Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit (UK ; 85 min.)

directed by: Steve Box; Nick Park
starring: Peter Sallis; Ralph Finnes; Helen Bonham Carter
Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit
Chris says: "If you loved the earlier shorts, I can't imagine you'll be disappointed by this wonderful, long-awaited feature-length adaptation. It's true to the spirit of these beloved characters: you get all the expected Rube Goldberg-like contraptions, delightfully bad puns, Wallace cheese-worshiping and the most dynamic facial expressions you'll ever see on a silent clay canine. Here, it all comes together in a sly, genuinely thrilling homage to THE WOLF MAN. Practically each frame is packed with inventive, blink-or-you'll-miss-them sight gags and typically droll British humor that may appeal to adults more than children, but it never seems condescending or cheap like many American animated films that employ similar tactics. The two big celebrity voices (Helena Bonham Carter as the desired heroine, Ralph Fiennes as the dastardly villain) also fit in perfectly without seeming like distractions. Sympathetic to both rabbits and the vegetables they desire, this just edges out TIM BURTON'S CORPSE BRIDE for the year's best Halloween-friendly stop-motion animated epic. 5 cats"
Diane says: "My movie journal tells me that this is the first movie I've seen in over a month! What has happened to me? Living out here in the sticks (Ipswich, MA--50 mins from Boston) seems to be worse for movie-viewing than living in Billings, MT.

"I took my mother and father to see the new WERE-RABBIT flick. They both fell asleep. I would have too, were it not a point of pride to stay awake. While the visuals and the endearing characters were as good as expected, Dad and I were both disappointed in the story. As he said, 15 minutes of set-up, then 10 minutes before the movie ends, a rush to tie things up. I think this is true of animated films in general lately:
set-up, finale, and a lot of slapstick in between. I can think of three animated movies with a good plot in the last many years (not counting animé, which I don't usually see): IRON GIANT, MONSTERS INC., and TRIPLETS. Go on, change my mind! 2 cats."

Chris replies: " don't know how you can say WALLACE AND GROMIT doesn't have much of a plot (or how you could fall asleep)! I thought it was a clever, canny take-off on THE WOLF MAN. Yes, it overdoses on sight gags, but so do the earlier shorts, and it's a big part of their charm.

As for other good animated flicks (let's say this decade so far), I'll add THE INCREDIBLES, SPIRITED AWAY, and, in a sense, WAKING LIFE."

Hilary adds: "I quite enjoyed it, too! Solidly entertaining and charming without being nauseating and playing to the lowest common denominator.

"I had the fortune of seeing it on my recent visit to LA at the ArcLight theatre in the Cinerama dome -- very cool!"