‘Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit’

By Richard Pulfer

“Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit” is a movie which moves perfectly in step with its doubled-edged audience of children and adults. The narrative fashions a whimsical world filled with goofy gadgetry, elaborate adventures and quirky characters, but simultaneously forges a script filled with witty jokes and clever homages.

Inventor Wallace (voiced by Peter Sallis) and his dog Gromit (who doesn’t speak or appear to have a mouth at all) represent Anti-Pesto, a joint venture of pest hunters who rid gardens of rabbits without actually hurting the big-eared culprits.

Anti-Pesto are heroes to the town, who looks to the inventor and his trusty canine to keep its prized vegetables safe as the anticipated giant vegetable contest approaches. Everyone in the town enjoys vegetables very much, except for Wallace, who nurses an unhealthy obsession with cheese.

Wallace sets out to fix his cheese problem and the local pest problem by reforming himself and the rabbits. Wallace plans to drain a rabbit, Hunch, of his addiction to vegetables, which he hopes to apply to himself.

A clever homage to the classic sci-fi movie “Forbidden Planet,” Wallace’s plan is an invitation for disaster. Soon a 20-foot rabbit is chewing up vegetables all over town, and Wallace and Gromit must face the consequences. Toss in the added complication of Wallace’s romantic interest Lady Tottington (Helena Bonham Carter) and his bitter rival Lord Victor Quartermain (Ralph Fiennes) and the trap is sprung for a roaring wild ride.

Beyond the over-the-top nature of the story, the dialogue also includes an abundant crop of jokes. From Lord Victor wasting his last remaining golden bullets to get the crowd’s attention to Gromit’s reactions to Wallace’s literally harebrained schemes, there is a surplus of humor which requires multiple viewings to catch all the jokes.

Although the claymation might appear somewhat simple compared to the CGI epics flooding the market, the film is a refreshing start to the Halloween season. The movie is worth the several years of production it took to make, and one hopes to see another Wallace and Gromit feature several years down the road.