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Imaginative, quick-paced, satirical! Americans do 'zany', but the Brits do 'witty' -- and they love to poke fun at themselves (ahem: unattractive teeth, large lips/nose, 'veddy' common or 'veddy' snobby, obsession with the 'gahden'). Inside jokes for the older folk in the audience, lots of action for the kiddies. Subtle use of devices from other classic films (watch for 'Back to the Future', 'Indiana Jones..', 'Harvey', 'Tremors'.. and more). Also, a nifty 'buddy' film (Gromit is a quiet, but resourceful sidekick). Add brilliant voice work by Bonham-Carter and Fiennes (is it true? the best acting these days is being done in animation?) - enjoy! I saw it with the grandkids. fun time for all. - canuckteach
I am always amazed at how many surfaces film has. There seem to be so
many places on which an artist can leave us a message. Usually my
comments deal with "normal" differences in these surfaces: the story
compared to explicit commentary on the story, for instance.
Or acting in a way that provides a second level on the story. Or a tone or set that does.
This Wallace and Grommit stuff is shocking in this context. Oh, claymation is as old as I am (pretty old), but this claymation was designed from the first to be photographed with all the camera tricks you would use in a "real" noir or Hitchcock film. That's what made it unique.
Once Park crossed into that territory, he had the possibilities to make movies about movies. Many folks do... perhaps a third of all movies have this value, but most take a common approach allowing them to comment on the way others comment on movies. Met-meta movies, but with all this reuse we run out of new ideas.
Park has some new ideas. Check out "The wrong trousers" where the story is about the mechanics of Hitchcock taking control of the movie and being fought back. Those mechanics are denoted in the story by some automated pants, but the style of the cinematography matches as the battle rages.
I guess manipulating that clay for months to get a single scene gives you lots of time to think about movie-making.
Last time around we had Hollywood intruding with "Chicken Run." It was self-referential, but of the stupid kind: lots and lots of obvious references to other movies. Mel Gibson.
This time we go back to the world of characters reinventing themselves. This time the fight is with having the monster genre taking control instead of the Hitchcock one.
Sure, most of this can be seen as simple kiddie fun, and it is. But look at the very first shot where we see the copper's ankle stepping from behind the camera. You won't see anything like this in any Dreamworks drek. That was a shot that tells us who love movies that this is first going to be fun for movielovers.
The story is as incidental and vexing as a rabbit infestation.
Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
In one of the early scenes, Wallace and Gromit are called into action
on an emergency basis. An alarm sparks the start of a teapot, which
then shoots steam into a fan, which operates a machine to wake Gromit
up. Meanwhle, a hunk of cheese is brought out to wake Wallace, and both
are then launched out of their beds and into an assembly line of sorts.
There, they are dressed, served coffee, transported into their vehicle,
and they drive off to the scene of the crime.
This scene established not only how creative Wallace is with his inventions, it also shows how creative the whole movie is. Nick Park and Steve box create countless images and situations that shine with imagination and wonder. This creative spurt is one of the many joys "Wallace and Gromit" works so well.
And not only is the film visually imaginative, it has a story that is funny and engaging too. Here, the immaculate duo must save their town from a rabbit infestation that threatens everyone's vegetables, which they seem to take a little too seriously. But when Wallace's experiment to "cure" the rabbits of their vegetable eating desires goes horribly wrong, an overlarge rabbit emerges and goes on a nightly rampage eating everyone's gardens.
As with the "Wallace and Gromit" shorts and "Chicken Run," Nick Park fills this film with good humor that can be universally enjoyed. There are some jokes that are aimed more at adults (particularly in the scenes between Wallace and Lady Tottingham), but for the most park the humor is that which everyone can laugh at. The characters are all very eccentric and memorable, from the priest to Lady Tottingham to the villain Victor (voiced by Ralph Fiennes, who seems to have been racking up the number of villains he has played over the years).
Needless to say, this is a winner of an animated picture. It combines great humor with good storytelling, and throws in clever and creative animation.
It has been far too long since I saw the three original shorts of
Wallace and Gromit. I did see them once, though: when I was 12 and on
vacation. My family was staying in a hotel, and we had absolutely
nothing to do; it was Saturday morning, and Cartoon Network aired all
Since then, I have been a big admirer of the duo -- but alas, they had not appeared much lately. Chicken Run appeared in the stead of another W&G short, and it was, too, delightful. And my appetite for claymation was fed a little by the short-lived Fox sitcom The PJs. Corpse Bride was another meal of plasticine, but it wasn't terribly clever (however fun).
So when I heard of this new adventure of Wallace and Gromit, I jumped at the chance to see it. Moreover -- and to my great delight -- I found that The Curse of the Were-Rabbit was every bit as clever, funny, and weird as the shorts.
Ostensibly, this is the world's first plasticine horror film. A scourge of rabbits have overtaken Lady Tottington's hall, and Wallace (head of a humane-minded Anti-Pesto) is called upon to remove them before the big vegetable competition. The picture's antagonist is Victor Quartermaine (voiced by Ralph Fiennes), both the desirous suitor of Lady Tottington (Helena Bonham Carter) and the staunch opposition of Wallace and Gromit. The titular were-rabbit is the result of a horribly botched experiment (too silly to explain here); after the creature's creation, it rampages through the full-mooned nights eating and destroying valuable over-sized crop. This results in an uproar among the townsfolk, who are all seeking first place in the competition. They pit Wallace against Victor -- both of whom not only are seeking to get rid of the were-rabbit, but also to win Lady Tottington.
That is, without giving away any details, the plot. Now here is the fun. Besides being a scrumptious visual feast, Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit is filled with the silliness of British humor: bawdy sometimes, irreverent other times, but hilarious always. The humor can pacify kids and bemuse adults. What is still most fascinating in the series is Gromit, the adorable dog. Creator Nick Park has fashioned an intelligent animal who never speaks but still says what needs to be said.
In 2005, we, the viewers of films, were not offered enough in the way of enjoyable, austere cinema. The Curse of the Were-Rabbit is not a savior, but it is a sign that someone out there has enough creativity to make a smart film, an innovative one, and a popcorn movie all at the same time.
I'd been a fan of "3-D animation" since the days of George Pal and Art
Clokey, and I'd thought myself among the apparent few who felt the
Aardman short films not so much funny as charmingly quaint, odd and
eccentric, very much a product of their environment, whilst displaying
great care, even love, and just incredible craftsmanship in their
Still, the Claymation specials of the Will Vinton Studios struck me as funnier and more imaginative. And if we Yanks appeared to enjoy Chicken Run out of proportion, bear in mind our world-view had also brought forth Stalags 13 and 17. So when I heard W&G would go feature-length, I very much looked forward to the parts but figured the sum would be 90-odd minutes of the same.
Wrong-oh! on at least two points. When I wasn't laughing my fool head off I wore a silly or stupid grin (with witnesses). Unlike your garden-variety Pixar flick, where the adults and children laugh at the same time and at the same thing, I actually enjoyed those W&G moments where they just went for the laugh, target audience notwithstanding, and, more often than not, got it. How charmingly quaint, odd and eccentric!
The greatest challenge was (and remains) convincing my colleagues to see it. To those too quick to regard me insufficiently young to enjoy this form of entertainment I summoned that silly or stupid grin. To those too quick to brand me ultra-orthodox and a prude I could report that nothing on-screen offended me. And to those who felt compelled to summon an analysis I could only call this film as affectionate an homage to the Hammer House of Horror as Young Frankenstein was to the Universal Pictures classics.
But let us analyze it for what it is: That surpassingly rare moment when a production is fun for all involved, on the receiving as well as the giving end. We're all the better for that. We can hope for more. We sure need it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Everyone waited for the movie, and when it comes out, and now it has.
Yay Wallace and Grommit!
It looks...weird. But it's not. It's really funny! My friends and me went. We thought we were going too come out of the theater wishing we had seen "The Fog". But that's not it at all. We want too see it again!
I honestly can't remember the last time I had a good time with my friends!
Lol we were loving' the "May Contain Nuts" part, and the airplane part.
Totally see it! It's better then the trailers look, ya know?
After searching for cheese on the moon, being troubled by a penguin
thief and blamed for rustling sheep, Wallace makes his debut on the big
screen. This time, the British duo run Anti-Pesto, guardians of
vegetable patches from the terrible creatures of the night who would
disturb gardens. Coming off the heels of their successful Chicken Run,
Aardman Studios returned to what originally made director Nick Park a
star in the UK: Wallace is an inventor who loves cheese and whose mind
is on the moon, while his silent partner is a dog named Gromit, gifted
with common sense. Done entirely in claymation, the series has been
awarded several nods for fluidity of motion and excellent comedy.
Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit continues Aardman
Studios' track record of excellence, in the Oscar-winner for Best
Animated Film of 2005. It is well deserving.
The antics are familiar territory for Wallace & Gromit, with Wallace's wondrous yet inane inventions that cause all sorts of trouble, while Gromit is stuck with solving all the pieces of the puzzle. When a mysterious giant creature begins rampaging the gardens Anti-Pesto is sworn to protect, Wallace finds himself along for the ride, with Gromit playing detective. The silent interplay between Gromit and other creatures in the film are the highlights, while Wallace provides most of the action sequences, including one spectacularly choreographed chase scene. The animation work is without a rival in this field, and it's a shame to have learned that the props studio burned down shortly after completion of the film. Stars Helena Bonham Carter (Fight Club, Big Fish) and Ralph Fiennes (The Constant Gardener) lend their voices as Wallace's very-English (see: beautiful teeth) love interest and the shotgun-totting man competing for her hand. All in all, the voice acting has a British charm vital for the comedy of the film, though it is perhaps Gromit's lack of voice that offers the most laughs.
Pixar Animations is noted for creating family films that offer laughs for viewers both young and old; despite years of attempting to renew their success with Shrek, DreamWorks Animation has yet to produce a film on the same level as their competition, but having procured the rights for this film accomplishes such a goal even though all the credit must be given to Aardman Studios. Wallace and Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit succeeds in being a worthy fourth edition in the series, though those who have not seen the three short films will have no trouble jumping on the bandwagon with this film. Unfortunately a poor marketing campaign and the lack of computer-generated animation likely means many gave this film a pass; this is unfortunate being that it is the most fun family film of 2005, filled with quirky humour, action and cute rabbits. One of Wallace's famous lines best sums up my feelings to the film's creators: "Oh ho ho, cracking job!" (9/10 Excellent)
I went in to watch the new Wallace & Gromit movie with a little bit of
bias. Wallace & Gromit: The Wrong Trousers happens to be one of my
favorite short animation pieces and although just because it's a
Wallace & Gromit film, doesn't mean that I'll love it, I went in
expecting to be charmed.
And I was.
The film was true Wallace & Gromit in form and fashion, this time featuring Wallace & Gromit as humane pest control operatives "Anti-Pesto." Again, featuring many cute Rube-Goldberg-type inventions, cheese, and menacing, but somewhat silly, villains, the film is full of things to adore.
There were a couple moments that threw me off, namely a couple of jokes that belong in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, but I suppose it will fly over the heads of the target youth audience. Actually, I haven't seen a General Audiences rated movie this enjoyable in a while, and minus those moments, this film is good clean fun.
Wallace & Gromit's sense of humor is less the laugh-out-loud humor but more the grin-inducing chuckle-laden charming type, with some punny moments, and it works to great effect. In particular, Gromit is perhaps the best silent character in recent film history. Without saying nary a word or making a single sound, he manages to convey a great deal of emotion and comic excellence, which is quite impressive considering that Gromit is made entirely of clay.
The plot is simple and not particularly original, but I was surprised by the inventiveness by which Nick Park and company took a few old stories and refreshed them. I really can find no solid wrong with the film minus those unexpected moments of adult humor.
Highly recommended. 8/10.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Aardman have been around a considerable time now, yet they haven't gone
the route of most companies, namely that of getting too big for their
own boots. Instead, Aardman continue to pursue their classic heroes,
Wallace & Gromitt, and give them continuing adventures. I suppose it's
simply a matter of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" at work.
In fact, Aardman continue to polish and refine the "claymation" process they use for most of their work. Were-Rabbit is the latest example of their work and quite possible their best work (though Chicken Run is still up there).
If there is any problem with their work it's often that there is so much to look at that you cannot possibly take it all in at the first viewing. The action (and gags) come so fast that it is easy to miss things. Of course, this just ensures the longevity of the film and the certainty that DVD's will be bought when available.
There are a lot of nice touches - the scene with the two dogs and the van door had me rolling about - and the gags vary from verbal to visual with a lot of casual "name" plays on items and equipment. Too many to take in, as I said.
If you are a fan of animation comedy of any sort, then W&G:Curse of the Were-Rabbit is for you.
Just returned from taking the family to see this movie. Absolutely
beautiful. Packed with action, laughs, references to previous W&G's,
etc. The kids were commenting while we were still in the movie what a
great movie it was. It's a true return to the original heart and soul
of Wallace and Gromit, with a sense that they've only gotten better at
it in the intervening time.
The fact that you can see the fingerprints on the characters, the beautifully expressive faces, the visual puns (they really outdid themselves in that department this time)--it just doesn't miss a beat from beginning to end.
Characters like Wallace and Gromit really earn a place in peoples' hearts, and it's always a bit nerve-wracking for me wondering whether the new material that is produced will live up to the extremely high hopes I (and, surely, thousands or millions of others) have for the characters that we feel such a connection to.
Thanks to Aardman for caring enough to put out another one that lives up to what seems to me the impossibly high standard they've set for themselves.
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