WALLACE AND GROMIT: THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT. 2005. DIRECTED BY NICK PARK AND STEVE BOX. STARRING PETER SALLIS, HELENA BONHAM CARTER, RALPH FIENNES, NICHOLAS SMITH AND LIZ SMITH. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©
This stop-motion animation film is a delight. If you’ve ever been a fan of AARDMAN STUDIOS creation SHAUN THE SHEEP, then you’ll most likely dig Wallace and Gromit, the English man-and-dog combination who adore all varieties of cheese and invent the maddest gadgets and doo-hickeys in their spare time.
They live in a pretty, picturesque little English country village peopled with humorous caricatures like the dotty English vicar and working men in their shirt-sleeves and get themselves into sticky situations and hilarious scrapes galore. This film is no exception to that rule.
This time around, the sticky situations involve rabbits, if you please. Many, many rabbits. Let me explain. The Great Big Giant Vegetable Competition is happening soon in the village, and the villagers are going nuts because dozens of rabbits are chowing down on their precious vegetables.
If you knew how attached the English are to their village fêtes in which the biggest, shiniest, most succulent-looking slug-free veggies and the biggest, bestest roses win rosettes and trophies, then you’d know exactly how catastrophic this turn of events is for the townspeople.
In this case, the coveted prize is The Silver Carrot. We get the distinct impression that the villagers would sell their souls, never mind their grannies, to take home this not inconsiderable hunk of metal and stick it on the mantelpiece for the neighbours to admire and eat their hearts out over. The stakes then, as you can see, are high. Dangerously high…
Posh Lady Tottington of Tottington Hall is particularly concerned that the floppy-eared little blighters- the rabbits, that is, not the villagers- be dealt with humanely. Her posh, trigger-happy twit of a toupee-wearing suitor, Victor Quartermaine, wants to send the poor creatures to ‘bunny heaven,’ which does not meet with Lady T’s approval at all.
Wallace and Gromit, who together make up the ANTI-PESTO company, assure the villagers that they have the matter in hand. While working on a method designed to cure bunny rabbits of their desire to munch veggies, however, the pair make a rather disastrous boo-boo. Wallace is accidentally turned into a furry abomination known as The Were-Rabbit. He has an enormous appetite and his attentions are firmly fixed on the delicious Vegetable Competition Veggies…
The animation- or ‘claymation’- is visually gorgeous. The whole thing is so deliciously English in effect that it’s a bit like watching an episode of popular murder mystery drama, MIDSOMER MURDERS, except it’s animated and there aren’t really any murders, as such.
I enjoy it particularly because I’ve always had a not-so-secret desire to live in a pretty house next to a genuine English village green, where chaps play cricket and stand around nibbling on strawberries and cream and drinking cups of tea out of fine china cups when the weather permits. There’s nothing more English than Wallace and Gromit, so if that’s what you like you’ll be in for a jolly nice treat.
There are some great sight gags too, such as the cheese-loving Wallace having EAST OF EDAM, WAITING FOR GOUDA, FROMAGE TO ETERNITY and GRATED EXPECTATIONS in his bookcase. A little something for him to browse when he’s not flicking through the pages of ‘AY-UP’ magazine. (Instead of ‘HELLO’ magazine, see?) It’s just a nice, warm cosy little film that’ll leave you feeling good about life, and which of us doesn’t need a bit of that…?
AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based performance poet, novelist, film blogger, sex blogger and short story writer. She has given more than 200 performances of her comedy sex-and-relationship poems in different venues around Dublin, including The Irish Writers’ Centre, The International Bar, Toners’ Pub (Ireland’s Most Literary Pub), the Ha’penny Inn, Le Dernier Paradis at the Trinity Inn and The Strokestown Poetry Festival.
Her articles, short stories and poems have appeared in The Metro-Herald newspaper, Ireland’s Big Issues magazine, The Irish Daily Star, The Irish Daily Sun and The Boyne Berries literary journal. In August 2014, she won the ONE LOVELY BLOG award for her (lovely!) horror film review blog. She is addicted to buying books and has been known to bring home rain-washed tomes she finds on the street and give them a home.
She is the proud possessor of a pair of unfeasibly large bosoms. They have given her- and the people around her- infinite pleasure over the years. She adores the horror genre in all its forms and will swap you anything you like for Hammer Horror or JAWS memorabilia. She would also be a great person to chat to about the differences between the Director’s Cut and the Theatrical Cut of The Wicker Man. You can contact her at: