You can’t fault Nick Park under trades description law. For someone working and world-famous in animation, he’s very animated. When we lunch at The Northall, a bright, big, modern-palatial restaurant at the Corinthia Hotel in London, he doesn’t stop talking. At one point — having declined a first course but insisted that I have the lobster bisque I’m eyeing on the menu — he says, "Do you mind me talking while you eat? I’ll just talk. You carry on." Interviewer’s dream! I almost hear his beloved Wallace in the Lancastrian accent. ("Carry on eating, Gromit. I’ll just invent something else.") Film and TV audiences have been hearing and seeing Park’s Plasticine characters ever since 1989, when A Grand Day Out introduced Wallace, an addled Lancastrian inventor in knitted sweaters, and his dog Gromit, a creature with two dementedly expressive eyes and an air, possibly justified, of intellectual superiority. Here and in half a dozen ensuing capers, Park proved himself a British eccentric i...

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