Saturday, October 03, 2009

Wallace and Gromit: The Greatest Fictional Entrepreneurs

My wife and I have had some foster kids staying with us recently. We've used this as an excuse to rewatch the Wallace and Gromit shorts and movie (the shorts are better--I think The Wrong Trousers is the best).

It occurred to me after watching them that Wallace and Gromit are underappreciated for their entrepreneurial spirit. In three of their five outings, they start up and succeed in new businesses due to the application (or perhaps over-application) of new technology. In A Close Shave they run a window-washing businesses and Wallace has invented an automatic sweater-knitting machine. In A Matter of Loaf and Death they're running a bread delivery company. In the movie, The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, they have a successful no-kill pest control company (called "Anti Pesto").

There are also four video games based on the characters. I've only tried a tiny bit of the first one, but Wallace and Gromit have already started up a successful honey delivery system--fresh honey, piped directly to one's home. Do they start up more new businesses in the other episodes?

I suppose they have a bit of advantage in that they're made out of clay and live in an unrealistic world in which ridiculous inventions actually work. Still, for sheer entrepreneurial spirit, I can't think of anyone else in fiction who comes close. I mean, these guys run a successful business and then quit, just for the joy of starting and succeeding in a new business! Not even Tony Stark or Archibald "Harry" Tuttle can compare.

Are there any other entrepreneurs in fiction who stack up?