Wallace & Gromit aim to inspire young inventors

Thu Mar 26, 2009 12:32pm EDT
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By Mike Collett-White

LONDON (Reuters) - The Oscar-winning animation characters Wallace & Gromit have opened the doors of their home to the public, hoping to inspire a new generation of inventors with some ingenious and not-so-ingenious contraptions.

The beloved Englishman Wallace is renowned for his over-elaborate inventions, used for anything from making Christmas cards to deterring burglars, and now children are being encouraged to follow in his footsteps.

Wallace and Gromit present a "World of Cracking Ideas" at London's Science Museum, a full-size recreation of their quaint home at 62 West Wallaby Street where visitors can play video games and study contraptions and miniatures used in the films.

As well as the good ideas -- among the favorites at a press preview were a karaoke disco machine in the shower and a barometer that chooses the right hat for the weather -- are bad ones that appear in the "Those that didn't make it" section.

They include a chocolate teapot, glass hammer and a dog food bowl made of dog biscuits.

Wallace & Gromit creator Nick Park said the idea of the exhibition, which opens on March 28 and runs until November 1, was to encourage children to try out new ideas.

"I used to come here when I was a student," he said at the exhibition. "I used to do anything that was free.

"(I wanted) to inspire kids, to show what Wallace has done as a fictional inventor," Park told Reuters.   Continued...

<p>A child poses by a display of a scene from a Wallace and Gromit film, at the media launch of the "Wallace &amp; Gromit Present A World of Cracking Ideas" exhibition at the Science Museum in London March 26, 2009. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor</p>