So I got to see Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit today at a matinee with my daughter. I'd planned on doing this a LOT sooner, but real life interfered (have to see about getting that fixed ...).
I've always been a huge fan of the W&G shorts, and part of me worried that the big screen debut wouldn't be able to measure up. I needn't have worried — this was a fun movie for (here comes the phrase) "kids of all ages."
If you've seen the trailer, you know the basic plot. Bunny problems are tormenting a small village, just before the big vegetable contest. Wallace and Gromit are "humane pest control" specialists, and everyone relies on them to keep their prize veggies safe. Suddenly, big problems — a huge, monster rabbit: the Were-Rabbit. The traps, sensors, etc. don't work — he's too big. And he has a huge appetite.
There's plenty of excitement and action for the kids, and there are some nods at the parents who bring their kids to see the movie(the majority of the last scene is a tribute to King Kong, for example). And there are some funny details in the background to notice (Gromit graduated from Dogwarts Academy).
The bad guy is genuinely bad — he hunts, he's trying to get a woman to marry him only because she's rich, and he looks down on the 'common folk' of the town. You just know he's going to get it in the end, it's just a matter of how. And the how is truly perfect.
If there's a message in this film, it's that violence doesn't always solve problems. Self sacrifice is appreciated. And all good people like fuzzy bunnies. At least, that's what my daughter got out of it.
She didn't like the fighting parts (they were too scary) — even though she had seen some of them on the computer thanks to ComingSoon.net. But the movie actually kept her attention for the entire time, which I was worried about.
In an era when animation means fast computers and CGI, it's refreshing to see a movie done the old fashioned way — the detail in the sets was incredible to see, and I can only imagine the time that was invested in them. It's a tragedy that so much of the work done for this film was lost when the warehouse burned.