Saturday, 17 May 2014

Ani-MAY-tion Month: Wallace And Gromit In The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit (2005)

Wallace and Gromit are two British characters, the former a human and the latter his dog, with a great love of cheese, and the two have been entertaining us in numerous short films for years now. Created by Nick Park, the big boss at Aardman Animation, they are, arguably, the best double-act from the UK since The Two Ronnies. Oh yes, they're THAT good, even if they're made of plasticine/clay and only move thanks to stop-motion animation. But not every great duo can make the transition from the small screen to the big screen.

There is, however, nothing to complain about here. This feature movie is a joy from start to finish. The plot sees our two main characters finding themselves a bit perturbed when local villagers have their greenhouses and vegetable plots ransacked. Wallace and Gromit, having offered security with their Anti-Pesto humane pest control service, have a lot of fingers pointed at them for their inability to deal with the situation, but this is a situation that nobody could have envisioned. As the title suggests, this is one veg-munching pest unlike any they have dealt with before.
There's also a potential love interest, in the shape of Lady Tottington (Helena Bonham Carter), and some rivalry from Victor Quartermaine (Ralph Fiennes), a man who believes that the best way to deal with pesky rabbits is just to shoot them all.

Directed by Steve Box and Nick Park, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Mark Burton and Bob Baker, Wallace And Gromit In The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit is, for me, practically perfect in every way. Every scene is so jam-packed with jokes and references to other movies that repeat viewings are essential, but nothing ever detracts from the main events that are put front and centre.

Peter Sallis returns to voice Wallace, a wise decision as the character just wouldn't seem the same with anyone else voicing the part, and he simply IS Wallace. Carter and Fiennes are both a lot of fun in very different ways, and Peter Kay gets to raise a smile or two as PC Mackintosh.

I could praise every single member of the voice cast, and I could quote over a hundred great lines from the script, and I could wax lyrical about the detailing and look of each scene, but that still wouldn't necessarily convey just how much I love this film. Because, as immature as it may seem, even just seeing bunnies floating around while caught in a humane piece of kit that sucks them up into a containment unit is enough to put a huge grin on my face.

It might be slightly cheesy at times, but it's always delightfully crackers.


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