Since the Times cartoonist Peter Brookes first drew Ed Miliband in the image of Wallace from Nick Park’s cartoon Wallace and Gromit, the Labour leader has been unable to escape comparisons to the goofy-faced character.
Now, the Evening Standard reports that Park is growing tired of its negative use in the lead up to the election. ‘As a huge Labour supporter Nick hates the way they always depict Miliband disparagingly,’ a source close to Park is quoted as telling the paper. ‘The humour used is more often than not crude, and the main concern for Nick is the damage it is doing to Wallace and Gromit’s image as good, clean family oriented animated characters.’
If it is the case, Park has certainly changed his tune since Brookes first drew a Wallace-inspired Miliband. At the time Park had claimed he was ‘flattered’ by Brookes using his character.
Staff at Aardman Animations, of which Park is a director, are due to meet to make a plan to stop the Times from publishing any more cartoons, with lawyers being consulted. Whether this will stretch to banning Mr S’s Spectator colleagues from depicting Miliband as Wallace, as has been done for previous magazine covers, remains to be seen.