Inventor Wallace (Peter Sallis – Wuthering Heights) and his capable dog Gromit have cashed in on the fact that their town is a hotbed for vegetable growing and they have started a pest control business, the cleverly named Anti-Pesto. They have an excellent method (it is a humane way of getting rid of pesky vegetable eating rabbits) and reputation amongst the townspeople. The only worry they have is what to do when their house becomes overrun with the rabbits they capture.
All is going smoothly, until a few days before the annual Giant Vegetable competition when a large vegetable eating beast starts eating everything type of veggie in sight. Nothing is safe from this beast. With the whole town in an uproar, the benefactor of the competition, Lady Tottington (Helena Bonham Carter – A Room With a View and Corpse Bride) hires Anti-Pesto to take care of the beast.
This hiring of Wallace and Gromit upsets her hunting crazy suitor Victor Quartermaine (Ralph Fiennes – The English Patient and Spider), who wants a chance to impress Lady Tottington by hunting down and shooting the beast. When it seems like Anti-Pesto cannot do the job, Lady Tottington reluctantly lets Quartermaine try and hunt down the mysterious beast. This seems like a decent option on the surface, but as the saying goes there is blackness in the heart of this hunter.
Wallace & Gromit is a British created claymation cartoon which worked well in the short features previously produced, but one had to wonder how it would translate onto a big screen full-length feature film. The answer would be ‘Just fine, thank you’.
The premise of most Wallace & Gromit adventures remains the same. Wallace is a bumbling inventor who always gets himself into trouble and has to be rescued by his silent and obviously more intelligent dog, Gromit. The supporting voices provided by Helena Bonham Carter and Ralph Fiennes are marvelous.
It boggled my mind to see what a little bit of colour and plasticine can do. Not only is the creative crew behind this movie able to shape the bits of clay into human, vegetable and mineral shapes, but they do so quite effectively. The animation is amazing and I, for one, was amazed at the lifelike facial expressions that can be created out of clay. Not only are the clay models amazing but the story is just plain fun.
It is a laugh-a-minute type film with a good mix of subtle humour and full on slapstick comedy. There is adventure and mishaps galore. The film keeps your attention from beginning to end.
The directors Steve Box (worked on the film Chicken Run) and Nick Park (Chicken Run) are obviously big time students of the history of film because they have also cleverly inserted references to past movies that true cinemaniacs will be able to recognize. They have included references to classic films like King Kong, The Wolf Man, and Hitchcock films.
Also, it is the type of move where you have to pay attention to even the smallest of details (like pictures on the wall and newspaper headlines) because nothing in this film is without a reason or double meaning. The movie should be very entertaining for young and young-at-heart types. I am sure this is just the first in a series of Wallace & Gromit adventures that will hit the big screen and DVD.
- Audio Commentary with Director/Writer Steve Box and Director/Writer Nick Park
- Deleted Scenes with Commentary
- How Wallace & Gromit Went to Hollywood
- Behind the Scenes of the The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
- A Day in the Life at Aardman
- How to Build a Bunny
- Stage Fright with Commentary by Steve Box