U.K. Deals for Wallace & Gromit

It seems you can’t go anywhere in the U.K. this fall without running into Wallace and Gromit. Aardman Animations has secured a raft of brand partnerships and licensing deals for its upcoming feature film, Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit. The film is slated for a Blighty release on October 14, a week after DreamWorks releases it in North America.

Wallace and Gromit can be seen on TV taking tea in their back garden with Lady Tottington (voiced by Helena Bonham Carter in the movie) in an exclusive commercial spot for PG Tips. The multi-million-pound campaign will feature a free ‘Gromit Thermo-nose Mug’ in 1 million promotional packs.

Kids will be able to make their own characters from the film with a set of six different molds and plasticine available at Burger King. One toy will be available with every Kids Meal. Significant TV and in-store support will also focus on a limited-edition Wallace & Gromit ‘Grapple Bag’ (apple and grape fruit bag) and the introduction of a fruit smoothie to the menu for the duration of the promotion.

The plasticine pals are also going mobile, showing up in java games, video clips, voice tones and avatars for customers of Orange U.K., which has selected Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit as the October Movie of the Month.

The Department for Education and Skills has tapped into the movie’s vegetable-growing themes by launching a competition for primary school kids to design their own school vegetable gardens. Schools will also receive resource packs massive Massive Wallace & Gromit wall charts for every classroom.

Other partners include The Scottish Dairy Council, which is featuring Wallace and Gromit as part of its long-standing milk moustache campaign on outdoor posters and 4 million milk cartons. Kids will get a free Wallace & Gromit movie book and other items with a children’s savings account with Bradford & Bingley, and can search for the Golden Carrot in special packs of Weetos to win an exclusive Aardman Animation Day at their school.

Aardman has more than 40 licensees for the UK alone. Other partners including Gosh, Wesco, Corgi Classics, Humbrol and Penguin & Titan Books. The company is now lining up promotional relationships for its next theatrical DreamWorks collaboration, the CG-animated Flushed Away, starring the voices of Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet and Sir Ian McKellen. That film is set for release in the fall of 2006. More information on the studio can be found at www.aardman.com.