05 April 2015

Happy Easter - with "WALLACE & GROMIT: THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT"

WALLACE & GROMIT: THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT

Alternate Titles:
The Curse of the Were-Rabbit / Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

Working Titles:
The Walace & Gromit Movie / Wallace & Gromit: The Great Vegetable Plot

German Title:
Wallace & Gromit - Auf der Jagd nach dem Riesenkaninchen

UK / USA, 2005
Directors: Nick Park & Steve Box

9/10


I'm far from being an expert on, or a hardcore fan of all things claymation, but there's absolutely no doubt that I love, love, love the creations of the Aardman Animations Studios, especially the works of Aardman mastermind Nick Park, the man behind "Wallace & Gromit" and "Chicken Run", who was nominated for an Oscar six times, winning 4 times, thrice for 'Best Short Film, Animated' ["Creature Comforts", 1991 | "Wallace & Gromit: The Wrong Trousers", 1994 | "Wallace & Gromit: A Close Shave", 1996], and once for 'Best Animated Feature Film of the Year'...


"Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit", IMO Nick Park's absoute masterpiece and probably the pinnacle of claymation animation per se. Together with Aardman regular Steve Box (director) and screenwriters Mark Burton ("Spitting Image") & Bob Baker ("Dr. Who"), he made an uber-fabulous calaymation comedy that is part parody of the horror genre, part homage to classic monster and werewolf movies, following inventor & cheese aficionado Wallace and his super-intelligent dog Gromit who run a humane pest-control and 'vegetable security' business called "Anti-Pesto", trying to protect the citizens of Tottington Hall from a huge creature called "Were-Rabbit" that threatens the town's annual 'Giant Vegetable Competition'...

It's a stunning movie, excellently paced, written and directed, hilarious from start to finish, packed with fascinatingly genius scenes and sequences, and it's (obviously) flawlessly animated. Who needs overly perfect and slightly charmless contemporary computer-animated films when you can have classic imperfect claymation with all its thumbprints, dropped frames and tool marks? It's like comparing 'enjoying the hell out of non-CGI practical effects' to 'getting frustrated by lazy-ass computer-generated rubbish'. Call me an ignorant old geezer, but I really don't care much for modern animation. I prefer claymation or stop-motion animation. There, I said it.


The story is a fun variation of the good old wolfman-legend, but with a man turning into a huge bunny (instead of a wolf), 'violently' attacking and devouring 'innocent' vegetables (instead of humans), only to be killed with 24-carrot (sic!) gold bullets (instead of silver bullets). There's countless nods to great movie classics like "An American Werewolf in London" (were-rabbit transformation), "Frankenstein" (angry mob hunts monster), or "King Kong" (were-rabbit climbing huge building, holding girl, chased by planes), as well as countless other minor references, like Art Garfunkel's "Bright Eyes" playing on the radio ("Watership Down"), Wallace getting called "Bunny Boy" ("Gummo") or one character screaming in a tunnel "I don't wanna be a rabbit!" ("Who framed Roger Rabbit?").

Gromit has always been my favorite character in these movies. This lovely puppy who's able to express all his emotions by simply rolling his eyes. Here, he's as cool as ever, though I also adore Wallace's silly behavior and all his amusing lines ("Cracking job, Gromit!"). Of course, all of the other characters (yes, ALL of them) are super-sympathetic, especially the big-teethed animal-loving Baroness Campanula Tottington (voiced by Helena Bonham Carter), the  arrogant and feisty poacher Victor Quartermaine (voiced by Ralph Fiennes) or the hilariously entertaining Reverend Clemens Hedges (voiced by sitcom-artist Nicholas Smith).


Ugh, I'm stuffed with eggs and Easter ham, and I'm in desperate need for a nap, so I better come to an end with this review. "Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit" is the perfect flick for Easter. It's funny and it's entertaining and it's packed with lovely bunnies, some huge, some small. Nuff said :-)


10 comments:

  1. Puh. Very happy to read that you liked it. It's one of my favorite "animated" and/or kids-movies in recent years, and if you'd hated it, I would have needed to seriously reevaluate our friendship! :-p

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    1. Nah, it was all a lie. I hate this movie and I hate W&G. Fuck friendships ;))) :PPP xDDD

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  2. Yes yes yes! I love this, glad you liked it :)

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  3. Oh, and Happy Easter, Maynard! ^_^

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    1. Happy belated Easter to you too, Yvonne! :)

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  4. Happy Easter my lovable Austrian brother! I definitely love Aardvark and this is certainly one of the bests they had made! (the others, personally, being Flushed Below and PIRATES!)

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    1. Happy belated Easter to you too, Kai! Aardvark is amazing, though I prefer their non-CGI films.

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  5. I love this one! I hope you had a great weekend. :)

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