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Friday, October 22, 2010

Movie #10: Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)

"What ho! Heard you had a spot of rabbit bother."



"Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit" is a delightful, funny movie that is suitable for the entire family. If you haven't seen this yet, do yourself - and your children - a favor and watch it.

Family-Friendliness


  • Rating: G

  • Minimum Recommended Age: 5.5 (Common Sense Media: "On for ages 7 and up", Movie Mom: K-3rd Grades, Kids First! Recommended Age: 8-18, Kaboose: ages 2-5)

  • Quality Rating: 86% (Parent Previews Overall Grade: B+, Common Sense Media: 4 stars, Kids Pick Flicks Grade: A, Rotten Tomatoes rating: 8.1)

  • Number of Lists Recommend: 6

  • Sex/Violence/Profanity:
    Language includes "idiot", "blundering nitwits", "flippin' vegetable competition", "Someone arsin' around", "You're mental", "tiny-minded buffoons", "fluffy-headed bunny-lover", "puddle-headed peasant", "Silly old fool", "I’ll never fix this flippin' machine", "If we must do this flipping veg show, let's do it in an orderly
    and law-abiding fashion", "Kiss my ar... tichoke", "blithering idiot", "Stupid interfering mutt", and "Potty poo".

    Kids-In-Mind:

    A nude man stands with a box wrapped around his waist and the sign on the box reads "May contain nuts." A woman stands behind two melons (at the height of her chest) and strokes them while saying, "he has never shown any interest in my produce." A man says, "look at my wife's brassicas" (referring to a vegetable) and she holds up two heads of cauliflower. A man dangles from a weather vane, his pants are pulled down and his bare buttocks are shown.

    Screen It!:

    As Lady Tottington shows Wallace her vegetables, she says that Victor has never shown any interest in her produce (all as the camera shot has some veggies in front of her chest like breasts -- but nothing explicit). She then says that she's going to show him something no man has ever seen before. Wallace is somewhat taken aback by that comment, but she's talking about her giant carrot (although she comments on its "silken flesh," etc.).

  • Running Time: 85 minutes

  • What does it have to do with Halloween? Many pumpkins and a few jack-o-lanterns are seen

Summary


It's 'vege-mania' in Wallace and Gromit's neighborhood, and our two enterprising chums are cashing in with their humane pest-control outfit,... It's 'vege-mania' in Wallace and Gromit's neighborhood, and our two enterprising chums are cashing in with their humane pest-control outfit, "Anti-Pesto." With only days to go before the annual Giant Vegetable Competition, business is booming, but Wallace & Gromit are finding out that running a "humane" pest control outfit has its drawbacks as their West Wallaby Street home fills to the brim with captive rabbits. Suddenly, a huge, mysterious, veg-ravaging "beast" begins attacking the town's sacred vegetable plots at night, and the competition hostess, Lady Tottington, commissions Anti-Pesto to catch it and save the day. Lying in wait, however, is Lady Tottington's snobby suitor, Victor Quartermaine, who'd rather shoot the beast and secure the position of local hero -- not to mention Lady Tottington's hand in marriage. With the fate of the competition in the balance, Lady Tottington is eventually forced to allow Victor to hunt down the vegetable chomping marauder. Little does she know that Victor's real intent could have dire consequences for her and our two heroes.

Watch Out For


Common Sense Media:
Parents need to know that the movie includes some mildly scary images of the were-rabbit's transformation -- first in shadow and then in person. These images follow the werewolf pattern, with teeth, fur, paws, and snout indicating the beast's emergence. The townsfolk and one hunter in particular pursue the were-rabbit, with guns and garden tools (again, following classic horror conventions, as in Frankenstein). Characters drink at a party, and make occasional bawdy, Benny-Hillish sexual references, most of which will go over little ones' heads.

IMDB:
As Wallace transforms into the Were-Rabbit (growing bigger, his hands and feet turning into paws, etc.) that might be somewhat unsettling or maybe even scary to very young kids (but others will probably enjoy it, especially seeing the result of a big, lumpy rabbit wearing a small bowtie). Wallace gets his head stuck in a machine with a rabbit. Characters fall off a roof. An unseen character sneaks up on and frightens a man in a dark church. A man chases a rabbit and tries to shoot it. Gromit picks up a sharp knife, and, as suspenseful music plays, he sharpens it, lifts it up, and slams it down, but he is just chopping a carrot

The whole movie has a "horror" feel to it. Even though it is geared towards kids and is rated G, doesn't mean that your kid will not have nightmares. Gromit chases the Were-Rabbit across town (while connected by a wire. That means that wherever the Were-Rabbit goes, Gromit follows helplessly which that may scare kids alone) and into a hole which is dark and creepy. Although there is comic relief that flows through the film, you might want to think twice before taking a young one to it.

Movie Mom:
Parents should know that although this movie is rated G, some scenes of peril may be too intense for younger children. One character is a hunter who uses guns. There is brief crude humor, including a bare behind.

Kids First!:
There are some slight sexual innuendos but they certainly go over the kids' heads.

Parents Television Council:
Includes some intense scenes during the pursuit of the Were-Rabbit. Victor Quartermaine's bare buttocks are visible in a shadow when his pants are caught on a weathervane.

Parent Previews:
The only real concerns include moments of peril (which may frighten young viewers), a couple of near-swears, some mild sexual innuendo and a "mooning" male posterior. I found the latter two to be a bit of a disappointment from a series that has always been clean of such content in the past.

Screen It!:
Despite the rating, the film may push that in some parents' eyes. That includes one bit of brief, British-based profanity (while various colorful phrases are also uttered) and some relatively benign innuendo and other sexually related visual gags, implied nudity and the brief view of an animated man's bare butt (as he spins around on a pole with his pants coming down).























Talk About It


Common Sense Media:
Families can talk about the enduring friendship between Wallace and his dog Gromit. How is this relationship a model of loyalty, trust, and affection set against the conniving and pettiness among the humans? And how is their friendship briefly threatened by Wallace's romantic interest in Lady Tottington (who ends up being a terrific good sport too)? How does the film set up a nice tension between the very cute rabbits who are, admittedly, gobbling up the town's vegetable gardens and the monstrous were-rabbit?

Movie Mom:
Families who see this movie should talk about which of Wallace's inventions they might like to try or what he should make next. And they might like to try to make a claymation film (Park began making films at home when he was 12) or maybe grow their own vegetables!

Kids-in-Mind:
Mind manipulation, brain alteration, dieting, dealing humanely with vermin, humane treatment of animals, hunting, greed, loyalty, friendship, competition, mercy, primitive nature.

Of Note


  • Won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, along with numerous other awards
  • Each character needed several versions to cover a range of emotions and poses. There were 43 versions of Gromit, 35 Wallaces, 16 Victor Quartermaines and 15 Lady Tottingtons, as well as 20 differently shaped mouths. A single line of dialog of only a few words could take a whole day to animate.
  • The film required 2.8 tons of Plasticine in 42 colors and 1000 baby-wipes per week to wipe it off animators' fingers.
  • The film took five years to make.
  • The Were-Rabbit had an internal mechanism that allowed the animators to move the model with minimal touching of the fur covering, thus avoiding the tell-tale impressions left by their fingers.

Trailer




The Making of the Were-Rabbit




At the Movies Review


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