Indecent Digit: FAMILY FUN TIME: Move Over Bunnicula

Thursday, February 02, 2006

FAMILY FUN TIME: Move Over Bunnicula

Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
Dreamworks Animation/Aardman Animation 2005

It seems as though computers have taken over the world. With the advent of each new year, the human race becomes more beholden to them than it was the year before. While some of the advances have been beneficial, the ever growing digital dependence we seem to be developing does have some serious drawbacks. A perfect example of this is the demise of traditional forms of animation. Checking the animated film releases for the past few years it is easy to see that what was once a novelty (and a risk) for animators and studios has become the lifeblood of the industry. Hell, even the once great Disney has chosen to shut down its hand animation department to focus on computer driven projects. Perhaps it is this lack of more traditional animation in the marketplace that helps to add to the wonder and charm of Nick Park's latest animated effort "Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit". The love and attention to detail that Park and his team bring to the screen is evident in every frame of this stop motion beauty in ways that would never have been possible in a computer animated release.

For those not familiar with the Wallace and Gromit short films (shame on you), Wallace (voiced by Peter Sallis) is a good natured inventor and cheese lover, while Gromit is his ever faithful, and silent, dog and clearly the real brains of the pair. In "Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit", the first full-length animated film from Park et al to feature the duo, the entrepenurial man and dog have opened a pest control business named Anti-Pesto in their small British town in order to help curb the destruction of the local vegetable gardens. Seeing as the 517th Annual Giant Vegetable Fetstical is just around the corner, the business is booming. Everyone is using their high-tech humane vermin control methods, and everyone is satisfied. Even the slightest disturbance to the heavily protected produce triggers wonderful Rube Goldberg alarm systems in Anti-Pesto's headquaters, springing our heroes into action. Things only start to go awry when local aristocrat, animal lover and vegetable enthusiast Lady Tottington (Helena Bonham Carter) calls upon Anti-Pesto to relieve her of a rabbit problem so the above mentioned festival can take place on her estate as planned. As a result of the job, Wallace finds himself with more rabbits than he can deal with, inspiring him to brainwash the bunnies to get them to stop wanting to eat vegetables at all. So as to not ruin any of the fun, we'll just say that his plan backfires, and it's up to Gromit to clean up the ensuing chaos.

To say that this movie is filled to the brim with wondrous things to see would be an understatement. It is one of those rare films that will offer up new things to see and gags to entertain you with every viewing. Whether it's the things hidden in the background by the creators (check out the titles of Wallace favorite books), the constant references to classic horror films (you Hammer Horror fans will be delighted), or just the visible fingerprints in the Plasticine used to create the stop motion models, the details imbedded in this film are infinitely rewarding. Luckily, the DVD release of this gem will give us the chance to watch over and over to our heart's content. If you're a fan of stop motion animation, Britain and it's dry humor, classic horror films, or fun, you have to see "Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit". You will not be let down.

DVD Release Date: 02.07.2006

DVD Special Features:
1. English & French DD5.1 Surround
2. English & Spanish DD2.0 Stereo
3. English SDH, English, French and Spanish subtitles
4. Cracking Commentary - Audio commentary with director/writer Steve Box and director/writer Nick Park
5. Deleted Scenes with optional commentary
6. How Wallace & Gromit Went To Hollywood - Learn how Wallace & Gromit grew from the imagination of Nick Park and became Academy Award winning stars.
7. Behind the Scenes of 'The Curse of the Were-Rabbit' - Enjoy a rare look into how these lovable characters were brought to life.
8. A Day in the Life at Aardman - Experience a day of production at the famed Aardman Studios as seen through the eyes of a crewperson.
9. How to Build a Bunny - A unique look at how the clay bunny models were assembled using time-lapse photos.
10. Stage Fright - View this award-winning short film with an insightful commentary by its creator, Steve Box.
11. The Family Album - Colourful production stills of the elaborate sets and meticulous character development.
12. Dreamworks Kids - A variety of fun-filled, engaging interactive games and creative activities.


Blogger LGG said...

And as you watch this film, try to take a moment of silence to honor the memory of each and every model that you see on the screen. Shortly after the film was released to wide commercial and critical acclaim, a fire at Ardman destroyed ALL of the sets and models to -- not only this film -- but EVERY Wallace and Grommit film. An absolute tragedy...

4:36 PM  
Blogger Mr. Biscuits said...

It was my understanding that the stuff for this film where not in the fire, though it does not lessen the tragedy to have lost everything else.

9:22 PM  
Blogger LGG said...

Any idea if one can purchase their earlier films (EG: "Creature Comforts") on any format?

1:07 PM  
Blogger Mr. Biscuits said...

You can in fact get the three W&G shorts, Chicken Run, and Creature Comforts on DVD.

6:58 AM  

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