My Opinion right after watching movie
My opinion right after watching Wallace and Gromit the Curse of the Were-Rabbit is that it is good, but I do not like or dislike the film. The story is pretty well set, the characters are likable though somewhat undeveloped, and it’s just a well-done movie, though I could not get as into it as the film wanted me to somehow.
Production started in 2001 and it took 5 years to make the film, and a day of work would amount to only 3 seconds being animated for the film. Let’s just say, DreamWorks got involved and sent them a bunch of notes for this film. They wanted there to be famous Americans in the film, and to be Wallace so there will be someone familiar for the western world, but Aardman refused, since they wanted to stick with Peter Sallis, who was Wallace in the shorts, so they got Helena Bonham-Carter for Totty and Ralph Fiennes for Lord Quartermine. Dreamworks wanted the film to be trendier (go figure) and wanted things to be more modern and american. To me it only makes sense why these two companies split soon after this movie; they are incompatible and DreamWorks has found their way of success that they were unbeknownst by in production of Chicken Run.
There are many versions of the characters that they used for different positions and emotions in the film. There was 43 versions of Gromit, 35 versions of Wallace, 16 versions of Victor Quartermaines, 15 versions of Lady Tottingtons, and 20 differently shaped mouths. They also got new eyes fr the characters every 2 months, so 2 months times 5 years equals a lot of eyes. There was also a lot of CGI used for effects and stuff in this film.
So the movie starts with them getting a signal that there is rabbit trouble in the home which wakes up Wallace (Peter Sallis) and Gromit to capture the rabbits. In the film, they run a rabbit control company called “Antipesto”. They do a job well done capturing the rabbit.
What they do with the rabbits is being them to their house and keep them in a pen in the basement where they take care of them. The morning after, they wake up and are at the breakfast table with Wallace thinking the hole he uses to leave his bed has “gotten smaller” and Gromit serves him a plate of vegetables, to Wallace’s chagrin. He tells Gromit to check on his vegetable that he’s going to enter in the contest so he can stuff his face with cheese. They get a call from Totty (Helena Bonham-Carter) to take care for a rabbit problem and as she hangs up, she is greeted by her suitor Quartermaine (Ralph Fiennes).
The duo show up and after realizing she meant many rabbits, they use this suction machine to capture all the rabbits, which happens right before Quartermaine shoots them down. Wallace accidentally sucks up Quartermaine and his wig, which makes him more than upset. He leaves like the pompous ass he is, and the two talk a bit. It is clear they like one another.
When they get home, Wallace comes up with the idea to brainwash the rabbits into not liking vegetables with his Mind Manipulation-O-Matic, the chagrin of Gromit. Wallace accidentally kicks a lever which causes a rabbit to get stuck on his head and the machine to malfunction.
So after Gromit and the rest of the townspeople caress their vegetables and go night-night, the entire town’s vegetables has been savaged and when Gromit wakes up, all the client’s alarms are beeping. Wallace is woken up and soon finds out about the event that happens last night. Them and the entire town are at city hall complaining about the fate of the vegetable contest and the rabbit issue. Totty says that they should give Antipasto another chance and since she is seen as an angel, everyone agrees.
That night, they decide to go catch the rabbit and Wallace tells Gromit to stay in the car while he fetches the rabbit. He is waiting there for a while, while he hears a bunch of noises and sees a shadow of a rabbit. He drives after it, which gets him nowhere. He is dragged through a hole which leads him back to his own home and sees big footprints. Wallace lectures him about leaving, while he continues to follow the footsteps which heads to the broken cage that Hutch (the rabbit that was tested) was in, making them think that he is the rabbit that is causing the chaos.
Gromit traps the rabbit and as he leaves the room, he sees that the footprints go past the bunny room and he follows it. The footprints turn human and lead to Wallace’s room, where he figures out that he is the monster rabbit.
Wallace goes to Totty’s home to tell her that the rabbit is captured. While he is there, his rabbit instincts start to come in, like eating flower and scratching his head with his feet. She shows him her garden and he is about to eat her vegetables, but Gromit (who followed him) stopped just in time.
They are in the car and Wallace is lecturing Gromit. They come across a dead-end and Wallace goes to pick up the tree, but Quartermaine shows up to beat the crap out of him, but he gets tossed like nothing after he starts turning into the wererabbit. He does not want Wallace to get with Totty because he himself only wants her money and now knows that Wallace is the wererabbit.
Soon enough, Wallace realizes he is the were-rabbit and Totty realizes that the monster is still out there and the show is off, and has no choice but for Quartermaine to kill the monster. She pays Wallace a visit, but us quickly shooed off and cries like a baby after she confesses her feelings for him and he avoids her so she wont see him transform. Quartermine breaks into the house while they escape to the vegetable competition, and he traps Gromit.
He goes tot he competition and tells the guard that the beast is not dead yet and that the competition will be the perfect bait. The were rabbit shows up and he is about to shoot it, but Gromit gets in the way and uses his vegetable as bait to get the were-rabbit away. Totty tries to not let Quartermaine use the metal as a golden bullet, but she is grabbed by the were-rabbit and brought to her garden. She soon realizes it is him by a wave -_-
Quartermaine shows up at her garden and she tries to tell him that they made a mistake, but he knows he did not and accidentally baits himself out about his plans and intentions of marrying her. She tells the rabbit to run and Quartermaine follows him after he pins Totty down. He is about to shoot Wallace, but Gromit’s plane blocks the shot, which causes it to fall. Wallace drops from the building to save Gromit, and they crash on the floor, with him “dying”. He wakes up and they are all happy. She gives Gromit the metal for his bravery and saving them.
In the epilogue, they turn her home into a bunny sanctuary, and she says goodbye to him and she hopes he stills visits. I’m shocked that they did not get together in the end. I wonder why that is.
The characters in the movie are not excellent, but decent. They are not the most developed (I have not watched the shorts), but there is some background knowledge on them. They get the job done.
This is Aardman, so the stop-motion animation is always great. I do think it is a notch below Chicken Little for a few reasons. One is that the movements in the characters are a bit more stiff in this movie, and the backgrounds are just eh. The character designs of some characters are a bit creepy, but they can be manageable. The effects are great though.
The music is not memorable at all. I don’t even think there are songs in it. The score gets the job done, I guess. You did an alright job Julian Nott.
Reception at Release
When this film was released on October 7th 2005, it opened at #1 in the box office, and dropped to #2 on its second week. Though the film opened string, it was a disappointment in the box office, with $56,110,897 domestically, and a worldwide total of $192,610,372. DreamWorks considers this a disappointment and the lack of money is one of the major reasons of the quickly approaching split between the companies on October 2006.
Critically, this film was praised, currently holding a 95% on Rotten Tomatoes. This film is even more acclaimed than Chicken Run (which is the reason why Best Animated Feature at the Academy Awards even exist). They liked it for its humor, animation, characters, adventure and a bunch of other things though there are a few that preferred the half-hour shorts. I personally do not think it deserves a 95% though. Just a bit lower.
When it comes to awards though,
This film is tied with The Incredibles and Kung Fu Panda as the animated films with the most Annie nominations, and won a bunch of awards. It was the Best Animated Feature for both the Annies and Academy Awards (they were up against Chicken Little and Madagascar. Also, there was no Pixar in 2005). They won annies for Best Storyboards, Production, Directing, Voice Acting, and so on. It also won a bunch of other local awards as well so in total, it received 29 awards.
Like Chicken Run, this film has a great reputation, though not the DreamWorks moneymaker, and that is the case for a few reasons. Firstly, Aardman have their own separate reputations from DreamWorks and they have creative control over their films so they are not directly attached to DreamWorks. And second, THEY ARE GOOD.
Story = 9/10
Characters = 7.5/10
Music = 7/10
Animation = 7.5/10