Multi award-winning animation studio Aardman and immersive storytelling venture Fictioneers have revealed a first look at how they have brought an 11 year old’s winning design to life, as one of the animated contraptions in their new Wallace & Gromit augmented reality adventure this month.
Aardman and Fictioneers selected 11 year-old Dominic Marday’s design, ‘Litteration’ to feature in The Big Fix Up as part of the Intellectual Property Office’s ‘Cracking Ideas’ competition. The competition challenged young people to design something innovative that ‘makes life better’, and Dominic’s creation does exactly that: ‘Litteration’ is a robotic figure complete with antennae, stretchy arms and wheels, designed to roam the streets, eating, sorting and recycling litter to help clean up the environment.
The story, entitled ‘The Big Fix Up’, is a new foray into augmented reality for the duo, and will see fans join Wallace and his faithful hound as their latest business venture, Spick & Spanners, takes on the contract of a lifetime: to ‘Fix Up’ Bristol.
Chosen by UK Research & Innovation as part of its Audience of the Future program, which is a key part of the Government’s Creative Industries Sector Deal, announced in March 2018, Fictioneers was awarded a multimillion-pound R&D grant to explore and pioneer cutting-edge immersive experiences.
The activity, launching on 18th January 2021, promises to bring Wallace & Gromit to life in an entirely new way, while creating a cutting edge new platform for storytelling. Users will be invited to download a free app and play along at home, as an employee, and for the first time ever, step directly into Wallace & Gromit’s world.
This is the first time Aardman has featured a contraption design by a fan in one of its Wallace & Gromit stories.
The Intellectual Property Office’s ‘Cracking Ideas’ competition launched in October 2019, and was open to schools and young people aged between 5 and 11. Resources included learning and activity packs designed by Aardman, and its aim was to inspire inventors of the future and highlight the importance of protecting the intellectual property in their designs.
More than 1,500 youngsters took part in the competition, taking inspiration from the innovative Aardman duo to create their very own helpful inventions.
Dominic’s winning contraption will feature in the all-new augmented reality experience that can be enjoyed entirely from home, meaning it is accessible to all with an AR capable smartphone*. It is set in the city of Bristol, the home of Aardman, but people from across the UK, US and Canada will be able to take part in the full end-to-end adventure, which will see Wallace, Gromit, and an exciting cast of new characters appear in their very own homes!
The adventure will play out in a variety of different types of media, to tell the beats of the story: multi-user augmented reality gameplay, new CGI animations, character phone calls, comic strips, Extended Reality (XR) portals and more.
Joining Wallace and Gromit on their augmented adventure is an all-new exciting line-up of characters, voiced by a much-loved cast of British actors, including Bafta®-winning British actor Miriam Margolyes OBE and Jim Carter OBE, acclaimed actor Isy Suttie and newcomer, Grace Ahmed.
The new augmented adventure has been created by Aardman, and Fictioneers: a consortium of British companies including Potato, Sugar Creative and Tiny Rebel Games, with research support from the University of South Wales, and backed by funding from UK Research & Innovation.
The Big Fix Up also forms part of Boundless Creativity, a campaign by the Arts and Humanities Research Council that explores the impact of lockdown on culture and the creative economy, and how culture and the creative industries can thrive in a digital age.
Wallace & Gromit Creative Director, Merlin Crossingham, said: “Wallace & Gromit have a long relationship with the IPO helping to inspire and inform young inventors. This is a first for us and a unique opportunity for a fan to design a contraption to help Wallace and Gromit. Having faced stiff competition, it is wonderful that Dominic’s creation will be brought to life using augmented reality as part The Big Fix Up.”
Scott Ewings, CEO of Potato and Co-Founder of Fictioneers said: “It’s great to see the work of an imaginative 11 year-old be brought to life in our story, and we’re thrilled to be able to bring his design into being. We have an incredible team of talent working on building his robotic contraption, and the result is something so joyful and tactile, which reinforces a positive environmental message. Credit to Dominic and his creativity.”
Tim Moss, Chief Executive Officer of the IPO, said: “Dominic’s design is an excellent example of imagination without limits – a gift we love to see in young people. It’s exciting to see his ‘Litteration’ character brought to life in our own homes in this Wallace and Gromit augmented reality adventure. The UK is a great place for innovation and creativity, and it’s inventions like this that make our world a better, safer, easier and more enjoyable place in which to live.”
Fans can find out more about the new characters, and pre-order the FREE app via www.thebigfixup.co.uk.