Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Wallace & Gromit In The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit

I first saw Wallace and Gromit a few weeks ago during a screening of their Oscar nominated short A Matter of Loaf and Death and I now realized what most of American animation needed. It is not just enough to be superbly animated, but these films must also contain plot, wit, humor, and drama, elements of which are far too often lacking in this genre. Wallace and Gromit represent animation at its best. In this installment, the first feature film, the British chap and his loyal dog are running a humane anti-pest business to keep the local neighborhood gardens safe from rabbits. Along the way they encounter a lovely dame intending to put on a vegetable fair on her estate (voiced by Helena Bonham Carter) and her devious suitor, a cruel dolt who holds contempt for rabbits (Ralph Fiennes). At the same time an experiment involving Gromit and a rabbit goes awry and a mysterious were-rabbit begins to terrorize the community. All of this is meshed together and wonderfully handled through slapstick and animation that defys explanation. My only quandry was that this did work better as a short rather than a full-length feature, but I still contend that Wallace and Gromit represent if not the best, then the most overlooked entry in the animation genre.
***1/2 stars