ACMI has announced that its exhibition Wallace & Gromit and Friends: The Magic of Aardman will now run until January 29, 2018. It was due to close at the end of October.

The exhibition celebrates 40 years of work by the hugely successful Aardman Animations studio, started by Peter Lord and David Sproxton. It showcases more than 350 objects, including sketchbooks, storyboards and the distinctive handmade puppets, as well as 50 original set pieces including Wallace’s contraptions and Gromit’s vegetable garden.

On the one hand, it’s a look behind the scenes at some very technically impressive design work. The exhibition shows storyboarding, set design, lighting and the painstaking frame-by-frame animation process. On the other, it’s a catalogue of decades of imagination. Notebooks brim over with sketches and wild concepts.

Models range from the disarmingly simple, such as Morph, to the astoundingly elaborate, like the 20-foot pirate ship from Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists, to the darkly witty, such as the POW-camp-inspired chicken coop from Chicken Run.

Then, tucked away in the corner, next to clay models of a family of grinning polar bears, an Oscar – one of several won by the studio.

The Magic of Aardman will run at ACMI until January 29, 2018. Tickets and more information here.

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