Wallace and Gromit: A Matter of Loaf or Death
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I would NOT get this single-disc release, though, because it is a cropped full-frame (1.33:1) when the movie itself was animated in widescreen. The documentary on the making of the movie is in anamorphic widescreen, and often reveals how cramped some of the cropped shots are. It seems that the 4-disc DVD complete collection is in full-frame as well. The Blu-ray of the Complete Collection presents this movie in its proper widescreen format (as well as "A Close Shave"), and should be the one you buy if you have a choice. The Blu-ray remasters the original shorts as well, and they look spectacular.
Although the package states that the running time is 87 minutes, the actual feature is only about 30 minutes. Also included is a "making of" segment, and a "Shaun the Sheep" episode, so counting all three of these probably is how the 87 minutes were derived.
So, I popped the DVD into the player, gathered the wife and kiddies around (the kids are only two and four years old, but they love Wallace and Gromit), and we watched the feature. It was funny, and the animation was great, as usual. However, it was more violent than previous entries, and I felt a bit uncomfortable at some of the scenes as my two and four year old watched them, particularly with regards to how Gromit and another dog are mistreated. The kids didn't have any problems or get scared, but you may want to watch the feature first before showing it to your young children. Its mostly cartoonish violence, but the other dog's owner, Miss Piella Bakewell, is a bit mean.
But I'm pleased with my purchase, and strongly recommend A Matter of Loaf and Death. This is probably not the best DVD to get if you've never seen Wallace and Gromit before ... you should start with the original 3 shorts ... but its a "must have" if you're a Wallace and Gromit afficionado like myself.
I was out shopping for a pack of batteries when I saw a new Wallace and Gromit DVD on the shelf. Didn't know Nick Park had done anything since The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, so I quickly investigated. The front of the package said "All New Animated Feature" and the running time said 87 minutes. Now "feature" to me means a full-length presentation (as in "our feature presentation")... a short might be called a featurette. So I assumed this was more than just a 30-minute short (which is what it actually is). They must have totalled all of the supplemental clips on the disc to get that "87 minute" total time. Nice.
Also, since I couldn't find a widescreen copy anywhere in the stacks, I guessed that this had been animated full screen. Wrong. Lion's Gate apparently decided to release only a butchered pan-and-scan version of the short. I didn't know anyone still did that these days. How ignorant.
While I'm sure this short is fun, it went back to the store unopened. I'll wait for a better version to show up someday.
My family and I are long-time lovers of "Wallace and Gromit", but we just hated "Loaf and Death". Someone on the production team apparently felt that W&G needed a 'dark and edgy' upgrade to appeal to a wider demographic, so "Loaf and Death" was created with all the basic plot points of "Close Shave", but with the violence and insanity ramped up to 11, and with all the charm sucked out with nary a backward glance.
"Close Shave" was fun and amusing because, despite the potentially dark subject matter of sheep being stolen in a nefarious plot to grind them into dog meat, (a) nobody ever got seriously hurt (including the villain, due to a timely Made of Steel revelation), and (b) the plot was so over-the-top amusing, with hilarious moments that burned indelibly into the memory: most memorably the "organized" motorcycle riding sheep.
"Loaf or Death" has none of those amusing moments, despite a few throw-away jokes. The story is immediately darker than "Close Shave", as human bakers in the area have been murdered in a recent crime spree. The lady of the hour, Wallace's new love, is of course the culprit - and the movie makes no bones about the fact that she is incredibly insane (filling her bedroom with wooden clothes models, wearing the baker hats of her dead lovers) and that she is abusing her French poodle. Yes, you read that right - the "Shaun the Sheep" of this movie is a pretty girl poodle who is openly abused by her mistress - even being hit so hard with a shovel that she leaves a cartoon 'outline' in the shovel. Ha, ha, ha, I'm not laughing. In yet another "funny" moment, Wallace's insane fiance bites her own arm in order to incriminate Gromit - the scene is way more disturbing than it sounds.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
ANOTHER WALLACE AND GROMIT WINNER! These 2 lovable characters are wonderful - the shows are funny and heartwarming. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Barbara Hegedus
Not my favorite but funny with British humor just the same.Published 7 months ago by Norma F. Gillespie
Typical Wallace and Grommet, but not as good as the Were-Rabbit. Shorter and not as interesting, but I always enjoy the stop-motion work they put into these films. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Speach60
I have all of Wallace and Gromit's short and full-length feature films and love all of them...except for this one. This story's okay, but the least of my favorites. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Trish M.
Grandson with autism. Fixated on only a few things at a young age.Published 15 months ago by Angela Lowe Griffith