How would you describe your take on storytelling? What sort of things did you look at while growing up that you feel influenced you as a filmmaker?
The Wallace & Gromit movies I made were always referencing other film genres outside of animation, films that I loved all the time. Hitchcock films [and David Lean's] Brief Encounter, and I equally love the work of Chuck Jones, Tex Avery, Tom and Jerry cartoons and Disney films. I grew up on all these films.
I’ve always loved slapstick comedy. I love Buster Keaton and all the Laurel and Hardy films. Maybe that’s where I got Gromit looking at camera and giving us kind of a knowing look to the audience. Maybe from Oliver Hardy, the way he would seem so "give me strength," you know, put upon, looking for sympathy.
I’ve always loved book illustration as well, and collected comic books. In the ’70s and ’80s, I read graphic novels like Hergé’s Adventures of TinTin and the illustrated books of Raymond Briggs. He did a book called Father Christmas and Fungus the Bogeyman, which were popular in the U.K. I love that graphic and chunky style that he had where everything is rendered. He also did The Snowman, which was later turned into animation.
I always loved those 1950s shapes, all post-World War II. I used to watch Ray Harryhausen’s Mother Goose Stories. He did one called Hansel and Gretel (1951) years before. I love that and that kind of holiday animation that was on TV. A lot of ideas I have are inspired by those kind of things, those kinds of aesthetics.
I guess it’s the satisfaction of everything I love coming together, you know, Jules Verne stories, H. G. Wells, TinTin Adventures and Laurel and Hardy comedy kind of all coming together but with the atmosphere of a Hitchcock movie.
Nick Park: Making his Mark in Clay, 2005, Animation Magazine, [online] Avalible at: http://www.animationmagazine.net/people/nick-park-making-his-mark-in-clay/