As he gears up for his big-screen debut, the canine half of Aardman Animation’s popular clay-animated team, Wallace and Gromit, is taking some time to help out with the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. The partnership with DreamWorks Animation SKG marks the first time in Westminster’s history that the dog show has accepted sponsorship outside of the dog food industry.
The quiet but brilliant Gromit will host streaming video feeds of competition highlights at Westminster’s web site (www.westminsterkennelclub.org.), which draws more than 100,000 hits each day of the show. The video clips will be posted online within two hours of the actual competition for any particular breed or variety, allowing viewers to follow the progress of the contenders as they vie to be Best of Breed.
This will also be the first time streaming video is used to augment the dog show’s TV coverage. The competition will be broadcast live from New York’s Madison Square Garden on local television and on USA Network Feb. 14 and 15 at 8 p.m. (ET).
DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg issued the comment, “Knowing how selective the Kennel Club is about working with new partners on what is regarded as one of the most prestigious dog shows in the world, we consider it a true honor to have Aardman’s mascot, Gromit, chosen to host their online presence.”
Wallace & Gromit creator, director and writer Nick Park, adds, “Although he is not a purebred, I am certain that Gromit will have no problem going nose to nose with the other dogs at the competition. After all, how many of them have been to the moon and back?”
DreamWorks will release Aardman’s first Wallace & Gromit feature in theaters on October 7, 2005.