A Close Shave is a 1995 British comedy-adventure-thriller stop-motion animated short film directed by Nick Park at Aardman Animations. It is the third film featuring the eccentric inventor Wallace and his dog Gromit, following A Grand Day Out (1989) and The Wrong Trousers (1993). In A Close Shave, Wallace and Gromit uncover a plot to rustle sheep by a sinister dog. Like The Wrong Trousers, it won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.[3]

A Close Shave
Original USA VHS artwork cover.
Directed byNick Park
Produced byCarla Shelley
Michael Rose
Written byBob Baker
Nick Park
StarringPeter Sallis
Anne Reid
Music byJulian Nott
CinematographyDave Alex Riddett
Edited byHelen Garrard
Distributed byBBC
Release date
  • 24 December 1995 (1995-12-24)
Running time
31 minutes (NTSC)
30 minutes (PAL)[1]
CountryUnited Kingdom
Budget£1.3 million[2]

A Close Shave has the first appearance of the character Shaun, who would later be the protagonist of the Shaun the Sheep spin-off television series and two feature films.


Inventor Wallace (Peter Sallis) and his dog Gromit have opened a window cleaning business. Wallace falls for wool shopkeeper Wendolene Ramsbottom (Anne Reid), but Gromit does not get along with her sinister dog, Preston, who rustles sheep to supply the shop. After a lost sheep wanders into the house, Wallace places him in his Knit-o-Matic for a wash, but the machine mistakenly shaves him and knits the wool into a jumper. Wallace takes pity on the shorn sheep and names him Shaun. Preston steals the Knit-o-Matic blueprints.

While Gromit investigates Preston, Preston captures him and frames him for the sheep rustling. Gromit is arrested and imprisoned, while Wallace's house is inundated with sheep. Wallace and the sheep rescue Gromit and hide out in the fields. Wendolene and Preston arrive in the lorry to round up the sheep. When Wendolene demands Preston stop the rustling, he locks her in the lorry with the sheep and drives away, intent on turning them into dog food.

Wallace and Gromit give chase on their motorcycle. When Gromit's sidecar detaches, he activates its aeroplane mode and resumes the chase from the air. Wallace becomes trapped in the lorry and he, Wendolene and the sheep are transported to Preston's factory, where Preston has built an enormous Knit-o-Matic. The captives are loaded into the wash basin, but Shaun escapes. Shaun activates neon signs to reveal the factory's location to Gromit, who attacks Preston. Shaun sucks Preston into the Knit-o-Matic, removing his fur. Sudden banging from the machine forces Wendolene to reveal the truth: Preston is actually a malfunctioning robot created by her inventor father for good, but became evil.

When the Knit-o-Matic dresses Preston in a sweater made of his fur, he inadvertently hits the controls, and the group become poised to fall into the mincing machine. Shaun pushes Preston into the machine, crushing him. Gromit is exonerated and Wallace rebuilds Preston as a harmless remote controlled dog. When Wendolene visits, Wallace invites her to eat cheese, but she declines, saying that she is allergic. As Wallace decides to help himself, he finds Shaun eating the cheese, much to his chagrin.


  1. ^ "A Close Shave". British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved 27 November 2014.
  2. ^ "Production History – A Close Shave". Telepathy. Retrieved 24 September 2012.
  3. ^ "The 68th Academy Awards (1996) Nominees and Winners". The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 25 March 1996. Retrieved 24 September 2012.

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