"Cheese, Simplicity and lots of Vegetable Carnage"
The Wallace and Gromit mini-franchise exists in an essentially evil genre. Most “family movies” are poorly made flotsam and jetsam that may keep children occupied but leave dribbling parents applying pressure to their throbbing heads and cramming aspirin down their gullets.As any parent will attest, it’s easy to create a ‘talkie’ that entertains children. All it takes is a few colorful morphic figurines dancing before a Neapolitan backdrop. Plop any 1st grader in front of cheaply made crap like “Higglytown Heroes” or “Dragon Tales” and watch what happens. Bear in mind, you do run the risk of that child contracting Spontaneous Attention Deficit Disorder.
Successful children’s movies need to simultaneously entertain adults, provide parents with a feeling they’ve exposed their children to something wholesome, and keep little ones focused, non-traumatized and happy for a bit more than an hour.
Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit succeeds on all counts. In an age where a new Air Bud movie is produced every 72 hours, it’s refreshing to see a film so carefully crafted and lovingly brought to the screen.
Five years in the making, the film follows a sweet but daft British inventor (Peter Sallas) and his silent but sage dog, made famous in previous shorts. This time the duo attempt to discover who or what is decimating all the vegetables in town. Along the way, they encounter the kind animal lover, Lady Tottington (Helena Bonham Carter) and the vile hunter, Victor Quartermaine. (Ralph Fiennes)
Every drop of clay is lovingly pressed together to create a charming, perilous and exciting world, and while the film is thrilling and suspenseful, it never resorts to cheap tricks or over-the-top villains.
Unlike Pixar, which creates a separate layer in their films for parents to appreciate, Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit allows children and adults to come together and enjoy the same elements.
We live in a time where most children’s movies are downright hazardous to adults. Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 guided many young parents to opium, and exposure to Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Movie left me emotionally distressed and permanently numb on the left side of my face.So thank goodness there are still people out there who value content over volume. Thank goodness there are kids’ films that allow parents and children to laugh together. Thank goodness for Wallace and Gromit!