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Published: 2005-10-09 - 01:14:00
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Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit Review

By Joe Lozito

Feat of Clay

For the first ten minutes or so of "Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit", you marvel at the claymation technique used to bring the sublimely silly title characters so palpably to life. But then you're blind-sided by the virtually non-stop barrage of jokes and sight gags until you worry you might be missing some. Indeed, there are more chuckles during the title sequence of "Wallace & Gromit" than most comedies in recent memory.

For a "W&G" fan, though, this is no surprise. Writer-director Nick Park's characters - Wallace, a sort of cheese-loving mad scientist and his faithful, mouthless pooch, Gromit - were first introduced in three superlative shorts ("A Close Shave", "The Wrong Trousers" and "A Grand Day Out"). Then Mr. Park seemingly single-handedly kept the claymation tradition going in feature length with 2000's wonderful "Chicken Run". "Were-Rabbit" has the same zippy pace and referential British humor as "Chicken", but its plot is just a little too stupid.

"Were-Rabbit" revolves around an annual vegetable growing contest for which Wallace and Gromit serve as security (they run a vegetable-protection business called Anti-Pesto). That's all fine until a beast starts running amok in the town during the full moon, eating all the crops and wreaking general havoc. I'm not asking for Tolstoy here, but all the Were-Rabbit stuff got a little old after a while. Still, there are plenty of wall-to-wall gags in Mr. Park's script (co-written with Mark Burton, Bob Baker and Steve Box, who also co-directed) to keep any viewer interested for 85 minutes.

The real achievement in this film is Gromit. Always the brains of the outfit, Gromit really comes into his own in "W&G". He's given all the best scenes, jokes and reaction shots. And all with no mouth. With "Were-Rabbit" Mr. Park establishes Gromit as the best animated canine character since Snoopy.

As a side note, it's worth noting that "W&G" is being shown with an animated short called "A Christmas Caper" featuring the "Madagascar Penguins". "Caper" is a super-quick romp which ends up being much funnier than the original film from which the characters emerged. Paired with "W&G", it's a great time at the movies. But enough with the rabbits already.

What did you think?

Movie title Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
Release year 2005
MPAA Rating G
Our rating
Summary The feature film debut of Nick Park's lovable claymation creations is literally a laugh-a-minute. If only the plot wasn't so darn stupid.
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