Thursday, July 27, 2006

Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

There’s something about Clay-mation that I dig. I liked it back in the day when they were using it to sell California raisins, and I like it now, when most animated entertainment is just computer programs tripping over themselves to see who can come up with the cleverest pop-culture reference. As the Shrek sequels and CGI rip-offs become increasingly frenetic, Clay-mation offers a slower-paced, less busy form of storytelling. That said, Let me make it clear that there is nothing “slow” about “Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.” This is high-flying adventure filled with belly-laughing fun; more fun than any barrel full of CGI monkeys.
Some folks already know of Wallace & Gromit from some short films on BBC television that are much-loved in the U.K. Wallace is a scatterbrained cheese addict who invents all manner of Rube-Goldberg-style devices. These frequently backfire in some way, requiring Wallace’s quick-thinking, long-suffering hound Gromit to save the day. In “Curse of the Were-Rabbit,” Wallace invents a brain-washing machine and attempts to train the local rabbits not to eat people’s vegetables. Naturally, mistakes are made, and he manages to create a monster rabbit, a veggie-eating machine that puts the annual giant vegetable contest at risk. Wallace and Gromit attempt to stop the beast by “humanely” catching it before the oily Victor Quartermaine (voiced by Ralph Fiennes) can shoot it. Truly fun for the whole family!
I hate to keep ripping on the computer-animated movies, but in recent years it seems that every animated feature has to slip in some slick 70’s or 80’s pop culture references to keep the adults entertained. “Wallace & Gromit” doesn’t have to do that, because it is just plain funny. Everyone can enjoy it, even the dog.
4.5 stars.

No comments: