Review: Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

Posted by: Dean Kish  //  October 7, 2005 @ 11:59am

Filed under: Movie Reviews 

Over the course of the 1990s, Aardman, a little animation house based in England, burst onto the scene with their clever and often zany takes on the world of claymation. Aardman's three short films based on the characters of Wallace & Gromit won two Oscars and lost its first Oscar to fellow Aardman production Creature Comforts.

Aardman's first foray into mainstream films was 2000's much-heralded animated film, Chicken Run. The success of Chicken Run burst the seams at the box office and solidified the Aardman and DreamWorks partnership.

It's been over fifteen years since the first Wallace & Gromit adventure delighted audiences on both sides of the Atlantic. Now it's their time to shine as their latest adventure, a full-length feature film.

Wallace & Gromit have started a "humane" pest control business on the eve of the town's largest vegetable festival. The townspeople are utterly paranoid that their potentially award-winning vegetables could be devoured by the town's rampant rabbit population.

The fear of losing their prized vegetables intensifies when the town's Reverend is attacked by a giant rabbit and his vegetables for the "less-fortunate" are viciously ravaged. Where did this creature come from?

In the middle of the mayhem, Wallace's (Peter Sallis) eye sways towards the vegetable advocate Miss Tottingham (Helena Bonham Carter), much to the dismay of her current suitor Victor Quartermaine (Ralph Fiennes). Victor becomes obsessed with becoming the town's hero and stealing Totty back for himself.

Can Wallace & Gromit rise to the occasion and stop this vegetable-masochist? Can Wallace keep his head straight around Totty? Furthermore, can they uncover the mystery of the were-rabbit before town's annual festival?

Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit is such a delightful film that it's surprising that it took over fifteen years to get these characters their own film.

The power of storytelling, emotion, thought and zany antics housed in this film is unlike any we have seen on the silver screen in quite some time. It's probably, hands down, the best animated film since The Incredibles.

I think the thing that surprised me the most about this film was the pure energy in the storytelling. So many animated films these days, even with all their fancy CGI effects, so often forget the true depth of what a good story can do for a film. A lot of those films are one-note gags that have to go on for 90 minutes. Some succeed but a lot also fail. Some of those films in recent memories are films like Madagascar, Shrek 2, and the god-awful Valiant. There are portions of these films where the film literally stops and they forget what it takes to entertain an audience. Oh sorry, in Valiant's case that's the whole film. Wallace is miles ahead of all these films.

What is so incredible about the film is that everywhere you look you can see the painstaking attention to detail used to make this film. This film is carved with blood, sweat, and tears and every second shows it.

What I also liked about Wallace was that not only was the main plot multi-layered but all the subplots were as well. I loved all the townspeople and each of their quirky personalities.

One of the things that made the Wallace shorts so much fun was the oodles of gadgets that Wallace dreamed up for everyday things. That remains true in this film and it's his giant "rabbit-vacuum" that is so hysterical this time. The contraption is so wonderfully conceived.

I am pretty sure that Wallace & Gromit will be firmly implanted with love in all that see this film. It's brilliant filmmaking. (4.5 out of 5) So Says the Soothsayer.

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