Who will be the star of Aardman’s next Bristol arts trail?Posted on: 17 May 2017
The news that Aardman will unleash another public arts trail in Bristol in the summer of 2018 has prompted speculation as to the identity of the character following in the footsteps of Gromit and Shaun the Sheep.
No sooner had the news broken that Aardman were planning another public arts trail for next summer, than theories began to spring up about the identity of the character it was to feature. Though the possible faces of the new campaign are multiple, we can discount two characters who have previously received the Bristol trail treatment.
Next year's trail will mark five years since the first, when Gromit Unleashed hit the streets of Bristol in 2013, with 80 customised statues of capable canine being placed around the city. Two years later, 120 ewe-nique Shaun the Sheep replicas arrived in similar fashion, eventually bringing the total raised by the Grand Appeal campaigns to over £6 million.
Having made such an impact upon the city, speculation surrounding the next character to be replicated in this manner is rife. Below we suggest our contenders, picked from the wide catalogue of Aardman favourites, who could be the star of the next trail.
Morph’s chances are looking very good this time around. Aardman’s first plasticine character turns 40 this year and has long been the unofficial mascot for the animation company. The diminutive trouble-maker is as iconic as they come, and simple enough to effectively sport eclectic designs without losing this.
One of the more downright dastardly characters in the Wallace and Gromit universe (from which both of the previous trail-blazers have been plucked) is Feathers McGraw, the main antagonist in The Wrong Trousers. A firm flightless fan-favourite, this penguin would look resplendent in proliferation on the streets of Bristol.
Little is known about Early Man, the upcoming prehistoric adventure from Aardman other than its release date of January 2018. This has led to suspicions that the star of the next trail could well be of primordial origin and the wild-boar Hognob (above, right), trusty companion of Dug (voiced by Eddie Redmayne), set in the four-legged mould of Gromit and Shaun, looks well placed.
Frank the tortoise
Creature Comforts brought Nick Park his first Oscar in 1990, so shouldn’t be overlooked here. Frank, the musically-voiced tortoise from Lancashire, has been a stalwart in the show since its first series and is therefore suitably anthropomorphic to head up a trail.
Chicken Run’s crafty heroine wouldn’t be a fowl choice (sorry) by any means and would be welcomed by red-heads the South West over. Replicas of Ginger, up until now, have been poultry in number (again, sorry), and could well do with a boost.
Could organisers break from their pro-fauna tradition and opt for a human this time around? If so, they couldn’t pick a nicer bloke than this benevolent inventor.
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An ardent Geordie minus the accent, Sam seemingly strove to get as far away from the Toon as possible, as soon as university beckoned. Three undergraduate years at UoB were more than ample time for Bristol (as it inevitably does) to get under his skin, and so here he remains: reporting, as Assistant Editor, on the cultural happenings which so infatuated him with the city. Catch him at firstname.lastname@example.org.