Review by: Jack Foley | Rating:
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
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
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.
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