Sumitomo "Wallace & Gromit" (partially found Japanese commercial; 2000-2001)
Wallace & Gromit's had success and popularity in many countries including Japan. The brand had a deal with Sumitomo Life, an insurance firm that offered customers special gifts. This would also include Wallace & Gromit-themed paraphernalia. This deal also resulted in a television commercial, which only aired in Japan, where the Wallace and Gromit characters would showcase what Sumitomo Life insures their customer against.
Description[edit | edit source]
The commercial in question had Wallace and Gromit riding on their motorbike with a stunt team of sheep (similar to their animated short A Close Shave). They hit a tortoise (which bears a striking resemblance to Frank the Tortoise from Creature Comforts, another Aardman/Nick Park creation) and they all fall off but then land again in a vertical line with Wallace and Gromit on top, Shaun at the bottom steering and the tortoise on Wallace's head serving as a helmet.
Production[edit | edit source]
According to this resume of Mark Chamberlain (the director of photography on this and many other Aardman commercials), the ad is simply titled Sumitomo "Wallace & Gromit", runs for 15 seconds, was shot on 35mm and directed by Dave Osmand.
It also cites its release date as 2000, but production company Bigfoot Productions claims to have done post-production on it in 2001, so it can be assumed Chamberlain was referring to when he had worked on it, and the ad had only finished production the following year.
Availability[edit | edit source]
The ad may have been available for viewing on Sumitomo's official website, but unfortunately, the video was not archived on the same server, and the ad cannot be viewed there anymore.
Beyond that, it otherwise hasn't been rereleased or reuploaded onto the internet since its debut.
The only footage/imagery of it that can currently be seen is what seems to be a single-second clip used on the Behind the Scenes features of 2002 Wallace & Gromit's Cracking Contraptions DVD and a picture of the ad used on the same webpage.
It is unknown if there is anyone out there from Japan who may have recorded or downloaded this ad.
It remains as possibly the only Wallace & Gromit animation piece that hasn't been re-aired, rereleased or reuploaded to the general public at all since its initial showing.
Brief silent excerpts of the ad can be seen in "How Wallace & Gromit Went to Hollywood". The advert may have also been on a Japanese Shaun the Sheep DVD in its entirety.