Minnesota Children’s Museum Partners with Aardman on New Exhibit Titled Wallace & Gromit and Shaun the Sheep: Shear Genius!
St. Paul, Minn. – Minnesota Children’s Museum has joined forces with Aardman, the studio behind Wallace & Gromit and Shaun the Sheep, to develop a new exhibit that will debut at Minnesota Children’s Museum in summer 2020. This is the first time Aardman’s animated worlds will be brought to life in a North American touring exhibit.
In this hands-on exhibit, visitors will step into the environments of Wallace & Gromit and Shaun the Sheep – 62 West Wallaby Street and Mossy Bottom Farm – to explore the contraptions, antics and escapades of Wallace, Gromit, Shaun and other familiar Aardman characters through dramatic play and interactive opportunities.
Problem Solving, Confidence & Resilience
Wallace & Gromit and Shaun the Sheep: Shear Genius! is designed for children ages 3 through 9 and focuses on problem solving, one of the core themes of both the Wallace & Gromit and Shaun the Sheep programs. Components and activities in the exhibit will encourage kids to playfully solve and talk about problems, which helps them build confidence and resilience.
“We’re thrilled at the opportunity to bring the worlds of Wallace & Gromit and Shaun the Sheep to life in this new exhibit,” said Dianne Krizan, president of Minnesota Children’s Museum. “Kids and their families will make memories and learn together as they work through problems in a fun and playful way.”
Planned Components and Activities
While the exhibit design is still in development, experiences currently planned include:
- Explore and use iconic inventions at 62 West Wallaby St. (Wallace & Gromit’s home)
- Blast off in Wallace’s bright orange rocket
- Create and figure out how things work in Wallace’s workshop
- Get moving and tend to plush sheep at Mossy Bottom Farm, the home of Shaun the Sheep
- Mix up Bitzer’s face to create new facial expressions
- See how different sheep (and people!) solve problems in different ways
- Create a stop motion animation using materials found in the scrap heap
“Aardman are delighted to be working with the Minnesota Children’s Museum to create exciting new exhibition experiences for North American visitors that capture the inventive, creative and imaginative worlds of our characters,” Ngaio Harding-Hill, Head of Attractions & Live Experiences at Aardman. “Visitors will be able to immersive themselves in a range of fun, thought-provoking activities helped along by our resourceful friends who are well-practiced in figuring out original and unique solutions!”
Opening Summer 2020
Minnesota Children’s Museum in St. Paul plans to host the new exhibit in the summer of 2020.
Wallace & Gromit and Shaun the Sheep: Shear Genius! adds to the museum’s roster of 15 acclaimed traveling exhibits, including Wild Kratts®: Creature Power!®, Thomas & Friends™: Explore the Rails, Curious George™: Let’s Get Curious! and Dinosaurs: Land of Fire and Ice™.
Organizations interested in booking Wallace & Gromit and Shaun the Sheep: Shear Genius! as an exhibit rental should go to rentexhibits.mcm.org.
Additional Aardman Exhibits in Development
In addition to Wallace & Gromit and Shaun the Sheep: Shear Genius!, which is a 2,500-square-foot exhibit, Minnesota Children’s Museum is producing a 1,500-square-foot Shaun the Sheep exhibit. The museum is also planning to develop a third Aardman-themed rental exhibit. All three exhibits are scheduled to be completed and ready for rental in 2020.
About Minnesota Children’s Museum
Minnesota Children’s Museum sparks children’s learning through play. The museum, a nonprofit organization, serves more than 550,000 visitors each year at its locations in St. Paul and Rochester. Through interactive exhibits and programs, the museum provides open-ended, self-directed experiences that cultivate critical thinking, creativity, confidence and other lifelong skills. The museum serves as a resource for parents to advance their children’s playful learning in the museum and beyond. Minnesota Children’s Museum is a leading producer of hands-on rental exhibits for children’s museums and discovery centers. Visit mcm.org for more information.
Aardman, based in Bristol (UK) and co-founded in 1976 by Peter Lord and David Sproxton, is an independent and multi-award-winning studio. It produces feature films, series, advertising, games and interactive entertainment – such as the ‘visually astonishing’ (The Guardian), BAFTA nominated console game, 11-11: Memories Retold, and the four-times Gold Cannes Lions-winning StorySign app – and innovative attractions for both the domestic and international market, including a new 4D theatre attraction at Efteling in the Netherlands. Its productions are global in appeal, novel, entertaining, brilliantly characterised and full of charm reflecting the unique talent, energy and personal commitment of the Aardman team. The studio’s work – which includes the creation of much-loved characters including Wallace & Gromit, Shaun the Sheep and Morph – is often imitated, and yet the company continues to lead the field producing a rare brand of visually stunning content for cinema, broadcasters, digital platforms and live experiences around the world. In November 2018 it became an Employee Owned Organisation, to ensure Aardman remains independent and to secure the creative legacy and culture of the company for many decades to come. www.aardman.com
About Shaun the Sheep
Shaun the Sheep, Aardman’s family favourite TV series, is recognised the world over for its slapstick humour, distinctive look and strong, quirky characters and enjoyed across multiple media platforms. First appearing in Nick Park’s 1995 Academy Award winning Wallace & Gromit film ‘A Close Shave’, Shaun then went on to star in his own series which launched on BBC One in 2007. Shaun the Sheep is currently broadcast in 170 territories around the world and is an internationally celebrated icon with over 5.8 million fans on Facebook. In 2015 the first Shaun the Sheep Movie with feature film partner StudioCanal was released around the world to critical acclaim and the first half hour TV special aired as part of many broadcaster’s festive season. Shaun was recently voted the nation’s best loved BBC children’s character of all time in a poll by the Radio Times. A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon is set for release from October 2019.
About Wallace & Gromit
Wallace and Gromit, Aardman’s most loved and iconic duo have been delighting family audiences around the world for 30 years. First hitting our screens in Nick Park’s Academy Award®-winning ‘Wallace & Gromit: A Grand Day Out’ (1989) the pair went on to star in three further half hour specials (Wallace & Gromit: The Wrong Trousers (1993), Wallace & Gromit: A Close Shave (1995) and Wallace & Gromit: A Matter of Loaf or Death (2009)) and a feature length film Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005) and are internationally celebrated winning over 100 awards at festivals – including 3 Academy® Awards and 5 BAFTA® Awards.
A regular highlight of the primetime BBC schedules, especially during the festive season, they have become British national treasures and icons in their own right. ‘Wallace & Gromit: A Matter of Loaf or Death’ still remains the most watched Christmas Day programme since 2005 when it premiered on BBCOne. With a permanent attraction at Blackpool Pleasure Beach with over 500,000 riders every year, over 1 million fans on Facebook and over 15million views on YouTube, these perennial characters continue to grow audiences across multiple platforms.
Wallace & Gromit’s Children’s Charity is a national charity raising funds to improve the lives of sick children in hospitals and hospices throughout the UK, raising over £50million since 1995.
Director of Strategic Communications