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Movies Review

Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit

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Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit
Directors: Steve Box, Nick Park
Starring: Peter Sallis, Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter, Peter Kay
Running time: 85 mins
Certificate: U

Having won the nation's hearts, critical acclaim and a clutch of awards with A Grand Day Out, The Wrong Trousers and A Close Shave, claymation duo Wallace and Gromit now appear in their debut feature-length project, Curse of the Were-Rabbit.

As the movie opens we find that the inventor and his faithful pet have set up a successful humane pest control business called Anti-Pesto to control a horde of adorable bunnies running amok in their neighbourhood. Unfortunately for the village, the pair’s luck inconveniently runs out just days before the annual Giant Vegetable Competition when a great bounding Were-Rabbit enters the scene. Local aristocrat and lover of all things fluffy Lady Tottington (Bonham Carter) calls upon Wallace (Sallis) and Gromit to humanely rid the village of the problem, whilst persuading her suitor, gun-toting Victor Quartermaine (Fiennes), from imposing a more final solution.

Following the successful receipt of 2000’s Chicken Run, DreamWorks Animation have again collaborated with Aardman Animations on the venture. Although this could potentially have lost the quintessential Englishness of Nick Park’s beloved shorts, thankfully it couldn't be further from the truth. As soon as the theme music starts up and the camera pans across a variety of photographs depicting our heroes' previous exploits, we know that we can expect the same charm and humour as before.

Curse of the Were-Rabbit features a wide range of humour to suit everyone. Kids will be kept happy by the superb animation and creative slapstick sequences, whilst adults get treated to a number of instances of innuendo as Tottington shows off her 'produce', and a multitude of popular culture references, with the whole film parodying Hammer horror movies.

Ten years after A Close Shave, Curse of the Were-Rabbit is five years in the making, with each day of painstakingly detailed animation yielding a matter of seconds of footage for the movie. Visually, it really shows. The animation has progressively improved in each of the pair's outings and this film is easily the most visually impressive of them all, though the fact that finger-marks occasionally grace the characters’ faces give a refreshing reminder of where it all started.

The voice acting is always solid by the cast, who are clearly having fun in their roles. Alongside the familiar Peter Sallis as Wallace, Helena Bonham Carter and Ralph Fiennes stand out with their suitably melodramatic over-the-top performances. That said, it is a credit to the animators that the mute Gromit is the most emotive and entertaining of all the characters.

Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit is a treat for everyone, with its clever storyline, hilarious brand of humour and fantastic animation bound to please all.

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