Wallace and Gromit, the delightfully goofy Brit and his preternaturally clever hound, will embark on their first augmented-reality adventure in the fall of 2020. The full AR experience in the forthcoming app will initially only be available in the United Kingdom, to be followed by the U.S. and other markets.
“Wallace & Gromit: The Big Fix Up,” featuring all-new animation, makes fans part of their latest business venture: Spick & Spanners, which lands the contract of a lifetime — to “fix up” the city of Bristol. Users in the U.K. will be invited to download a free app and play along at home as a Spick & Spanners employee to help the duo.
The story will play out in a variety of media formats, including multi-user AR gameplay, character phone calls, comic strips, and extended reality (XR) portals. “The Big Fix Up” is set in South West England’s Bristol — the home of Aardman Animations, the studio behind “Wallace & Gromit” — but people all across the U.K. will be able to take part in the full end-to-end experience, in which Wallace, Gromit, and a cast of new characters appear in their homes.
The free-to-download “Wallace & Gromit” AR app will be available for recent-model Apple iPhone and Google Android smartphones (and entirely playable from home).
Aardman is partnering on on the project with Fictioneers, a consortium of British companies including Potato, Sugar Creative and Tiny Rebel Games, with research support from the University of South Wales. “The Big Fix Up” also is backed by funding from the government’s UK Research & Innovation (UKRI).
“Wallace and Gromit’s heart and soul is in stop-motion, but they have often dabbled in the cutting edge of tech, and this is one of those occasions,” commented Merlin Crossingham, Aardman’s creative director of Wallace & Gromit. “We are delighted to join forces with the amazing folk at Fictioneers to take Wallace and Gromit on a new adventure in such a groundbreaking way.”
Using 3D mapping platform Fantasmo, Fictioneers is creating a city-scale augmented reality experience to bring the Bristol city center to life at home. Fictioneers also is working with Unity Technologies, using its new Mixed and Augmented Reality Studio (MARS) product and AR Foundation toolkit to build mixed reality (MR) and AR applications.
“Wallace & Gromit” is Aardman’s best-known franchise, having made their debut in Nick Park’s BAFTA-winning short “A Grand Day Out” in 1989.
Watch a promo for “Wallace & Gromit: The Big Fix Up” below or at this link: