close Shave
Directed by Nick Park
Produced by Peter Lord
David Sproxton
Written by Nick Park
David H. DePatie
Distributed by BBC
Warner Bros.
Release date December 24, 1995
Running time 30 min.
Preceded by The Wrong Trousers (1993)
Followed by Cracking Contraptions (2002)

A Close Shave is a 1995 animated film directed by Nick Park featuring his characters Wallace and Gromit. It was his third half-hour short featuring the eccentric inventor Wallace and his quiet but smart dog Gromit.

This film was aired in the UK on December 24, 1995.

A Close Shave won the 1996 Academy Award for an Animated Short Film.

Plot

At night, a small sheep escapes from a lorry and enters the house of Wallace and Gromit, who are running a window-cleaning business. The next morning, they fail to notice the sheep chewing on their furniture, including their porridge gun, before leaving for work. They get a call from Wendolene, whose windows need to be cleaned. While there, Wallace falls in love with Wendolene, while Preston, Wendolene's sinister dog, grows jealous of Gromit.

When they get home, they find the sheep, who had wrecked their house and is covered in mess. To clean him up, Wallace puts him into one of his inventions: the Knit-O-Matic. Gromit programs it to give a "Wash." The machine malfunctions and resets to "Light Shave" and gives the sheep a shear. Wallace names him "Shaun" ( a pun on the word "shorn." Preston spies on the scene and later steals the blueprints for the machine.

Later, while Wallace is talking with Wendolene, Preston's jealousy for Gromit grows and he finally frames him for the thefts and has him sent to jail for life. Wallace, Shaun and the other sheep later rescue Gromit from prison and they hide in a field. When Wendolene and Preston arrive to round up the sheep, Wendolene becomes upset after Preston growls at Shaun and orders Preston to stop the sheep thefts. Instead, he locks her up with the intention of turning her (and the other sheep) into dog meat. Wallace and Gromit give chase on their motorbike, hoping to save Wendolene and the sheep and clear Gromit's name.

During the chase, the sidecar Gromit rides in separates and nosedives off the edge of a 2,000 foot cliff. Gromit saves himself by activating the sidecar's ability to transform into and airplane, and flies after Wallace's motorbike and the lorry. Both of their attempts to stop Preston (Wallace loading the sheep onto the motorbike and Gromit using the porridge gun) are unsuccessful and Wallace is trapped in the lorry as well. The captives are taken into Preston's factory, where they discover that Preston has built a giant replica of the Knit-O-Matic using the blueprints. The captives are loaded into the was basin, with Shaun escaping, and Preston pulls out the nozzle to suck them into the machine.

As Wallace and Wendolene fight against the suction, Shaun reveals the factory's location to Gromit using neon advertisements. Gromit flies in and attacks Preston with the porridge gun. The distraction allows Shaun to suck Preston into the machine using the nozzle, which Gromit programs to give a "Close Shave." During the shearing, Wendolene reveals that Preston is actually a robotic dog and was built by her father, Mr. Ramsbottom, to serve the family. He breaks out of the machine with his fake fur and skin torn off, revealing his robotic form. The machine plops a sweater made of his fake fur on him; he blunders around and loads him and Gromit onto the conveyor belt of his "Mutton-O-Matic" mincing machine. Wallace tries to stop it but loads everyone on. As they all fight against the belt, Shaun swings over on an anvil and knocks Preston into the machine, destroying him and breaking him into his own dog food.

At the end of the film, Wendolene reveals that Preston was rebuilt with completely normal dog behavior and a remote control. She visits Wallace, however he learns with much dismay that she can't stand cheese as it causes her to break out in a rash. A distraught Wallace decides to console himself with some cheese only to find Shaun eating it. Gromit, who had been lifted of all charges of the sheep thefts, ignores both.

Characters

Trivia

  • This film has the same title as a Season 2 episode of the Children's British television show Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends.
  • Stock footage from The Wrong Trousers is used.
  • When Wallace receives a call for window-cleaning service, his method of getting to his motorbike and out onto the road is very similar from the 60's show Thunderbirds. The same method used by Virgil Tracy to enter Thunderbird 2 and take off.
  • This film reveals that Wallace & Gromit's telephone number is 2143.
  • Nick Park met Anne Reid after the film was finished.
  • The first Wallace and Gromit film where Wallace's isn't the only voice.
  • Preston, the evil villian dog, is the name of the town where Nick Park was born.
  • There is a large billboard with a painting of Baker Bob and the slogan, "Buy Bob's Buns".

Goofs / Errors

  • The picture on top shows Gromit missing his tail and toes on his back legs.
  • Wallace loses his green vest from beneath his overalls when he lands on his motorbike.
  • When Gromit climbs up the ladder during the motorbike chase, he places the base in the sidecar. When he grabs the cables, Wallace grabs the base of the ladder as it rises; after they finish the spin, Wallace places the foot of the ladder in front of him.
  • For the split second you see the reverse side of the first door Gromit flies through, the circle to be cut out by his propeller is clearly visible.
  • After Wallace gives Wendolene balls of wool, the balls change positions between shots.
  • The porridge gun shoots at Wallace, and some of it lands on the wall. In the next shot, the porridge is gone.
  • While Gromit is flying his plane in the air above Preston's factory, the propeller is briefly stopped.
  • During the scene where he imprisons Gromit in the lorry and four times during the car chase, Preston is shown making evil smiles as the lorry closes on the motorbike or when he gets the advantage in the chase. How can he make smiles if he has no muscles underneath his fake skin to operate it with? It could be that he was built with robotic levers underneath the skin to operate it with, but these are not seen when his fake skin is torn off and his robotic form is revealed.
  • Preston's fake teeth are shown to be white like real teeth when he growls at Shaun. However, when his robotic form is revealed, they become silver along with the rest of the body.

Quotes

Wendolene: Yer dog's waiting.

Wallace: Aye I'd better see to him. The bounce has gone from his bungee.


Wallace: Why don't you come in? We were just about to have some cheese.

Wendolene: Oh no, not cheese. Sorry. Brings me out a rash. Can't stand the stuff.

Wallace: (gulp) Not even Wenslydale?


(last lines)

Wallace: What's wrong with Wenslydale? Talking of which, all the more for us and not a sheep to worry us.

(Lifts the cover tray to discover Shaun eating the cheese)

Wallace: Get off me cheese! Get off!!! Get o... Gromit? Gromit! Go for 'im! Oh!


(to Gromit after he escapes from the jail with the help of Wallace and the sheep)

Wallace: I suppose you'll have to skip the country now. A fugitive ay? You'll be hunted down like... well, a dog.


Wendolene: I'm sorry about this.

Wallace: For what?

Wendolene: Nothing. Just stay away from me, from my shop, and my silly, silly windows.


Wendolene: He's malfunctioning

Wallace: Mal what?

Wendolene: Malfunctioning. Preston is a cyber dog.

Wallace: Cyber what?

Wendolene: A Robot. (Preston's robotic arm punches through the machine and opens a door) Daddy created him for good but, he's turned out evil.


Wallace: Have you been peckish during the night? Only someone has been at me cheese.


Wallace: Is this place yours?

Wendolene: Mm-hmm. My father left it to me. Along with his debuts, and a few other things.


Wendolene: Oh, I want no more of this rustling. It wasn't so bad when it was just the wool, but... this is evil! Daddy didn't create you for this. You're suppose to protect me!

(Preston locks her away with Shaun on the back of the truck)

Wendolene: Let me out! You're not going to turn me into dog meat!


(the sheep climbed on top of Wallace in order to help Gromit escape from prison)

Wallace: (as they pull Gromit to safety) Oh, brillant teamwork, lads!

Wallace: (he slips on a bar of soap randomly lying on the pavement and all the sheep come crashing down) Oh!


Wallace: (seeing Preston operate a replica of Wallace's Wash-O-Matic) Where'd you get that from? That's MY machine! I've gotten patent pending on that!

Credits

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