If you aren't familiar with the characters Wallace and Gromit, this is the perfect month to get acquainted. The claymation duo's Oscar-winning feature debut, Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, is one of the best Halloween-time movies for the whole family. After watching that -- and laughing your tail off -- you need to check out animator Nick Park's other W&G films. There's three shorts, titled A Grand Day Out, The Wrong Trousers and A Close Shave, all of which were nominated for the Academy Award (the latter two won -- the first actually only lost out to another brilliant short by Park, Creature Comforts). Then, you'll be all caught up and all set to wait until the next loony adventure, which has just been announced to be coming in Christmas 2008. According to BBC News, the new film will be another short, will be co-written by Bob Baker and will be titled Trouble At' Mill.

In Trouble, Wallace and his faithful, silent sidekick (pet isn't quite right for Gromit) have yet another inventive business. This time, it's a bakery, fully equipped with mechanical arms that knead the dough. And like in past films, there's a mystery to be solved, this one involving twelve bakers who have disappeared (will Wallace end up completing the baker's dozen?). Also, Wallace has another new love interest, who can be seen in sketches and a model care of the BBC here. Back in February, when we heard about another W&G project in the works, I had hoped it would be another feature. Then, two months later, when Aardman Animation struck a new distribution deal with Sony, I kept on hoping. Finally, in June, Aardman/Sony announced four new projects, one of which was said to be from Park!

But with this new announcement Park told the BBC that while he'd like to make another feature-length film, they take so long and Hollywood involves so much pressure. He also said that he's doing this one strictly for himself and the fans. Hey, I'm glad to have anything featuring the pair, just as long as I do get to see it. Trouble At' Mill, which begins filming in January, is set to premiere exclusively on BBC One next Christmas, but hopefully it will get a quick television or DVD release in the States soon after.