WIStv.com Columbia, SC: Fire hits animation archive in England

(Bristol, England-AP) October 10, 2005 – Wallace and Gromit weren’t able to save the day when a fire broke out at an Aardman Animations warehouse in England.

The blaze claimed irreplacable sets and models from the clay animation stars’ past films, as well as other series.

The fire at the archive hit just as the absent-minded inventor and his dog sidekick topped the box office in the US. “Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit” opened first, grossing more than $16 million at US theaters.

A spokesman for the studio says instead of celebrating the success, the company is mourning the loss of its “whole history.” Aardman says the fire in Bristol didn’t get any of the sets or props from the latest movie.

[my favorite part of this story —dd]:
Nick Park, who created the popular characters, says while the loss hurts, it “isn’t a big deal” in comparison to recent natural disasters hitting the world.