SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 14 (UPI) -- Seven years after their last original adventure, Claymation stars Wallace and Gromit -- an eccentric, cheese loving inventor and his faithful, resourceful dog -- are back, this time with a series of 10 new short films called "Cracking Contraptions."
AtomFilms -- a San Francisco based online entertainment provider -- announced Monday that the first new episode of the series, titled "Soccamatic," will debut at 12 p.m. (PST) on Oct. 15 in a free online presentation (wallace.atomfilms.com). The rest of the series will be available to AtomFilms subscribers beginning Oct. 22.
Animator Nick Park, who won Oscars for the animated "Wallace & Gromit" shorts "A Close Shave" (1995) and "The Wrong Trousers" (1993), produced the new series. Chris Sadler and Lloyd Price directed.
Price was a supervising animator on Aardman's 2002 hit "Chicken Run" -- directed by Park and Aardman co-founder Peter Lord -- about a group of hens who escape from a chicken coop, inspired by a rooster voiced by Mel Gibson. He was also a character animator on "A Close Shave" and an animator on "The Nightmare Before Christmas" (1993).
Park was first nominated for an Oscar for "A Grand Day Out," the 1989 short that introduced Wallace and Gromit. In addition to the "Wallace & Gromit" Oscars, Park won a third statuette in 1990 for "Creature Comforts."
"I couldn't be prouder of 'Cracking Contraptions,' which provides new insights into the unique relationship of my characters," said Park. "And considering their love of advanced technology, the Internet is the perfect place for these guys."
According to a press release from AtomFilms, each of the 10 new episodes showcases a new invention of Wallace's -- with titles such as "The Snoozatron," "The Bully Proof Vest" and "The Tellyscope."
The episodes have running times ranging from one to three minutes.
Park has also been developing a feature film based on the popular Wallace and Gromit characters, titled "The Great Vegetable Plot." DreamWorks is planning a 2004 release for the project.