Wallace & Grommit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit


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"This is, by far, the best animated film of the year... It leaves the Corpse Bride in the dust (to dust)."










Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
The Masked Reviewer

Other than an extremely long title, it's difficult to come up with many criticisms of this film.  But, the title is really long.  Think of the poor people who put up the lettering on the marquees, letter by letter, standing out in the freezing cold, pouring rain, or blistering heat.  And think of the poor Masked Reviewer, who will have to type this title several times in the review.  Therefore, it will be henceforth referred to as W&G:tCotW-R.  Even that's a bit long, but what can you do?

If you're a fan of Wallace and Gromit, you've been eagerly awaiting this full-length feature.  Nick Park, the director/creator, had previously created three Wallace and Gromit short films (the first won an Oscar(tm) in 1990).  He then went on to do Chicken Run (where chickens led by Mel Gibson tried to flee the coop ala The Great Escape).  There's no question that Chicken Run wasn't up to the level of Wallace & Gromit.  It was visually impressive and featured some known voice talent, but it didn't have the immense charm and...let's face it..."cuteness" of the nutty cheese-loving scientist and his loyal dog pal. 

By the way, fans should know that a new DVD of Wallace & Gromit shorts is now available.  It's called Wallace & Grommit: Three Amazing Adventures and features the original three short films (A Grand Day Out, The Wrong Trousers, and A Close Shave) plus ten "shorter than short" short films featuring some of Wallace's other crazy inventions.  The latter has not been available on DVD before, so if you can't get enough W&G, it's cracking.

If you've never seen Wallace or Gromit, it's amusing stop-motion "claymation".  However, the level of detail is breathtaking.  It's funny, with interesting characters, and if you enjoy animation, Wallace & Gromit is an absolute must-see.  It's one of those rare "crossover" pieces that both kids and adults will like. 

W&G:tCotW-R is arguably the best Wallace & Gromit piece to date.  The addition of a couple of famous voices (Ralph "it's pronounced RAFE, you cretin, which is itself pronounced CRAYTON" Fiennes (which is pronounced FEENES, not FINES) and Helena Bonham Carter (no relation to Jimmy or Nell)) adds absolutely nothing to the film.  That's okay, however, because everything else is just right.  The humor is varied, from slapstick to adult-friendly.  The characters are cute...some will make you smile every time they appear on screen, some are just so friggin' adorable that you could puke.  The only thing missing is a cameo by Feathers McGraw, but maybe the sequel will feature that.

The story moves along nicely.  It even has a few twists.  While there are a couple of elements reminiscent of moments from the other W&G projects (such as the airplane scene) nothing is too derivative. 

This is, by far, the best animated film of the year.  It's fun for all ages, and truly impressive.  Compared to its most similar competition, Tim Burton's Corpse Bride (also featuring the voice talent of Helena Bonham Carter) there's no contest -- Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit is hops and bounds better (get it?  rabbits hop).  It leaves Corpse Bride in the dust (to dust).

The only significant issue the Masked Reviewer had with the film may have been a problem with the print, but the background music track was off...it was badly distorted at times, and occasionally became distracting at the end of the movie.

Definitely worth a look-see.  Fun for the whole family. 


Expectation from the Title: It seems unlikely that it will have very little to do with the history of the spice trade in ancient Rome.

Mother's Rule (Always Say Something Good About Everything):  The rabbits are cute and fluffy even though they're made out of clay.

The Pros: Laugh out loud funny.  "Awww"-evoking cute.  Impressive. 

The Cons: Some soundtrack issues.  The music itself isn't excellent to begin with. 

Wallace and Gromit, Gromitt, Gromutt, Helen Ebonham Carter, Raphe Fines, Nick Parker, Feathers McGee, penguin, cheese.


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Copyright 2003, Michael D. Lynn