Page last updated at 17:48 GMT, Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Will it be a fifth Oscar for Nick Park?

Wallace and Gromit in A Matter of Loaf and Death
A Matter of Loaf and Death sees Wallace and Gromit hunting a "cereal killer"

By Tim Masters
Entertainment correspondent, BBC News

With four shiny Oscar statues already sitting on his mantelpiece, Wallace and Gromit creator Nick Park could be forgiven for being slightly nonchalant about his latest nomination.

But there's no sign of that when he's asked for his reaction shortly after the shortlist is revealed.

"You can't get used to it really, it's such an amazing thing to be nominated for," he tells the BBC. "It doesn't happen often enough to get blase about it."

Nick Park
Park's first Wallace and Gromit film was A Grand Day Out

Park, one of the key figures at Aardman studios, is in line to win his fifth Oscar for A Matter of Loaf and Death, which is nominated for best animated short.

The murder mystery adventure sees cheese-loving inventor Wallace and his faithful dog Gromit running a bakery called Top Bun. However, they are soon on the trail of a "cereal killer"...

Park has already won Oscars for Creature Comforts, The Wrong Trousers, A Close Shave and his most recent was in 2006 for Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. He was also nominated for A Grand Day Out.

Park admits to having some worries that the Oscar voters may have had their fill of his clay animated heroes.

"I know that Wallace and Gromit and Aardman are well loved in Hollywood," says Park. "They've always had a really warm reaction at screenings."

But he adds: "What I never know is whether people have had enough of Wallace and Gromit, because it's won a few times."

Strong competition

One of the short films up against A Matter of Loaf and Death is French Roast by France's Fabrice Joubert.

Park knows Joubert from his days as an Aardman animator.

"Fabrice was one of my favourite animators on Curse of the Were-Rabbit - he could do Gromit really well," he says.

He admits French Roast is "very strong" competition: "It's very French, it reminds me of a Jacques Tati."

Tati was a French filmmaker and comedy actor who won an Academy Award in 1958 for best foreign movie for Mon Oncle.

As he starts planning his trip to Los Angeles, Park is also just about to begin writing a feature film - "not Wallace and Gromit" he explains quickly.

He says Aardman also has two features going into production: Peter Lord's comedy film Pirates and a CGI Christmas movie.

"We're very animated at the moment," he laughs.

A Matter of Loaf and Death was first shown in the UK on Christmas Day 2008 on BBC One.

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