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Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

Genre: Animation/Adventure/Comedy
Rated: G
Directed by
Released by: Dreamworks Pictures

In Short: Wallace and Gromit get caught up in some pretty hare-y situations, trying to brainwash some very hungry bunnies in their quaint village.

Giant Veggies and Funny Bunnies
Were-Rabbits Beware
By Andrew Bender

We’ve been fans of the cheese-obsessed, absent-minded inventor Wallace and his unflappable dog Gromit for so long that we were sure they’d already had their own feature film. You can imagine our surprise to find that “The Curse of the Were-Rabbit” is their first. Nonetheless, the film makes a smashing debut, combining clever animation, cool contraptions, cornball puns and a Greek chorus of bunnies.

The story takes place in an English village where townspeople lock their gardens and greenhouses like safes. The reason: the highlight of the town’s calendar is the annual Giant Vegetable Contest, and protection from hungry bunnies is the key to winning the coveted Golden Carrot trophy. Wallace (voiced by Peter Sallis) and Gromit run the pest control company Anti-Pesto; their humane, high tech arsenal includes the Bun-Vac 6000, which sucks up the creatures at 125 RPM (rabbits per minute) and gives them a fun ride along the way—our heroes keep them as pets. But when Wallace tries to brainwash the rabbits from their veggie-loving ways, the problems multiply like, well, you don’t need us to tell you.

Oscar-winning animator Nick Park (“Chicken Run” and the Wallace & Gromit shorts) took five years, 250 artists and nearly 3 tons of plasticene to create this film, and the results are worth it. It’s neat to see how Wallace and Gromit have made the transition so seamlessly from short to feature film. It may have the familiar Hollywood formula—Wallace gets the obligatory love interest (the carrot-topped Lady Tottington, voiced by Helena Bonham Carter), and there’s a silly bad guy (her evil suitor, voiced by Ralph Fiennes) intent on shooting the rabbits—yet the movie is sure to be as much fun for big people as for little ones.

If this is the standard that Park and company aspire to, we hope they pull another out of the hat, soon.

(Date published: 10/06/05)

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