As Wallace and Gromit relax at home, trying to decide where to spend their upcoming bank holiday, Wallace decides to fix a snack of tea with cheese and crackers. Finding no cheese in the kitchen, he decides that the pair should go to a place known for its cheese. After browsing several possible locations, a glance out the window at the night sky gives them the idea to travel to the moon, since, according to Wallace, "everybody knows the moon's made of cheese." They build a rocket in the basement and pack for the trip, but after lighting the fuse, Wallace realises that he has forgotten the crackers. Hurrying to the kitchen, he grabs multiple boxes and returns to the rocket just in time for lift off.
When they arrive on the moon, they discover that the entire landscape is in fact made of cheese. They set up a picnic and sample some, but are unable to match its taste to any cheese they know. Looking for a different spot, they encounter "The Cooker", a wheeled, mechanised, coin operated device that resembles an oven and storage cabinet.
Wallace inserts a ten pence coin, but nothing happens immediately; only after he and Gromit have left does the Cooker spring to life, popping jointed arms out of its side panels. When it finds the picnic site, it becomes agitated and gathers up the dirty dishes; finding a skiing magazine nearby, it develops a desire to travel to Earth and experience the sport. The Cooker glues a discarded spike of cheese back onto the spot from which Wallace cut it, issues a parking ticket for the rocket, and becomes annoyed by an oil leak from the craft.
The Cooker spots Wallace and Gromit in the distance, Wallace having cut another spike of cheese, and sneaks up with a nightstick in hand. However, before it can hit Wallace over the head, the money Wallace inserted runs out and it freezes in place. Wallace takes the nightstick as a souvenir, inserting another ten pence in exchange, and he and Gromit prepare to leave. Returning to life, the Cooker realises that the rocket can take it to Earth and excitedly chases after them. Wallace panics, thinking that the Cooker is angry over the cheese he is taking, and he and Gromit retreat into the rocket.
Unable to climb up the rocket's ladder, the Cooker cuts its way into the fuselage with a can opener, but accidentally spills and ignites some fuel. The resulting explosion blows it backward and allows Wallace and Gromit to lift off. The Cooker is left on the moon, with nothing but two strips of metal ripped from the fuselage; initially crushed by its failure to reach Earth, it fashions the strips into a pair of skis and is soon happily skiing across the lunar landscape. It waves goodbye to Wallace and Gromit as they return home.Peter Sallis as Wallace
Nick Park started creating the film in 1982, as a graduation project for the National Film and Television School. In 1985, Aardman Animations took him on before he finished the piece, allowing him to work on it part time while still being funded by the school. To make the film, Park wrote to William Harbutt's company, requesting a long ton of plasticine. The block he received had ten colours, one of which was called "stone"; this was used for Gromit. Park wanted to voice Gromit, but he realised the voice he had in mind – that of Peter Hawkins – would have been difficult to animate.
For Wallace, Park offered Peter Sallis £50 to voice the character, and his acceptance greatly surprised the young animator. Park wanted Wallace to have a Lancastrian accent like himself, but Sallis could only do a Yorkshire voice. Inspired by how Sallis drew out the word "cheese", Park chose to give Wallace large cheeks. When Park called Sallis six years later to explain he had completed his film, Sallis swore in surprise.
Gromit was named after grommets, because Park's brother, an electrician, often mentioned them, and Nick Park liked the sound of the word. Wallace was originally a postman named Jerry, but Park felt the name did not match well with Gromit. Park saw an overweight Labrador retriever named Wallace, who belonged to an old woman boarding a bus in Preston. Park commented it was a "funny name, a very northern name to give a dog".
According to the book The World of Wallace and Gromit, original plans were that the film would be forty minutes long, including a sequence where Wallace and Gromit would discover a fast food restaurant on the Moon. Regarding the original plot, Park said:
The original story was that Wallace and Gromit were going to go to the Moon and there were going to be a whole lot of characters there. One of them was a parking meter attendant, which was the only one that remained – the robot cooker character – but there were going to be aliens, and all sorts. There was going to be a McDonald's on the Moon, and it was going to be like a spoof Star Wars. Wallace was going to get thrown into prison and Gromit was going to have to get him out. By the time I came to Aardman, I had just started doing the Moon scene and somebody told me, "It's going to take you another nine years if you do that scene!" so I had to have a check with reality and cut that whole bit out. Somehow, I had to tie up the story on the Moon and finish the film.
The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Animated Short Film, but lost to the short Creature Comforts, which was also a creation of Nick Park.