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Cristian Cussen, Head of
Merlin Crossingham, Creative
- For the 1 minute film we created 3 minutes 54 seconds of animation, as once a character appears on the main window they continue to be visible on the small window below.
- There are 5526 frames of animation in total, which includes both versions of the advert and the invitation animation.
- All the puppets are the originals, only fresh modelling clay was needed to get them ready for filming; even the Ginger was still usable from Chicken Run, which launched in 2000. We were pleasantly surprised that the silicone used to make her was still serviceable.
- This is the first time so many Aardman characters have been on screen together.
- It was great to have some of the original animation crew who have worked on all these characters over the years bring their skills to the project.
- We shot with 5 animators for 3 weeks, which is very fast when producing this type of animation.
- The computer that the birds, cat & dog characters use are based on the Google Chromebook.
- There is a Wendolene fairy on top of Wallace’s Christmas tree.
- The cat and dog were first featured in Series One of Creature Comforts which was broadcast on ITV1.
- To create enough animation within the schedule, we shot with two sets of Wallace and Gromit characters.
- Fluffles did not hurt herself when Piella shunted her off the stool – there was a crash mat behind the table.
- The crew ate a whole festive tin of chocolates in under an hour.
- Piella and Fluffles’ black eye lashes are hand cut from thin sheet plastic.
- When the animators sculpt eye lids onto the characters, it leaves a dull-ness on the eye ball – they clean it off with cotton buds to keep the eyes bright.
- Piella is the most difficult character to animate from a technical point of view. Gromit is the hardest from a performance point of view.