Stop-motion 'Wallace & Gromit' wins animation Oscar
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ ``Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit,'' a film about a cheese-loving inventor and his long-suffering canine companion, walked off with the Oscar for animated feature _ a victory for old-fashioned, stop-motion animation over modern computer imaging.
The movie from DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. was one of three nominated films in the category, none of which were made with the kind of computer animation techniques that have become standard for such popular fare as ``Shrek'' and ``Finding Nemo.''
The other nominees were the ghoulish graveyard romance, ``Tim Burton's Corpse Bride,'' and the hand-drawn, Japanese mystical tale ``Howl's Moving Castle.''
The three nominees combined failed to earn as much at the box office as flashier computer-animated films such as Disney's ``Chicken Little'' and DreamWorks' ``Madagascar.''
The plot of ``Wallace & Gromit'' revolves around the bumbling inventor Wallace who is ``crackers about cheese'' and his dog, Gromit, who steps in to help his master save the day.
Wallace and Gromit were crafted from clay and moved by hand one frame at a time. Computer animation was used in a small number of scenes to create effects not possible through stop-motion, one of the earliest forms of animation.
The film's co-directors, Nick Park and Steve Box, took the stage at the Academy Awards wearing matching striped bow ties and placed tiny versions of the ties on their Oscar statues.
They also paid tribute to 85-year-old British actor Peter Sallis, who has been supplying Wallace's voice since Park began making movies as a film-school student.
``Wallace & Gromit'' was produced by the British Aardman Animations, which introduced the characters in three TV shorts from 1989 to 1995 and made the 2000 animated film ``Chicken Run.''
Park won three previous Oscars for short animated films.