Nick Park

Nick Park


12/6/1958, Preston, Lancashire

Birth Name

Nicholas Park



Also Known As

Nicholas Wulstan Park
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Nick Park was born in Preston, Lancashire in 1958. He became interested in animation whilst still at school and started making films in his parent's attic at the age of 13. One of his earliest works entitled "Archie's Concrete Nightmare" was shown on BBC Television in 1975.


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • In the International Animated Film Society Awards, 2008, Nick received a Winsor McCay Award, because of his 'career achievements and outstanding contributions to the art of animation.'

    • In 2008, Nick edited the 70th Birthday Edition of the comic, The Beano - he is a life-long fan.

    • In June 2008, Nick was one of the celebrity guests at an auction of movie memorabilia hosted by Jonathan Ross. Guests included Stephen Fry and Richard Curtis. It benefits the National Film and Television School. Aardman donates some items to the sale.

    • Nick is Patron of the Preston Movie Makers, based in his home town.

    • In 1991, Nick was made an Honorary Fellow of Sheffield Hallam University.

    • In November 2007, Nick took part in the Bradford Animation Film Festival.

    • Nick was touched by the amount of news coverage the fire in the Aardman warehouse received, as it made him realise what an important part of British Film History the studio was, and that it was recognised as such.

    • In 1996, Nick came close to losing his 'Wallace and Gromit' figures when a hotel porter left them in a taxi. However, the driver returned them to his hotel the next day.

    • Nick is Trustee of the Wallace and Gromit Children's Foundation, a charity established to improve the quality of children's stays in hospitals and hospices.

    • To honour Nick, his home town of Preston has erected statues of Wallace and Gromit and in 1997, he was made an Honorary Freeman of Preston.

    • When the Wallace and Gromit films were first sold to the U.S., Nick resisted pressure to change the voice to American actors, as he felt this would lose their essence.

    • In 1997, Nick was awarded the CBE.

    • Many of Nick's productions have won Oscars including Creature Comforts (1991), The Wrong Trousers (1994), A Close Shave (1996) and Wallace and Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2006). In 1991, A Grand Day Out was also nominated.

    • When Nick first came up with the concept of Wallace and Gromit, Gromit was a cat.

    • Nick contributed a Doodle to the National Doodle Campaign, which auctions off celebrity doodles for charity (The Neurofibromatosis Association).

  • Quotes

    • Nick: My mum and dad, especially my mum, were very working class, and now I have all this money. I can't handle money. Life was easier when I didn't have much, like when I was a student. I do like objects - I've got a lovely house in Bristol. But I tend to stay out of business. I stay on the creative side. I only attend the meetings. I do just whatever I have to do as a director of the company. I'm 44 and I'm happy to be an animator for ever. I don't have ambitions to do anything else - except live life.

    • (on why he still works in clay)
      Nick: I just love coming up with film ideas and slapstick jokes and characters, and I find that clay is just right for expressing those ideas. It's served me well as a medium. You know, I can control it. The beauty of it is the animator is working in a very direct way, working in front of a camera-you can improvise, you can just tweak. Gromit's eyebrows probably would never have come out of a computer-generated animation. He was born out of clay, really.

    • (on if he ever thought he would create such Internationally successful characters as "Wallace and Gromit")
      Nick: No, not really. I guess it's always been a kind of personal secret dream that I could create a character that would be so well loved. I never thought it would become a reality.

    • (on the pitfalls of success)
      Nick: Success brings with it pressure to conform. I always thought that success would lead to freedom, but the opposite is true: more people get involved and committees make decisions, and it becomes a fight to stay free. My colleagues and I have to constantly remind each other that we must keep our own view on the world while making films.

    • (on the flexibility of claymation over CG)
      Nick: It's the kind of medium you can improvise on because it's all happening in front of the camera…. if we think of something different half-way through, we can go back and change it.

    • (on realising his inspiration for Wallace came from close to home)
      Nick: After making that film, I suddenly realized it's my dad. He made like a trailer and we all went on holiday in this trailer…in Wales. It had wallpaper inside it just the same. My dad always loved to spend his time in the shed making things.