Nick Park
Park at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2007
Nicholas Wulstan Park

(1958-12-06) 6 December 1958 (age 65)
  • Filmmaker
  • animator
  • voice actor
Years active1985–present
Mags Connolly
(m. 2016)
AwardsFour Academy Awards (1989, 1993, 1995, 2005)

Nicholas Wulstan Park CBE RDI[2][3] (born 6 December 1958)[4] is an English filmmaker and animator who created Wallace and Gromit, Creature Comforts, Chicken Run, Shaun the Sheep, and Early Man.[5] Park has been nominated for an Academy Award a total of six times and won four with Creature Comforts (1989), The Wrong Trousers (1993), A Close Shave (1995) and Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005).[6]

He has also received five BAFTA Awards, including the BAFTA for Best Short Animation for A Matter of Loaf and Death, which was also the most watched television programme in the United Kingdom in 2008.[7][8] His 2000 film Chicken Run is the highest-grossing stop motion animated film.[9]

In 1985, Park joined Aardman Animations based in Bristol, and for his work in animation he was among the British cultural icons selected by artist Peter Blake to appear in a 2012 version of Blake's most famous artwork—the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover—to celebrate the British cultural figures of his life.[10][11]

Park was appointed a CBE by Queen Elizabeth II in the 1997 Birthday Honours for "services to the animated film industry".[12]

Early life

Nicholas Wulstan Park was born on 6 December 1958 in Preston, Lancashire, to seamstress Mary Cecilia (née Ashton; born 1930) and Roger Wulstan Park (1925–2004), an architectural photographer.[13] The middle child of five siblings, he grew up in Penwortham; the family later moved to Walmer Bridge. His sister Janet lives in Longton, Lancashire.[14] He attended Cuthbert Mayne High School (now Our Lady's Catholic High School).

Park grew up with a keen interest in drawing cartoons, and as a 13-year-old, he made films with the help of his mother, her home film camera and cotton bobbins. He also took after his father, an amateur inventor, and would send homemade items like a bottle that squeezed out different coloured wools to Blue Peter.[15]

He studied Communication Arts at Sheffield City Polytechnic (now Sheffield Hallam University) and then went to the National Film and Television School, where he started making the first Wallace and Gromit film, A Grand Day Out.


In 1985, Park joined the staff of Aardman Animations in Bristol, where he worked as an animator on commercial products (including the dance scene involving oven-ready chickens for the music video for Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer"). He also had a part in animating the Penny cartoons from the first season of Pee-wee's Playhouse, which featured Paul Reubens as his character Pee-wee Herman.

Along with all this, he had finally completed A Grand Day Out, and with that in post-production, he made Creature Comforts as his contribution to a series of shorts called "Lip Synch". Creature Comforts matched animated zoo animals with a soundtrack of people talking about their homes. The two films were nominated for a host of awards. A Grand Day Out beat Creature Comforts for the BAFTA Award, but it was Creature Comforts that won Park his first Oscar.

In 1990, Park worked alongside advertising agency GGK to develop a series of highly acclaimed television advertisements for the "Heat Electric" campaign. The Creature Comforts advertisements are now regarded as among the best advertisements ever shown on British television, as voted (independently) by viewers of the United Kingdom's main commercial channels ITV[16] and Channel 4.[17]

Two more Wallace and Gromit shorts, The Wrong Trousers (1993) and A Close Shave (1995), followed, both winning Oscars. He then made his first feature-length film, Chicken Run (2000), co-directed with Aardman founder Peter Lord. He also supervised a new series of Creature Comforts films for British television in 2003.

Park in 2005 promoting Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

His second theatrical feature-length film and first Wallace and Gromit feature, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, was released on 5 October 2005, and won Best Animated Feature Oscar at the 78th Academy Awards, 6 March 2006.

On 10 October 2005, a fire gutted one of Aardman Animations' archive warehouses.[18] The fire resulted in the loss of some of Park's creations, including the models and sets used in the movie Chicken Run. Some of the original Wallace and Gromit models and sets, as well as the master prints of the finished films, were elsewhere and survived.

In 2007 and 2008, Park's work included a United States version of Creature Comforts, a weekly television series that was on CBS every Monday evening at 8 pm ET. In the series, Americans were interviewed about a range of subjects. The interviews were lip-synced to Aardman animal characters.

In September 2007, it was announced that Park had been commissioned to design a bronze statue of Wallace and Gromit, which will be placed in his home town of Preston.[19] In October 2007, it was announced that the BBC had commissioned another Wallace and Gromit short film to be entitled Trouble at Mill[20] (retitled later to A Matter of Loaf and Death).

Park studied at Preston College,[21] which has since named its library for the art and design department after him: the Nick Park Library Learning Centre. He is the recipient of a gold Blue Peter badge.[15]

By the beginning of 2010, Park had won four Academy Awards, and had the distinction of having won an Academy Award every time he had been nominated (his only loss being when he was nominated twice in the same category). This streak ended in the 2010 Oscars when A Matter of Loaf and Death failed to win the best animated short Academy Award.

Park had his first acting role in February 2011, voicing himself in a cameo on The Simpsons episode "Angry Dad: The Movie". In the episode, the fictional Park's new Willis and Crumble short, Better Gnomes and Gardens, is a parody of Wallace and Gromit.

In the end of 2011, Park directed a music video for "Plain Song"—a song by Native and the Name, a Sheffield band led by Joe Rose, the son of an old university friend. The video was filmed at Birkdale School, Sheffield, and Park also selected the track as one of his Desert Island Discs when he went on the show in 2011, which led to suggestions that Park was using his fame to give a friend a leg up in his career. Park denied these claims, insisting it had become one of his favourite songs. The song and video can be found on YouTube.

In April 2013, Park was involved in the British stage adaptation of Hayao Miyazaki's animated film, Princess Mononoke.[22] He was the executive producer of Shaun the Sheep Movie and he also voiced himself in a cameo.

For 2018, he directed another Aardman Animations stop-motion film, titled Early Man, which tells a story of a caveman who unites his tribe against the Bronze Age while unintentionally inventing football.[23][24]

On 21 May 2019, Park announced that a new Wallace and Gromit project is currently in the works, with no projected release date.[25][26] In January 2022, Park announced that the project is currently in production as a television film for release in 2024 for the BBC and Netflix.[27]

Personal life

The Daily Telegraph remarked Park has taken on some attributes of Wallace, just "as dog owners come to look like their pets", overexpressing himself, possibly as a result of having to show animators how he wants his characters to behave.[15]

Park married Mags Connolly at the Gibbon Bridge Hotel near Chipping on 16 September 2016.[28] Although by his own admission, he was not especially interested in football growing up, he has always nominally supported his hometown's local team, Preston North End.[29]

Awards and nominations

Year Nominated for Award Category Result[5]
1990 Creature Comforts BAFTA Best Animated Film Nominated
Wallace & Gromit: A Grand Day Out BAFTA Best Animated Film Won
1991 Creature Comforts Oscar Best Animated Short Film Won
Wallace & Gromit: A Grand Day Out Oscar Best Animated Short Film Nominated
1994 Wallace & Gromit: The Wrong Trousers BAFTA Best Animated Film Won
Oscar Best Animated Short Film Won
Animafest Best Animated Short Film Won
1996 Wallace & Gromit: A Close Shave BAFTA Best Animated Film Won
Oscar Best Animated Short Film Won
2000 Chicken Run BAFTA Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film Nominated
2004 Creature Comforts BAFTA Comedy Programme or Series Award Nominated
2005 Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit Oscar Best Animated Feature Won
2006 BAFTA Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film Won
2008 Creature Comforts Emmy Award Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming Less Than One Hour) Nominated
2009 Wallace & Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death BAFTA Best Short Animation Won
2010 Oscar Best Animated Short Film Nominated

'Preston Legend'

Wallace and Gromit bronze sculpture in Preston, Lancashire.

On 25 October 1997, Park was awarded the Honorary Freedom of Preston, his home town, now city which is the highest award a Council can bestow on an individual.[30]

In 2016, and following a vote by students on a number of nominated 'Preston Legends', the University of Central Lancashire named one of three new meeting rooms in the students' union after Park, who was born in the city where it is based. In response, Park sent the university a message to say how honoured he was by it.[31]


Nick Park has stated that his main influences have been Ray Harryhausen, Oliver Postgate, Peter Firmin, Chuck Jones, Yuri Norstein, Richard Williams, Terry Gilliam, and Bob Godfrey.[32] He was inspired by Gilliam's animation in Monty Python "to be a bit wacky and off the wall."[32] He is a fan of Gerry Anderson, known for "Supermarionation" as seen in Thunderbirds.[33]

He is a fan of The Beano comic, and guest-edited the 70th-anniversary issue dated 2 August 2008. He stated, "My dream job was always to work on The Beano and it's such an honour for me to be Guest Editor."[34] He also contributed to Classics from the Comics at the same time, picking his favourite classic stories for the comic reprint magazine's new Classic Choice feature.

His film-making ideas were encouraged by his old English teacher; however, Park has denied that the character of Wallace was based on him.[35]


Feature films

Year Title Director Producer Writer Voice actor Notes
2000 Chicken Run Yes Yes Story No Co-directed with Peter Lord
2005 Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit Yes Yes Yes No Co-directed with Steve Box
2015 Shaun the Sheep Movie No Executive No Yes Voice cameo appearance; characters
2018 Early Man Yes Yes Story Yes As role Hognob
2019 A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon No Executive No No Characters
2023 Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget[36] No Executive No No Characters
2024 Wallace & Gromit: Vengeance Most Fowl[37] Yes No Story No Co-directing with Merlin Crossingham

Short films

Year Title Director Writer Animator Executive producer Notes
1985 Second Class Mail No No Color No
1986 Babylon No No Yes No
1989 War Story No No Yes No Documentary
Creature Comforts Yes Yes Yes No
Wallace & Gromit: A Grand Day Out Yes Yes Yes No Also cinematographer
1993 Wallace & Gromit: The Wrong Trousers Yes Yes Yes No
1995 Wallace & Gromit: A Close Shave Yes Yes Character No
1997 Stage Fright No No No Yes
2008 Wallace & Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death Yes Yes No No
2012 Wallace & Gromit: Jubilee Bunt-a-thon Yes Yes No No

Television and web series

Year Title Producer Creator Writer Animator Voice actor Notes
1986 Pee-wee's Playhouse No No No Yes No Animator for Penny cartoons
2002 Wallace and Gromit’s Cracking Contraptions Yes Developer No No No
2003–2006 Creature Comforts Executive Yes No No No
2007–present Shaun the Sheep Executive Idea Yes No No Including 3D, Championsheeps & The Farmer's Llamas
2009–2012 Timmy Time Executive No No No No
2010 Wallace and Gromit's World of Invention Executive Yes No No No
2011 The Simpsons No No No No Yes Voice cameo in "Angry Dad: The Movie"
2012 The BBC Proms No No Yes No No ''Prom 20: Wallace & Gromit's Musical Marvels''

Music videos

Year Performer Song Animator
1986 Peter Gabriel Sledgehammer Yes
1996 Tina Turner & Barry White In Your Wildest Dreams Yes


Video games


  1. ^ "Nick Park". Desert Island Discs. 19 December 2010. BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  2. ^ Staff (September 2006). "Nick Park 1958–". Biography Today. 15 (3): 84–101. ISSN 1058-2347. OCLC 24242423.
  3. ^ "BBC Politics 1997: Courage rewarded in honours list". BBC Television News. 1997. Retrieved 17 June 2012.
  4. ^ "PARK, Nicholas Wulstan". Who's Who. Vol. 2015 (online Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  5. ^ a b Nick Park at IMDb
  6. ^ "About Aardman". Retrieved 22 October 2022.
  7. ^ Robinson, James (26 December 2008). "Wallace and Gromit lead BBC to Christmas ratings victory". London. Archived from the original on 6 January 2009. Retrieved 26 December 2008.
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  10. ^ "Close-up: Sir Peter Blake's new Sgt Pepper collage". BBC News. BBC. 2 April 2012. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
  11. ^ "New faces on Sgt Pepper album cover for artist Peter Blake's 80th birthday". The Guardian. 5 October 2016.
  12. ^ United Kingdom list: "No. 54794". The London Gazette (Supplement). 14 June 1997. p. 9.
  13. ^ "Nick Park". Archived from the original on 19 October 2015. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
  14. ^ "Nick Park Biography (1958-)".
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  16. ^ ITV’s Best Ever Adverts Archived 5 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 7 August 2010.
  17. ^ 100 Greatest TV Ads. Retrieved 7 August 2010.
  18. ^ "Animation archive up in smoke". BBC News. 10 October 2005. Retrieved 3 October 2007.
  19. ^ "Wallace and Gromit statue planned". BBC News. 6 September 2007. Retrieved 3 October 2007.
  20. ^ "Wallace and Gromit return to TV". BBC News. 3 October 2007. Retrieved 3 October 2007.
  21. ^ "Hall of fame 2005". Association of Colleges. 10 October 2005. Archived from the original on 7 April 2012. Retrieved 6 November 2011.
  22. ^ "Nick Park's Involvement in Princess Mononoke Play Revealed". 4 June 2023.
  23. ^ Jaafar, Ali (6 May 2015). "Studiocanal Doubles Down on Family Fare: Reteams With Nick Park And Gilles De Maistre For New Pics – Cannes". Deadline. Retrieved 7 May 2015.
  24. ^ Jaafar, Ali (19 May 2015). "Nick Park's 'Early Man' A Prehistoric Blockbuster For StudioCanal; First Look Poster – Cannes". Deadline. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  25. ^ "New 'Wallace & Gromit' Project in Works, Says Nick Park". The Hollywood Reporter. 21 May 2019.
  26. ^ "New Wallace & Gromit Project Announced by Creator Nick Park". 21 May 2019.
  27. ^ West, Amy (20 January 2022). "Wallace & Gromit are returning to the BBC for a brand new adventure". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 21 January 2022.
  28. ^ "Wallace and Gromit creator ties the knot in Lancashire". Lancashire Evening Post. 17 September 2016. Retrieved 17 September 2016.
  29. ^ "'Wallace And Gromit' Creator Nick Park Goes Prehistoric For 'Early Man'". 20 February 2018.
  30. ^ "Honorary Freedom". Retrieved 18 November 2023.
  31. ^ "UCLan Through The Ages". University of Central Lancashire. 4 November 2016. Retrieved 2 December 2019.
  32. ^ a b Wigley, Samuel (15 January 2018). "Nick Park's seven animation heroes". British Film Institute. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  33. ^ "Famous Gerry Anderson Fans - Gerry Anderson News". Gerry Anderson. 25 March 2017. Retrieved 8 September 2019.
  34. ^ Riches, Christopher, ed. (2008). The History of The Beano: The Story So Far. Dundee (DC Thomson); New Lanark (Waverly Books): DC Thomson; Waverly Books. p. 303.
  35. ^ Young, Susan (12 May 2008). "Nick Park". Times Educational Supplement. Archived from the original on 7 September 2017. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
  36. ^ "New 'Wallace & Gromit' Film in Works From Aardman/Netflix; 'Chicken Run 2' Cast and Title Unveiled". The Hollywood Reporter. 20 January 2022. Retrieved 20 January 2022.
  37. ^ "About Netflix - Aardman and Netflix Team for New 'Wallace & Gromit' Film, Announce 'Chicken Run' Sequel Details". About Netflix. Retrieved 22 January 2022.
Preceded byDavid Lean NFTS Honorary Fellowship Succeeded byAlan Parker