But what if the Moon was made of cheese?

And what if it was inhabited by fussy robots?

What is it?

A Grand Day Out is the first of the Wallace & Gromit stop-motion animated shorts from Aardman Animations.

What kind of story is it?

A man and his dog build a rocket and travel to the moon in search of cheese.

All ready, just need to light the fuse and remember the crackers.

I mean sure, those stories are a dime a dozen, but trust me: This is the best of its kind.

Why do you like it?

This short film is entertainingly absurd, lands some solid jokes, and is a visual treat. What’s not to like? Also, this firmly establishes Gromit as one of the all-time great silent-partner, long-suffering-look-to-camera characters in all of film. Not bad for a lump of plasticine, am I right?

Lowered gravity, check. Lack of breathable air… well. Never mind that.

What might one not like about it?

The viewer is, yes, asked to suspend a lot of disbelief. All of it, in fact.

I figure these are the real backers of the Moon-cheese expedition.

Other thoughts about it?

I was torn between this one and the subsequent Wallace & Gromit short, The Wrong Trousers, and I decided to go with Grand Day because in a lot of ways it’s the more whimsical and adorable work. TWT is a masterpiece, don’t get me wrong, but there’s a lot going on and I think it helps to already be familiar with Wallace and Gromit’s style and setup going into it.

In other words, if you watch A Grand Day Out and are left wanting more, go watch The Wrong Trousers immediately. You won’t be sorry. After that you’re on your own; the remaining shorts (and the feature film) are more of the same, albeit kind of hit-or-miss for me.

Where can I watch it?

If you have Amazon Prime, you can queue up the “complete collection” of the shorts for streaming. (Thus, no Curse of the Were-Rabbit, which is the feature film.) Otherwise, I recommend tracking down a shiny platter version.