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Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit review

Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 5 out of 5

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES (2-DISC EDITION: Inside Scoop On The World Famous Characters And Their Legendary Creators; First Hand Look At The Coolest Techniques In Filmdom Including How To Build A Bunny; Smashing Games Including Anti-Pesto SWAT Team Victor Quartermaines Guide To Cool And Style With Lady Tottington; Clayful Activities; Printables.

FOR some time now Pixar have been setting the standards in cinema animation with films like Toy Story and The Incredibles, so who would have thought that a team from Britain would be the ones to give them a run for their money?

Step forward Nick Park and Steve Box (aka Aardman Animation), whose Wallace and Gromit make their big screen debut in spectacularly impressive fashion.

Having already won three Oscars for their short film adventures, Wallace (voiced by Peter Sallis) and his loyal pet dog Gromit now get to entertain audiences over the course of 87 fun-packed minutes and do so with considerable aplomb.

Set four days before Tottington’s Giant Vegetable Competition, the film follows Wallace and Gromit’s attempts to rid the town of a mythical creature, known as the were-rabbit, before it can munch its way through the community’s prized carrots.

But while keen inventor Wallace devizes all sorts of plans to try and lure the beast into the Anti-Pesto traps, it is left to Gromit to put a stop to the problem when the answer is found closer to home.

From inspired start to emotional finish, The Curse of the Were-Rabbit is a blast, mixing laugh-out-loud humour with superb sight gags to provide a wholly satisfying experience.

Both Park and Box spent five years bringing Wallace and Gromit to cinema screens and their hard work and devoted commitment has reaped handsome rewards.

Whether it’s peppering proceedings with well-observed film references (from Jaws to Tremors via An American Werewolf in London), providing dazzling set pieces (such as the flying dogs’ combat sequence), or simply building on the endearing relationship between its central leads, the movie never skips a beat.

What’s more, it keeps things endearingly British, recalling the heyday of the Ealing Comedies or the Carry On double entendres without ever feeling laboured or crude.

Vocally, the film benefits from a strong cast, with Ralph Fiennes clearly having a blast as the hunting-mad Victor Quartermaine and Helena Bonham Carter providing a potential love-interest for Wallace in the form of the kindly Lady Tottington.

But the main plaudits will undoubtedly go to Gromit, who manages to convey a wealth of emotions (from bravery and pride to sadness and fear) without even using a mouth. It is Gromit who will win the hearts and minds of just about everyone who goes to see it.

Three cheers, then, for Park, Box and the team at Aardman Animation for creating one of the cinematic treats of the year.