It may be a huge technology company with its headquarters in sunny California, but that hasn't prevented search giant Google from celebrating the birthday of Lancashire's most famous animated inventor - and his trusty pooch.

Today's offering, the latest in a series of doodles displayed on the Google homepage which have celebrated such disparate events as the anniversary of Paddington bear and the birth of Mahatma Gandhi, commemorates the 20th birthday of animator Nick Park's creations.

The pair, who have starred in such globally recognisable hit animations as The Wrong Trousers, A Close Shave and A Matter of Loaf and Death, reached the apex of their popularity with The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, a full-length feature which was honoured in 2006 with the Oscar for Best Animated Film. Their first appearance was in A Grand Day Out, which saw the pair travel to the moon in a rocket created by Wallace (voiced by Peter Sallis) and his canine sidekick over a bank holiday weekend.