Wallace & Gromit and Friends: the Magic of Aardman is a fantastic special exhibition that marks 40 years of one of the most successful world studios, Aardman.
The exhibition is exclusive to ACMI Melbourne in Australia after being first displayed at the Art Ludique Museum in Paris.
I get a sneak peek and I’m telling you – set aside a couple of hours because animation fans are in for a treat!
British animation studio Aardman are the brains behind popular films and television shows Wallace & Gromit, Shaun the Sheep and Chicken Run.
Their characters are immediately recognisable and all their work is done via clay stop motion animation.
It’s laborious, detailed work and the exhibition really highlights the creative and technical abilities of the studio.
Wallace & Gromit and Friends: the Magic of Aardman displays more than 350 objects, including sketchbooks, storyboards and Aardman’s distinctive handmade puppets and claymation figures.
There are also more than 50 original sets including Gromit’s vegetable garden…
….city streets from Shaun the Sheep the Movie…
…the flying machine from Chicken Run…
…and the spectacular five-metre tall ship from The Pirates! Band of Misfits.
Each set is logically located near a short the relevant film, so take the time to watch everything then appreciate the detail close up.
The large exhibition is split up into various themes and not in chronological order, so there’s no need to start at the beginning.
Sections cover topics such as light, movement, sculpture, houses and architecture, machines and inventions (my favourite!).
There’s also a sneak peek of their upcoming feature ‘Early Man’ which is being released in 2018.
At the end of the exhibition you can get hands-on with creating your own claymation characters and developing a stop motion animation.
Here’s my rudimentary effort – Space Slug!
You can also manipulate the giant robot and watch as the camera takes photos to create an animation on loop.
When you leave check out the cool animation toys in the gift shop. I’m enamoured of the wooden Shaun the Sheep build toys, which teach scientific concepts and look like great fun!
During the period of the exhibition, ACMI will also host related film screenings, talks, interactive workshops and education programs. Make sure you take a ‘cheese-y’ selfie at the end!
- The exhibition is down a set of steps so you will need assistance getting a pram down;
- Free cloakroom;
- Photography allowed, no flash;
- Kids under 5 will enjoy the claymation studio at the end of the exhibition best;
- Kids over 5 will enjoy watching the shorts and seeing some of the stunning sets close-up;
- Toilets are at the end of the exhibition;
- If your kids love their creature comforts, you might like to become a Wallace & Gromit family member;
- Discover the joy of animation and the opening of the exhibition with free activities on ACMI Family Sundays 2 July;
- After the exhibition check out the free Screen Worlds exhibition or head to ACMI Bar & Cafe for a break.
Wallace & Gromit and Friends: The Magic of Aardman, ACMI, Federation Square, Melbourne +613 8663 2200
Thursday 29 June – 29 January 2018
Open daily 10am–5pm
Cinemas until late
Full $24 Family $65 Concession $20 Child $15 Member $19