A and A's Movie A Day

Watching movies until we run out.

Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were Rabbit

July 8, 2010

Wallace And Gromit: The Curse of the Were Rabbit

Aardman animation is synonymous with bucktoothed characters with big overbites, so it should not be surprising that the first feature length Wallace and Gromit movie revolves around an infestation of cuddly rabbits. In this, the fourth and longest Wallace and Gromit film, the village where the the cheese-loving inventor and his canny canine sidekick live is feverishly preparing for the annual giant vegetable competition at Tottington Hall (the local English manor house.) Every person in the village, it seems, has a giant vegetable of some sort that they’ve lovingly raised to ridiculously gargantuan proportions. In the mean time Wallace and Gromit are no longer window washers, but have started a humane rabbit catching business called Anti-Pesto. They capture every rabbit they can find in the village and store them all in cages in their basement.

Things take a rather odd turn when an attempt to brainwash the captive bunnies so that they will no longer desire vegetables goes awry, and a horrible beast is brought into existence. By the light of the full moon the were-rabbit is brought forth – a gargantuan bunny which wreaks havoc upon the poor village and their helpless vegetables.

It’s a fun but quick adventure. Nick Park does a good job of expanding the usual Wallace and Gromit adventure formula to fill almost an hour and a half without it feeling like he’s really padding the film at any point. But I can’t help feeling that there’s a sort of “been there – seen that” feel to the whole affair. In my mind there’s never been a better Wallace and Gromit adventure than The Wrong Trousers and although I realize that the two are the signature Aardman franchise I kind of wish they wouldn’t keep trying to top it. No bad-guy has been as nefarious as the silent penguin (who disguised himself as a chicken to commit his crimes.) No climactic chase could possibly compare to the miniature train track laying bit.

Oh, sure, it’s fun to see more of Wallace’s crazy Goldbergian contraptions. And yes, it’s fun to see Gromit still quietly saving the day with his combination of common sense and swashbuckling bravado. But I can’t help feeling that the whole movie is too direct a descendant of the short films and doesn’t have much of its own to add to the formula. (Gromit even has once again a silent dog adversary.)

Having recently just re-watched Chicken Run I can honestly say that I enjoyed it more. Mostly because it explored new territory, while at the same time keeping so much of the Nick Park and Aadrman charm. Sometime soon I’m going to have to add Flushed Away and see how that film stacks up. (I realize it’s computer animated rather than stop motion claymation, but it keeps the quintessential Nick Park aesthetic.)

July 8, 2010 - Posted by | daily reviews | , ,

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