Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Review : Wallace and Gromit in The Curse of the Were Rabbit

Wallace & Gromit : The Curse of the Were Rabbit - Wallace and his loyal dog, Gromit, set out to discover the mystery behind the garden sabotage that plagues their village and threatens the annual giant vegetable growing contest.

I love Wallace and Gromit; I like Aardman animations. At the time of 2005 when this film came out, my 9 year old self is going 'finally!' I can't believe it. A Wallace and Gromit Movie is coming out! It's about time Wallace and Gromit got a proper full length, feature film. Viewers who watch this need to know that the film includes some mildly scary images of the were-rabbit's transformation; first in shadow and then in person.

These images follow the werewolf pattern, with teeth, fur, paws, and snout indicating the beast's emergence. The townsfolk and one hunter in particular pursue the were rabbit, with guns and garden tools and following the whole classic horror conventions, such as Frankenstein. Characters drink at a party, and make occasional bawdy, Benny-Hillish sexual references, most of which will go over younger viewers understanding, and relates to more mature and adult themes.

So Wallace and Gromit in their first full length feature film. In this story the dynamic duo run a pest riddance company, Anti-Pesto. Anytime that there is a disturbance in a residents garden, they are alerted by the elaborate security system the townspeople have attached to their prized vegetable gardens, and go forth in their well outfitted truck to capture the offending rodents and / or rabbits. Wallace then deposits the animals in cages in his basement, where he keeps them supplied with carrots and lettuce, and looks after them well.

Wallace's desire to reprogram the bunnies minds to distinguish their desire for vegetables goes a bit pear shaped and leads to an experiment that goes awry, and soon a giant were rabbit monster is gallivanting through the town at night, ravaging the squashes and pumpkins, and threatening to shut down Tottington Hall's annual Giant Vegetable Competition. It's Wallace and Gromit's toughest challenge to date. Can they uncover the secret of the Were Rabbit and save the Vegetable show, or not?

Here's a trailer.

I really like the story, I think it's very fitting to the big screen debut for the beloved clay motion stars Wallace who is voiced by Peter Sallis, and Gromit who never speaks, but his body language speaks for him. At once a clever reference to classic horror films of 1930s-'40s sort, including Wolfman and Frankenstein to name some examples, this provides an entertaining assembly of wordplay and visual gags, which are all the more enjoyable to watch.

Unlike the three original short films : A Grand Day Out, The Wrong Trousers and A Close Shave, Curse of the Were Rabbit has time to provide insightful character study, A Close Shave does have more characters and more story, however with Curse of the Were Rabbit is a film which reportedly took five years to make, as Nick Park and Steve Box and a crew of hundreds posed each clay figure frame by frame. It may have been a time consuming project, but the animators got there in the end.

Overall, what do I think? I think it's a wonderful family film. I think children like the whole animation, clay figures and how they interact within the film. Audiences can engage with the simplistic story telling which is so wonderfully told throughout the course of the film, and stays true to Wallace and Gromit's relationship.

Great Music and Sound Control Throughout, very smooth and coherent, Music plays a key part in the film to illustrate the genre theme. The soundtrack in ‘Curse of the Were Rabbit’ makes the story more authentic and believable. It gives the film ‘coolness’ but at times, can provoke emotions of fear, excitement and anticipation to what is going to happen next. 9/10

NEXT: Chicken Run 

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