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

From its opening frame, Wallace and Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit elicits chuckles from around the theatre. Nick Park’s endearing creations are at their finest here in a first feature film.

Wallace and his loyal dog Gromit now have a thriving pest control business, Anti-pesto, in which they use humane methods to rid gardens of veggie-loving bunnies. The annual Giant Vegetable Competition is rapidly approaching and Wallace and Gromit are the heroes of the town. With their signature enthusiasm and inventiveness, the average rabbit hasn’t a chance.

Alas, the Were-Rabbit is no average carrot-muncher. It’s a huge, ravenous beast, intent on attacking vegetables and crushing anything in its path. It appears just before the competition and each night goes on a rampage through radishes, trashing turnips and pinching prize pumpkins. Lady Tottington entrusts Wallace and Gromit with the important task of catching the elusive monster before the Competition, but no-one guesses how dangerous this assignment might be.

The creators of Chicken Run and the Wallace and Gromit shorts, Nick Park and Steve Box have hit on a winning combination of a great story and perfectly developed characters. Even though it’s ten years since their last adventure, anyone who knows Wallace will remember his penchant for tinkering in the garage and his love of cheese. Although Gromit doesn’t speak, his facial expressions, loyalty and canine cunning, reveal his character just as beautifully. Even new characters like Lady Tottington (Helena Bonham Carter) and her fianc√© Victor (Ralph Fiennes), blend seamlessly in with the old favourites and get their share of the best lines.

Wallace and Gromit translate well to the longer feature format with plenty of plot twists and plasticine action to maintain the pace over the hour and a half. The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit took five years to make and was certainly worth the effort. There are many laugh-out-loud moments for kids and adults alike, although some of the cheekier jokes are designed to go over young heads. Nick Park has surpassed himself with this film. Without question, The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit is even better than Chicken Run.