Thursday, October 13, 2005

'Wallace and Gromit' Props Ruined in Fire

LONDON (AP) – A day of celebration has turned to ashes for Aardman Animations, the English studio that created animated clay movie stars Wallace and Gromit. Aardman said an early morning fire on Monday gutted its warehouse in this western English city, destroying a priceless archive of props, sets and models. Aardman had just learned that "The Curse of the Were-Rabbit," the first full-length adventure for the eccentric inventor and his indomitable dog, had topped the US box office on its opening weekend. The Avon Fire and Rescue service said the roof and three interior walls of the Victorian warehouse collapsed in the blaze, which broke out at about 5:30 a.m. local time. The cause of the fire was being investigated. Sheriff said the warehouse contained sets, props and models from all the company's past productions, from the children's cartoon character "Morph" through the Oscar-winning, anthropomorphic "Creature Comforts" series to the Wallace and Gromit films. Aardman said the sets and props from "Curse of the Were-Rabbit" were not caught in the blaze.

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