A Close Shave (1995) Poster

(1995)

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9/10
Unique Mouths Still Make Me Laugh
ccthemovieman-11 February 2007
This was the third in a series of three short BBC programs featuring Wallace and his pet dog Gromit. I thought the three films got better and better as went along, this being the best of the three.

There are some very clever and entertaining scenes in the 30-miunte movie. the color also was good - nice animation. Of course, it's only gotten better and better since these were made, capped off recently by a full-length Wallace & Gromit film.

I don't think I ever stop laughing looking at the mouths on Wallace and the woman he likes in this story. Wallace is a window cleaner and "Wendolene" is the object of his affections. Unfortunately, both the woman and her pet dog are not good "people." In fact, her pet dog, "Preston" frames poor Gromit for sheep-rustling and winds up in jail. Wallace must rescue him.

A subplot involves Wallace and his love of cheese. It's all silly, of course, but very entertaining and the best of the three short Wallace & Gromit animated films of the period (1989-1993), in my opinion.
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9/10
The Best Yet......
Sonatine974 January 2002
Of all the W&G films A Close Shave is by far the best of all. Not only is the animation far more polished & detailed than its earlier predecessors, A Grand Day Out (1992) and The Wrong Trousers ('93). But in addition the story is far more engaging, light & humourous compared to the darker more mechanical nature of TWT (my least favourite of the three).

For the first time, A Close Shave introduces an extra dimension to the W&G pairing, in the form of Wendolene, a lady woolshop owner who Wallace falls in love with when both he & Gromit clean her shop windows.

With the addition of a female into the story we are given a little more character development concerning Wallace. The previous two stories only centred around his self-serving interests in cheese, inventions, making money and relying on his pet pooch to get him out of sticky situations. But in ACS we are offered a more rounded perspective of his personal life and his keeness to have a woman sharing his home at long last.

As the film progresses the relationship between the couple grows, in spite of all the dangers & hazards that they face along the way. And by the end of the film we are left on tenterhooks as to whether Wendolene will finally move in with W&G for good!

So not only is the animation and attention to detail significantly improved over TWT but so too is the characterisation and storyline. The voice of Wallace, Peter Sallis, is dependable & easy on the ear, even though he doesn't have much to say compared to the previous films.

But it is to Gromit where the real plaudits lie. Because he can't speak (or bark apparently!) we have to rely on his facial expression to understand how he feels & reacts to those around him. Because of the wonderful attention to animated detail Nick Park and his crew have spent, we can connect & relate very easily to Gromit's body language, especially within his eyes. I don't think I've ever seen such wonderful expressions since Laurel & Hardy. In fact the next time you have the benefit of seeing a L&H film take note of Ollie's facial expressions to-camera and you'll understand the comparison between him & Gromit.

Its now 6 years since the last W&G installment and it is to be hoped that Nick Park will do another follow up. I only hope he doesn't rely on lifeless cgi for his animation technique. On average it took NP between 2 to 3 years for each of the W&G episodes. But it was worth the wait. However, the Dreamworks Studio to which NP is affiliated, may not like having to wait such a long time for the next installment to be made, a may insist on using computer animation rather than clay to speed the production process up somewhat.

Chicken Run (2000), NP's first full-feature movie in conjunction with Dreamworks was, on the whole, ok. But the story seemed so formulaic & safe that you just knew the studio had "influenced" the production more than NP would have liked. And as a result you get a bland film built on hype. So I only hope the next W&G doesn't follow the same route otherwise the entire W&G franchise will be ruined for the sake of the mighty dollar yet again.

****/*****
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Really good fun but stolen by the sheep
bob the moo28 September 2002
Wallace and Gromit are working as window cleaners when Wallace meets Wendolene – the owner of the local wool store and falls in love. Gromit stumbles across a plot to kidnap sheep to make them into food but is framed for a sheep murder before he can do anything. Can Wallace get Gromit out of jail in time to foil the sheep rustlers?

By this stage Christmas on the BBC was basically better known as the time when we get the new W&G film rather than for the birth of the son of God. This film was THE focus for Christmas day – ITV did everything but stop broadcasting at the same time as this was on – who would want to compete with this?! Happily it doesn't disappoint. The plot is silly but incredibly well thought out and very imaginative.

The comedy is as bright and breezy as ever – getting to kids without resorting to lazy clowning or stupid sight gags and also reaching adults without lacing the film with innuendo or hidden smut. Instead it is just a clever mix of wit and humour that really hits the mark. On Christmas Day it's easy to sit and doze through anything but this made me sit up and pay attention

The characters are as good as ever. As always Wallace is solid and wonderfully eccentric while Gromit is the real brains behind everything working. Gromit is my favourite character but here he is upstaged by the oh-so-cute Shaun the sheep (on his way to a merchandising boom!). Shaun is more for kids but Gromit still steals many scenes. Wendolene (gettit?) is not so good and the scenes with Wallace and her don't work as well as the rest.

Overall this is very funny despite just falling short of the mark set by `The Wrong Trousers'. Word is Park is currently writing a W&G movie – I can't wait!!!!
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10/10
Not quite as funny as Wrong Trousers, but I loved it!
TheLittleSongbird6 May 2009
Wallace and Gromit has proved that over the years, they can still entertain. This episode is not quite as funny as Wrong Trousers, but there was never a dull moment. I loved the love subplot with Wendolene and Wallace, and it never distracted from the story, otherwise it would have gone downhill. Shaun the Sheep is so cute as himself, and Gromit proves his facial expressions are still funny. I loved Wendolene and Preston, but my favourite in this episode were the sheep. That scene with the motorcycle pursuing the van, and the sheep on the ladder, was priceless. Another funny scene was the jailbreak, when Wallace slips on the soap, and the sheep come crashing down on him. There is a touch of heartbreak here also, as you feel so sorry for Gromit. In conclusion, a brilliant short and a must see! 10/10 Bethany Cox
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8/10
Highly enjoyable
rebeljenn22 October 2005
'Wallace and Gromit: A Close Shave' is a short featuring the clay animation characters Wallace (an inventor) and Gromit (the inventor's pet dog, who seems to be smarter than the inventor and often the star of the show). This tale also features Sean the Sheep and a plot against Wallace and Gromit by a sheep thief.

This is another highly enjoyable episode. It is a rare breed of film that can entertain both adults and children alike. Children and adults will enjoy the imaginative sequences, lovable characters, comical events, and animation.

This is a must-see animation no matter what your age or gender is. There is something for everyone, and it is thoroughly enjoyable. Well done.
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9/10
As technically impressive as the rest, but a bit too over-whelming to be the best
davideo-220 October 2005
STAR RATING: ***** The Works **** Just Misses the Mark *** That Little Bit In Between ** Lagging Behind * The Pits

The resurgence in popularity of the plasticine two-some has caused me to also seek out this 1995 entry into the series, the last short film and the only other one I've seen (I don't think I got round to A Grand Day Out.)

This time, dodderingly traditional Yorkshire-man Wallace and his faithful manservant Gromit have come up with a spot of bother in the shape of a mysterious pest that's leaving holes in everything in the house, especially the cheese! Wallace won't be having this and vows to investigate! But, first things first, him and Gromit have to run their new window-cleaning service, and their latest customer is Wendolene, who runs a wool shop left to her by her departed father. But, aside from providing a tricky love interest for Wallace, she also has a brutish looking pet dog. And, after a series of local sheep are killed for their fur, the finger of suspicion points somewhere.

Technically, this is as fine as TWT and it's very funny in parts, but the plot here just feels a bit disjointed and over-whelming compared to the smoother flow of the plot to TWT. But it's still a far-cry from bad, as such impressive model craftsmanship would be, with Park's twisted blur between the laws of man and animal as high as ever, as Gromit is dealt with not by the RSPCA after being wrongfully convicted of sheep-murder, but the police and jail! ****
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9/10
A Close Shave for Wallace and Gromit!
benjamin-ryan20 September 2005
Wallace and Gromit: A close shave has to be my favourite out of all four Wallace and Gromit movies. It has better clay animation then the other two, the story is excellent, it is never boring (with A Grand Day Out I found some scenes boring) and you can even watch it two times in a row its that good! In Wallace and Gromit's adventure there is a sheep rustler, Wallace falls in love and Wallace and Gormit are ensare in a malevolent mystery only they can unravel.

I saw a close shave years ago but I still really like it all these years later, I think most people that see the Wallace and gromit like them and like them still years later. Thats whats great about all the Wallace and Gromit movies adults and children alike can enjoy them.

Overall I think this is the best in the Wallace and Gromit series and I highly recommend it!
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8/10
Oscar No. 3 for Nick Park
CuriosityKilledShawn27 September 2010
A lone sheep, later named Shaun, escapes from a sheep rustling plot and hides in the home of eccentric inventor Wallace and his long-suffering dog/best pal Gromit. A silent but deadly canine down at the wool shop appears to be the mastermind behind the plot and frames Gromit for the rustling scam. With a little help from Shaun, Wallace must rescue Gromit and catch the real crooks.

There are more laughs and jokes in this half-hour short than most feature-length comedies manage in their entire running time. Nearly every frame has some kind of wit or imagination. The world of Wallace and Gromit, much like the stop-motion world of Postman Pat, is an incongruous mix of post-war Northern countryside crossed with sci-fi and a touch of horror. The horror themes would be explored in greater depth with Curse of the Were-Rabbit but it's handled with more care and sly invention here than in most slasher sequels.

A fun time. Catch it on its inevitable Xmas Day screening.
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10/10
Best of his W&G series
Tom-2678 March 1999
Nick Parks is truly a great animator. Sadly, his Wallace and Gromit series is limited to only three, half-hour episodes.

Though "The Wrong Trousers" won an Oscar, my favorite is still "A Close Shave." It has an interesting story and a really positive atmosphere to it. It is also, in my opinion, funnier than the other episodes. And the sheep are really cute.

Kids will love it, as will adults who still like to watch cartoons.
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not as good as TWT (The Wrong Trousers)
Indy-5215 April 2001
I loved the second W&G adventure, TWT, and when I heard that this movie was as good as that one, I just had to check it out. Sadly, I was disappointed. The story isn't near as original, and the light suspense there was in TWT is sadly missed. Despite some amusing sight gags and the amazing claymation techonology, I was left fairly bored by this movie. For an excellent short claymation movie I strongly recommend TWT, by FAR the best of the (for now) trilogy. Forget about AGDO, their first adventure, it's quite boring too.
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9/10
Close to perfect.
Boba_Fett113810 January 2009
Even though the story is probably less impressive- and overdone when compared to the other Wallace & Gromit shorts, it still probably is my favorite. It's simply such a fine and entertaining movie to watch, not in the least because it has Preston, the evil villain dog in it and a whole bunch of sheep.

It's an impressive looking movie, with some surprising big sequences. What I always love about the Wallace & Gromit movies is that they often feature some amazing build-up and shot action sequences and chases in particular. It's often worth the price alone already.

This was the second Wallace & Gromit short to win an Oscar for best animated short, which not only proofs the quality and entertainment level of the Wallace & Gromit shorts but shows as well that you don't need a big budget or impressive new techniques to make a brilliant animated movie with. The claymation is impressive as always and has lots of details to it. It must be an incredibly time consuming but also incredibly rewarding process to make a movie like this. Nick Park must surely enjoy it. He's in the claymation business for over 20 years now, together with Peter Lord.

This movie takes some chance to add another human character to the movie. All of the previous Wallace & Gromit movies were mostly purely about the strange friendship between the man and dog, in which the dog always seemed like the more clever and rational of the two. This gamble however worked out fine for the movie and the added love-story plot actually adds a lot to the movie. As a matter of fact, after this movie Wallace had many more love-interests in later Wallace & Gromit adventures, such as the big theatrical released "Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit" and the latest short "Wallace and Gromit in 'A Matter of Loaf and Death'".

It of course are not just the human characters that make this movie but also really the animals. Preston the dog is such a great and evil movie villain. The sheep in this movie also provide the movie with lots of hilarious moments and they are cute looking as well.

perhaps my favorite Wallace & Gromit short.

9/10

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10/10
Thrilling, exciting, hilarious, touching...plasticine
TOMNEL6 March 2011
Just thinking about stop motion animation makes one think of a slow and tedious process of moving everything in the frame scene by scene. It takes forever (seemingly), and just two years after Wallace and Gromit's last adventure, we get this superbly animated, well thought out short film, that is actually as exciting as many live action adventure pictures. Proof that Nick Park and crew are about quality, because after the success of "the Wrong Trousers" it would be easy to cash in on a less than great installment, but thankfully for us, that's not the case.

A mysterious wool shortage has plagued the town where Wallace and Gromit, who are now cleaning windows, live. What lies before this man and dog duo is a love interest, a sheep rustling murderous dog, and a lot of sheep.

When thinking of the original three Wallace and Gromit shorts, I've always put this one and the Wrong Trousers nearly on par as perfect shorts, and while I still feel that way, this one falls a little short of their second adventure, and yet this has nothing really wrong with it to make it worse. When you have two perfect shorts, one is going to probably be favored over the other, and the lack of talking and pure clay animated suspense that "Wrong Trousers" produced stands above this equally wonderful, but more grandiose outing. Either way, this is seriously great, and one of the greatest short films out there.

The animation has improved greatly since "The Wrong Trousers". The animation is smoother, the sets are more three dimensional and the town in which they live in is given more of a personality, and fingerprints aren't as prominent on the figures. And the animation on the action sequences is superb. The last film gave us the hilarious train sequence, and this one gives us many action sequences, most notably being the motorcycle chase and the oatmeal machine gun shootout which are both spectacular and hilariously implausible. The whole five (or so) minute chase scene in the film is seriously as interesting, well thought out, and action packed as most regular action flicks, and it manages to be so without any violence or explosions. Truly a testament to the writing and animation of this thing.

Composer Julian Nott is also a huge part of this film. His music sounds like a mix of suspenseful thriller music, and a German polka...an unlikely combination, but one that fits so perfectly, giving the scenes a playful bounce, along with a "something bad is going to happen" feel. A new addition to the score for this film that wasn't in the previous two was the love theme which is almost a parody of love themes, but one that stands on it's own and also works perfectly in the scenes.

Wallace and Gromit represent not just quality animation, but also top notch writing, well thought out jokes and gags, fantastic direction from Nick Park, and proof that animation is not just for kids. Nick Park and the team at Aardman animation can easily be thought of as the Pixar team of England.

My rating: **** out of ****. 31 mins. Not rated, but good for the whole family.
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9/10
It's looking better and better.
MartinHafer14 August 2009
This is the third Wallace & Gromit short. As you'd expect, the quality of the character design is greatly improved from the first Wallace & Gromit short. Instead of the claymation, soft plastic figures that are poseable are used instead. Additionally, the sets are much more complex and detailed. Now this isn't to say that the stuff in the earlier films is bad--far from it. It's just that with each successive project, the artistry improves.

The only complaint I have about this delightful film, and it's a minor one, is that by this third short, the story has become a lot more fanciful and action-packed. In this film, less time is spent being laid-back and gentle (as well as very English) and Gromit even gets to fight against a cyborg dog! But, in spite of this, the film still works very well. Additionally, if you watch this film and the later full-length movie, WALLACE & GROMIT AND THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT, you'll see that there are some similarities in the stories. The dog is pretty similar as is his owner to the lady in the full-length film. Again, these really aren't complaints as much as observations.

Overall, a wonderful short film and one you can't help but love. It's wonderful and I can certainly understand why it, too, won an Oscar for Best Animated Short (like its predecessor).
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10/10
"Caught bang to rights, you were!"
Anonymous_Maxine24 February 2009
You can't really go wrong with Wallace and Gromit, and A Close Shave is no exception. The hilariously traditional Yorkshire duo are running a window-washing business that one day leads them to a wool shop run by a bizarre-looking British woman who immediately wins Wallace's heart, despite a deep sadness behind her eyes and a vicious-looking dog. It should be noted, by the way, that the makers of this short movie have succeeded in giving a claymation character deeply sad eyes. This alone might have been reason enough for why it won an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film.

While Wallace follows his helplessly stolen heart, Gromit finds himself framed for a mysterious sheep-stealing and killing scheme and is thrown in prison. An adventure follows that could only exist in a Wallace and Gromit film and includes, among other things, a hilarious truck/motorcycle chase with the help of an incredibly coordinated flock of helpful sheep. Enjoy!
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10/10
Don't shave this one off of the list of movies to see.
lee_eisenberg14 January 2006
This time, Wallace and Gromit take in a lost sheep named Sean, and get drawn into a sheep-rustling conspiracy. As always, there's a plethora of wacky inventions (namely the motorcycle sidecar). I think that my favorite scene was when Gromit was reading "Crime and Punishment" (check out the author's name). Nick Park certainly always knows how to come up with something clever in these cartoons, and you'd better believe that he does just that in "Wallace & Gromit in A Close Shave". Park showed the talent that he previously brought to "Creature Comforts" and would later bring to "Chicken Run". You just might think twice about using wool after seeing this movie. Really cool.
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9/10
Delightful!
Chrissie22 June 1999
Who says they don't make entertainment for the entire family any more? Jaded adults -- go rent some W&G.

A Close Shave rivals The Wrong Trousers for laugh-out-loud fun. When the Terminator-like Preston (a villain named Preston?!) emerges from the Knit-O-Matic, I nearly lost it. And Sean the sheep in the sweater inadvertently knitted from his own wool is hilarious every time I see him. Enjoy!
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8/10
Wonderfully warm and funny
grantss1 May 2020
A sheep wanders into Wallace and Gromit's house one night and ends up staying. It is one of many sheep that have been stolen from their owners in the last few weeks. Meanwhile, the local wool store seems to have a plentiful supply.

Great movie. Wonderfully warm and funny, i.e. what you would expect from a Wallace and Gromit film. Intelligent humour combined with some charming folksiness and a plot that is much more than just a device for the humour and charm. The plot is clever too and is full of action, twists and turns.

As always, the animation/claymation is superb and is a trademark of the film.

The only negative thing I can say is that, compared to The Wrong Trousers, my favourite W&G film, this film does rely more heavily on action sequences, versus humour and charm. I did find some stretches a bit tedious in that regard. Otherwise, brilliant.
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7/10
Good family show
SnoopyStyle27 November 2014
A sheep escapes the rustlers into the home of Wallace and Gromit and starts destroying their home without being noticed. Then the boys get a job to wash windows in a wool store. Wallace falls immediately for the owner Wendolene. Her inventor father left the store and his evil dog Preston to her. There is a wool shortage and the rustlers are being blamed. The guys return to find the little sheep and tries to wash it in the Knit-o-Matic. It goes wrong and the sheep is given a Close Shave. Preston steals the Knit-o-Matic design and then later frames Gromit for the sheep stealing. Gromit is put in jail while Preston continues with his evil plans.

Wallace and Gromit are great as usual. The addition of the love story is limited in fun. The guys are once again thrown into a crazy adventure. It's not quite as good as 'The Wrong Trousers' but it's still a generally good show for the whole family. I just need more Feathers McGraw.
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Funtastic !
ichocolat23 August 2007
This movie is a must-watch ! It is suitable for both adults and kids.There is no profanity, no adult jokes hidden behind adorable characters (unlike the newer animation movie such as Shrek & Madagascar), and no nudity. D'oh! I don't mind playing this movie to any kids and won't crinch in embarrassment with adult jokes so familiar with animation movies shown in cinemas nowadays.

Credit must be given to Aaardman Animation. They did a great job in making clay animation, and the quality is unparalleled! The production crews did a very good job in making a good clay animation and with such a good storyline too. Wallace and Gromit are such adorable characters!
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9/10
Brilliant third outing for the British animated pair.
adam-blackley7 October 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This is a brilliant piece of film-making. Just like The Wrong Trousers before it, Nick Park uses Hitchcockian devices to compel the viewer and to raise suspense. I love the fact that as an audience we are put through a series of emotions like any "regular" film would - joy at the romance between Wallace and Wendelene, pity for poor Gromit, the dog who goes through so much and it is rewarded by being put in prison, etc. - the examples are endless, and we really feel for these characters - yet they are just photographs of specially shaped lumps of clay, put together in such a way as to fake movement. And I genuinely feel a lump in my throat when dear Gromit is stuck in prison reading "Crime and Punishment". Thoroughly recommended for anyone aged 5 to 100.
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6/10
Shorn Of Ideas
jldmp13 June 2006
This wasn't bad, but it was a big disappointment...somebody ran with the wrong idea that the cuteness of the characters would be enough to sustain another short film.

Oh, the execution is superb -- by now the detail is exquisite and the camera movement is top notch. The problem is, the layered invention is missing. Gromit, our surrogate 'detective' is taken out of the action, leaving us with the clueless Wallace. All we get is tepid suspense, instead of clever noir construction.

The focus is on composition -- Wallace's fumbling romance in the foreground with sight gags going on in the background. The tricks all come from cartoons, mostly in the Roadrunner/Coyote vein mixed with Snoopy flying his Sopwith Camel.

The ending is obviously "The Terminator" crossed in a screwball manner with "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom". Watchable, but unnecessary.
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10/10
Twenty years later and I still smile
renofhate12 January 2021
Warning: Spoilers
Much like the fabulous Grand Day Out, and the - in my opinion - perfect Wrong Trousers, the excellent Close Shave is another slab of stop motion - claymation - family slapstick fun. After 20 years of first seeing this I always enjoy watching it much like the others. They make me smile and laugh. I love the characters. I love the motions, movement, intricacies to detail and everything in between, voice acting great as always. Love all the Wallace & Gromit sketches and the movie Curse of the Were-Rabbit is still a favourite of mine. This one has Shaun the Sheep too, the lovable little guy. And Preston, the robot dog antagonist that I love too, and it's nice how it becomes a little good guy in the end, as well as owner Wendolene. There are wacky fun inventions and lots of sheep. It feel like I'm a kid again when watching these things, every minute of it is nostalgic. Superb short animation that is no doubt a classic. Funny, friendly, feel good, and a step up in the clay world.
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9/10
"That was a bit thick!"
adamjohns-4257528 December 2020
Another fantastic instalment of these two genius fellas.

Just as fun as 'The Wrong Trousers' and full of great film references and parodies.

There is a wool shortage and Wallace falls for Wendolene, a Wool Shop owner who is suspiciously well supplied. Meanwhile Gromit is no fool and he's checking out the unsavoury behaviour of Wendolene's dog, Preston. All the while, a group of sheep are running wild at their residence in West Wallaby Street, including, the now famous in his own right, Shaun.

It was a great idea to introduce a love interest for Wallace and the character of Shaun was a lovely touch too. Although excellent, neither one outshines our heroes fortunately.

The shenanigans that these two get up to are always hilarious and guaranteed to put a smile on your face and this time is no exception.

With each outing they get more and more well presented and finessed.

A great watch for everyone of all ages.
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6/10
Cannot pull the wool over Gromit's eyes
russjones-808876 September 2020
Wallace and his faithful dog Gromit run a window cleaning business. Wallace falls for wool shopkeeper Wendolene, whose dog rustles sheep for supplies. Gromit is suspicious and starts to investigate.

Not the strongest offering in the series but won an Oscar for Best Animated Short and is still fun to watch. Peter Sallis again provides the voice for Wallace with Anne Reid voicing Wendolene.
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7/10
Very funny...
Thanos_Alfie8 May 2020
"A Close Shave" is a Comedy - Animation movie in which we watch Wallace and Gromit in another adventure getting involve with the owner of a local wool shop and trying to so solve a criminal plot behind it.

This movie reminded me the movie " The Wrong Trousers" of 1993 because it was as funny as this. The plot of this movie was simple but the combination between comic scenes, action and romance was simply hilarious. I highly recommend everyone to watch it because you won't stop laughing.
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