Movie Club: Wallace & Gromit Curse Of The Were-Rabbit

Discussion in 'Introductions & Off Topic' started by LiamABC, Jun 11, 2017.

  1. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    A big thanks to everyone that are joining us through all of this.

    This week, in honour of Peter Sallis who passed away a few days ago, we're doing another ROCKS-Movie Club tie-in, and watching the complete Wallce & Gromit. There were four animated shorts of about half an hour each, and one feature length adventure. The feature length adventure is "The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit".

    For the record, the duo's adventures were made in the following order:

    A Grand Day Out
    The Wrong Trousers
    A Close Shave
    THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT (feature length)
    A Matter Of Loaf & Death

    That said, there's not really any continuity points between the various different ones. You could probably watch them in any order and it wouldn't matter.

    Remember any ideas for films to discuss are most welcome, and should be made on the Movie Club Introduction thread (the sticky one).

    Just a friendly reminder to everyone that, whilst fans are obviously welcome to passionately discuss and give their views on these episodes, please remember to keep things on a friendly footing and respect your fellow posters.
    Also, please do not post where or how to find the full movie online. And do not post asking others to PM it to you. You are however allowed to watch the movie in whatever manner you want.
  2. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    This was a great movie. A really fun story that matched the tone of the animated shorts.
    The voice cast also did a wonderful job.
    I must get this movie along with the animated shorts for my DVD collection.
  3. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    Despite there only being four short features plus the movie, Wallace & Gromit are as beloved as some of the nation's favourite sitcom characters. Because of this, translating their (admittedly small) world of half-hour adventures into a 90min adventure for the big screen was always going to be difficult. A lot of sitcoms from the 1970s had movie adaptions, with very mixed results. To really work, you have to accomplish two things:

    1. The film must be consistent with the series.
    2. The storyline must be big enough to last the 90min or so.

    Basically, a movie adventure has to work like an extended episode. And that's tricky. Most films of classic sitcoms ticked one or the other box, but not both. The only one that did both was Porridge.

    This, then, was the challenge facing Nick Park when the decision was made to give Wallace & Gromit a full length big screen adventure. Arguably, it shouldn't have worked. But the thing about Wallace & Gromit that really is its secret weapon is the way it embraces the ridiculous. There are certain sequences in it that not many franchises can get away with. But this duo can. Wallace's inventions, which operate on the principle of "using a sledgehammer to crack a nut" are a classic example. Showing them in operation helps to fill out the time in a very entertaining way, and they always have significance in the plot. There is nothing gratuitous about any of it. And that's what works.

    What worked in the shorts but which they did have to change for this was the size of the cast. In the first two adventures, Peter Sallis as Wallace was the only member of the cast, and in the other two there was only one other star. For a feature-length adventure, this was never going to work, they had to flesh it out with a whole cast of characters. This would either make or break the movie. It worked magnificently. This principle was also adopted in 1954 by Alfred Hitchcock when he made "Rear Window", an adaption of a short story. In the original story it was only the hero and the murderous neighbour, in the film there's lots of other neighbours that the hero gets to spy on, and a few other characters who visit him in his apartment. But I digress.

    The vegetable contest/village fete thing is one of the most quintessentially English of concepts, and as such worked perfectly for Wallace & Gromit. They had lots of customers for their humane pest control service, thereby solving the problem of how to add characters to the format. The horror pastiche, the "Were-Rabbit" was a perfect parody of the old style horror films, in a way that was child-friendly. The identity of the eponymous beast too is also eyebrow-raising.

    I read somewhere something saying Gromit's silent action sequences have been compared favourably with Buster Keaton, and while I'm no expert on silent movies (or horror films), I can see how this has arisen. Gromit is indefatigable. The very fact that he doesn't speak means his expressions say it all, making him in effect a silent star anyway. And the movie contains my favourite moment of the whole series. When Gromit and the villain's dog Philip engage in their aerial combat, using a dogfight plane ride in the fairground, and the planes actually do fly and attack each other, my favourite moment is here. There comes a point when they are fighting on just one plane, and suddenly the time runs out from the coin - both dogs had to insert a coin to power their planes - and instead of carrying on the fight paw-to-paw, they halt, and both search in their purses for the right coin to power the plane! Gromit doesn't have the right change, but Philip manages to pull the right coin out from his purse - a very effeminate purse for a very brutal dog, makes you wonder if he's over-compensating for something!

    I could go on, but I think I've made my point. This film is great. Wallace & Gromit are great. I really ought to get the lot on DVD.
    Mark M likes this.

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