Sunday, November 11, 2012

ANI-MOVIES, *Wallace & Gromit: Curse Of The Wererabbit

After three Oscar-nominated(and two winning!)short movies, Britain's favorite tinkerer and his much smarter dog at last made their own full-length motion picture. Creators, Steve Box and Nick Park(most famous for Shaun The Sheep)directed it, and the movie was done as a joint-venture between the original studio of Aardman after their success with Chicken Run, plus Dreamworks Animation.

We open up to the small English village that W&G live in where they have opened up a new humane pest control service called Anti-Pesto. Apparently, there is a big vegetable growing competition goin on in this town which is like their Super Bowl, and everyone is obsessed with winning the prize for having the biggest homegrown lettuce/pumpkin/melon/etc. Anyway, Anti-Pesto is keeping all the rabbits they find nibbling on people's gardens at their place, which Gromit uses as an opportunity to try and get Wallace on a veggie diet so he can loose weight. Although, Wallace plans on using a special mind-altering gizmo to condition himself into eating better, but changes gears when a successful run at a nearby estate gives him the idea of using the device for brainwashing the bunnies into not wanting vegetables(so, they were going to be carnivorous rabbits?). As to be expected, in true "wacky inventor" fashion, the machine backfires, and now a monsterous giant rabbit is rampaging the village. At first Gromit suspects its the modified rabbit that they've named Hutch, but its really Wallace who turns into a Were-Rabbit. This all culminates in a grand monster chase at the city fair, and Wallace's curse just somehow lifts itself up, even though Hutch is still somewhat humanish.

Both Wallace and Gromit are in great form in this movie. You would think that taking two characters from a series of shorties couldn't hack it in a full feature, which is not the case here. Wallace is just as eccentric as ever, and warmingly voiced by British actor Peter Sallis. Gromit is of course mute the whole time, but proves that its better when cartoon animals don't talk, and that the Charlie Chaplin school of acting is still funny. Ralph Finnes does the bastardish Victor Quartermaine who is a hunter out to win the heart of the resident nobelwoman, but mainly for her money. Helena Bonham Carter performs as Lady Tottington, the kindhearted landowner who has a softspot for small furry animals. It's weird that Carter did this around the same time that she was doing the lead role in Corpse Bride, which was the only other stop-motion animation movie to come out within the last few years.

The movie itself was set out to be a family movie from the beginning, but this G-Rated film managed to slip in alot of risky material under the radar. The parents will get most of the jokes, although there is some sight gags that are just so obviously funny(the change purse shot will absolutely kill you!). The film homages old horror movies very well too, and did a better job of praising the original Wolf Man movie than the current remake did. This is a perfect selection for Halloween, or weirdly enough even Easter.

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