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Overall Rating
4.57

Awesome69.39%
Worth A Look: 23.47%
Average: 4.08%
Pretty Bad: 1.02%
Total Crap: 2.04%

10 reviews, 38 user ratings



Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
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by Jay Seaver

"I love these guys."
5 stars

How good is the Wallace & Gromit movie? It's so good that Ralph Fiennes is funny for perhaps the first time in his life. It's so good that what is basically the same joke is still funny the third time it is used. It is, in short, just as good as you would expect a Wallace & Gromit movie to be.

For those not familiar with the pair, Wallace (voice of Peter Sallis) is a cheese-loving inventor and Gromit is his dog. Gromit is, as animated canines are wont to be, the brains of the operation, though he doesn't speak. Their current project is a humane pest control service, helping their neighbors rid themselves of rabbit infestations in the weeks leading up to the village's annual giant vegetable competition. Trouble is, the bunnies are eating them out of house and home, so Wallace tries a new invention to try and curb their veg-destroying urges. Of course, these things never work right on the first try...

Like the short films that preceded it (and production company Aardman's previous feature, Chicken Run), Curse of the Were-Rabbit is realized via stop-motion animation of idiosyncratic plasticine models. The character design is almost grotesque at first blush, featuring beady, lidless eyes, too-large mouths, hands held in peculiar positions. Wallace's head is strangely flat; Lady Campanula Tottington (voice of Helena Bonham Carter) looks more than a little freaky. And yet, when in motion, the impression one gets is not of a horror show. It's whimsical and bizarre, but fun. And some of the characters are downright cute - Gromit, of course, and the bunnies. And even the dog owned by scheming Victor Quartermaine (voice of Fiennes) has his moments, despite being all teeth.

The film takes place in a quirky English village, the sort of place where being Lady of the Manor still counts for something. It's the sort of place where a competition to grow the largest vegetables could be the highlight of the year. It's full of little in-jokes, from the name of the barber shop to the books on Wallace's shelf. Most of these jokes are quick and clever, not ham-fisted pop culture references which will be out of date by the time the movie comes out on video. It's a nicely understated world; compare it to a lot of recent animated movies - especially those released by DreamWorks - where the power of animation is harnessed to create fairy-tale/underwater/robot/etc. versions of New York City.

The voice-acting is understated as well, and not just because the canine characters communicate entirely through pantomime. Fiennes and Carter don't have extraordinarily distinct voices, although Fiennes is goofier than I can ever remember him being. Wallace is given voice by eighty-year-old Peter Sallis, and while Wallace probably never was meant to come across as grandfatherly in terms of experience or wisdom, he is imbued with a playful quality, never raising his voice even when he's doing mad scientist stuff.

The look of the film is almost quaint - the vehicles and rides at the fair are of vintage design, and the characters themselves look hand-made. Sometimes it even looks like fingerprints appear on the surface. The apparently primitive techniques hide fantastic craftsmanship. Even the smallest motions are smooth as silk, and there are plenty of little details to catch. It's exacting work to animate, and what's even more amazing is how well the extensive digital work is integrated. Look at the bunnies floating after Wallace's vacuum device sucks them out of the ground, or an aerial chase in the third act - is that digital wire removal, compositing, or CGI creations? It's impossible to tell, and it's irrelevant: The scenes are exciting and funny, and they don't force the audience to try and reconcile two different looks competing on the same screen.

What's most delightful about this movie is how it never tries to overpower the audience, even as it delivers a steady stream of smiles. Nick Park's characters have always been delightful fun for audiences of all ages at the 20 to 30 minute range, and here they're easily up to the challenge of carrying a movie three or four times that length.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=12870&reviewer=371
originally posted: 10/30/05 15:03:07
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User Comments

3/18/14 Abfjnvhw Whatever china the reason is that the international background of such cross-border deals., 5 stars
2/13/14 SqSmFYrmhgSIxa sverige.txt;1 3 stars
8/19/09 daria vjHGft Gra7noI59Unral92Bb7wf 4 stars
3/22/08 Pamela White Wallace and Gromit are sooo cute 4 stars
1/16/08 ben dover great stevo needs to die in his own shit 5 stars
4/17/07 Stevo UK Complete Bollocks. the shorts were good, but this just takes the piss. 1 stars
3/21/07 man strictly for the kids 1 stars
1/10/07 Phil M. Aficionado Cute, but not engaging. After 40 minutes, zapped it. Maybe I'd like the shorts better, huh? 3 stars
10/19/06 David Pollastrini the shorts were better 3 stars
9/02/06 Chad Thomas Cute and clever movie! 4 stars
5/20/06 Kcaj Good but lacking the X Factor 4 stars
5/12/06 mr.seraph wallace and gromit... always good, this movies no exception 5 stars
4/12/06 gfh not bad at ll 3 stars
4/02/06 mary clare this movie is full of crap.the guy that likes the rich gal is ugly and he is a horror. 2 stars
3/29/06 mike very good animated flick! 5 stars
3/18/06 Quigley I knew it'd be funny, but not hilarious! it was very clever, too. don't miss it 5 stars
3/12/06 Shaun Wallner Very Funny Movie My duagter loves it 4 stars
2/24/06 Eden Agree with Daveman, its good but just not as eccentric as the shorts were 4 stars
2/21/06 Annie G We laughed and laughed. Differently the winning animation movie of the year. 5 stars
2/19/06 the laughing man Witty, Fun, and Brilliant 5 stars
11/22/05 Sir Spam-a-lot corpse what? 5 stars
11/08/05 Littlepurch AMAZING! W&G rule! And it SO doesn't sag in the middle like some people have said! 5 stars
11/01/05 PAG Quite funny. 4 stars
10/28/05 Daveman Excellent but less eccentric and more formulaic than the shorts which is a dire shame. 4 stars
10/27/05 hayley nicholas this film is top class!'i think there about to go up in the world ;)' i luved it! 5 stars
10/25/05 drfardook just flat out entertaining. a rarity these days. 5 stars
10/24/05 Paul Stubbs It`s a cracker! (with cheese of course) 5 stars
10/17/05 Vicky Film was fabby, I want my home to be a sanctuary for all things fluffy too! 5 stars
10/16/05 bob was funny, loved it, best i've seen lately 5 stars
10/14/05 KingNeutron Occasionally veers off into the Wildly Improbable. ;-) 4 stars
10/14/05 Ole Man Bourbon Cute 4 stars
10/13/05 d charming! 5 stars
10/09/05 Philip Buckley-Mellor You'd have to be dead to not love this film 5 stars
10/09/05 Jonathon Holmes great fun, but not as good as "Howl's Moving Castle" 4 stars
10/08/05 Jim The Movie Freak I liked the rabbits 5 stars
10/08/05 bullit16 Wonderful for kids AND adults. Flat-out brilliant 5 stars
10/01/05 Green Gremlin Beats the hell out of "Robots"...can't wait for the sequel !!! 5 stars
9/20/05 Rever_Bear-Trap AWESOME, JUST PURE & ENTERTAINING FUN... Better than any CGI animated flicks! 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  05-Oct-2005 (G)
  DVD: 07-Feb-2006

UK
  N/A

Australia
  15-Sep-2005


Directed by
  Steve Box
  Nick Park

Written by
  Bob Baker
  Steve Box
  Nick Park

Cast
  Peter Sallis
  Helena Bonham Carter
  Ralph Fiennes
  Peter Kay
  John Thomson



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