Voices of Peter Sallis, Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham-Carter. Inventor Wallace and dog sidekick Gromit are at it again! A half-human, half-bunny beast tries to foil Wallace's latest invention, the Anti-Pesto, which humanely vacuums pests from the garden so they are unable to destroy prize-winning veggies. Animated. 2005/color/85 min/G.
A decade after their last hilarious short, the Oscar-winning A Close Shave
, Claymation wonders Wallace and Gromit return for a full-length adventure. Daffy scientist Wallace (voiced by Peter Sallis) and his heroic dog Gromit are doing well with their business, Anti-Pesto, a varmint-hunting outfit designed to keep their English town safe from rabbits chomping on prized vegetables. Wallace meets Lady Tottington (Helena Bonham Carter), who appreciates Wallace's humane way of dealing with rabbits (courtesy of the Bun-Vac 6000), and sets up a rivalry with the gun-toting Victor Quartermaine (Ralph Fiennes, enjoying himself more than ever). Creator Nick Park, with co-director/writer Steve Box, delivers a story worthy of the 85-minute running time, although it stretches the act a bit; the formula plays better shorter, but the literally hand-crafted film is a joy to watch. Taking a chapter from classic horror films, a giant were-rabbit is soon on the prowl, and the town is up in arms, what with the annual vegetable contest close at hand. (Anyone who's seen the previous three shorts knows who saves the day.) Never content to do something simply when the extravagant will do, W&G's lives are filled with whimsical Rude Goldberg-style devices, and the opening number showcasing their alarm system is pure Aardman Animation at its finest. Even though there's a new twist here--a few mild sight gags aimed at adults--this G-rated film will delight young and old alike as Park, like team Pixar, seems incapable of making anything but an outstanding film. --Doug Thomas
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