A World of Cheese and Happiness
by Skyler Tapley
Wallace and Gromit are the quintessential connoisseurs of food. Wallace is always more talkative than Gromit — as Gromit does not say a word — and he is always clear to state his love of food, specifically tea time, and even more specifically cheese. This adventure of Wallace and Gromit in A Grand Day Out (1989) starts with them wanting to get out of the house and spend a nice long weekend together somewhere special. A decision to make some tea prompts their entire next adventure. When they want some cheese and crackers with their tea they discover they don’t have any more cheese. When Wallace eats a cracker without cheese Gromit looks at him, horrified. Wallace swallows it dryly. From this moment they decide where they will go for their holiday: to the moon, because as Wallace says, “everyone knows the moons made of cheese!”
So they begin their preparations for their trip. Wallace begins construction of a rocket in their basement. After a few mishaps he and Gromit finally complete the rocket. It is also important to note that they have a toaster built into the rocket. As they start the countdown to leave — by lighting a fuse on the bottom of the rocket — Wallace realizes he has forgotten to pack the crackers. He runs out of the rocket with thirty seconds left because, in his mind, forgetting crackers is worse than not going at all. He makes it back just in time before they blast off to the moon and land most promptly.
As they disembark from the rocket it turns out that the moon is, in fact, made of cheese. They begin their sampling of all the different stalagmites of cheese. Before Wallace tries the first bite he proclaims, “nice drop of tea to get the taste buds going.” Wallace tries to identify each one as they taste it but cannot put his finger on it and realizes it is like no other type of cheese they have had. Their time there is cut short by a robot trying to stop them from cutting chunks of cheese out of the moon. As they take off Wallace exclaims, “hold tight lad and think of Lancashire hotpot!” On their ride back Wallace puts the finishing touch on their adventure by pulling out the magazine “Cheese Monthly.”
Wallace and Gromit travel all the way to the moon in this adventure simply to go to a place that has cheese. This idea in general is such a beautiful moment in all of film and such a purely delightful idea that any food lover can support and admire. Wallace and Gromit are our inner food lovers who act on their every whim to enjoy life to the fullest, by pursuing the greatest feats for a delicious bite. You never hear them say a bad word about any of the food they have. While the crackers they eat without cheese may be dry and bland they do not say anything to devalue them. They always speak highly of any food because it shows the value they put in it and the love that they have for each moment of life that involves food. They even speak in words of food. The way Wallace talks or what he chooses to read shows the depth that food holds in his life. Their lives revolve around tea, crackers, and, most importantly, cheese.
Wallace and Gromit are a fun and light hearted duo that give the viewer a happy feeling. Having such a carefree life as to dedicate their lives to a hobby of enjoying cheese with tea time is a beautiful idea and one so wonderfully crafted through the happy art of stop motion. Wallace and Gromit represent a lot more than just two characters who have a love for cheese. They embody the heart of so many others: those who love food. They are the voice of those who wish they could live a life of bliss in going on fantastical adventures on a whim to taste a new cheese, and that is a beautiful meaning behind such a beautiful film.
A Grand Day Out with Wallace and Gromit. Dir. Nick Park. Prod. Rob Copeland and David H. DePatie. Perf. Peter Sallis. The National Film School Distribution Company, 1989.