Wallace & Gromit in Three Amazing Adventures
DVD | Box Set
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Featuring the extraordinary clay animation of their Academy Award winning short films, Wallace & Gromit in Three Amazing Adventures takes the hilarious antics of Wallace, the lovably eccentric inventor, and Gromit, his savvy canine companion, to new heights of fun!
Plus, available for the first time on DVD, Wallace & Gromit In Cracking Contraptions - 10 mini-shorts featuring more of Wallace's zany inventions and the hilarious dilemmas they always create.
A Grand Day Out
Join the ultimate human-canine team as they blast off in a home-made rocket to see if the moon is really made of cheese.
The Wrong Trousers
Mild-mannered Wallace and his faithful dog, Gromit, end up in a train-top chase as they try to stop a diamond heist by a diabolical penguin.
A Close Shave
The cheese lover and his sidekick investigate the wildest, woolliest sheep rustling yarn ever made of clay.
There are fewer bonus features here than on the BBC DVD, but fans are still going to want it. Along with the three original shorts, 10 two-minute "Cracking Contraptions" produced in 2002 are featured; each one deals with a new invention and every one is a gem. None of the in-depth features or Nick Park commentaries made the cut this time. It's hardly a definitive DVD, but with 20 minutes of new programming, there's nearly 25% more of Wallace & Gromit for everyone to enjoy. --Doug Thomas
- Cracking Contraptions
- Cracking Contraptions: Behind the Scenes
- Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of The Were-Rabbit: Sneak Preview
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This is the third DVD release of the Wallace & Gromit films, and I can only assume that they did this now to tie into the approaching release of the new feature film. It doesn't seem like much effort has been put into the creation of this disc. The menus are very bland, the movie selection displays the films out of order (with A Close Shave in the middle) and there isn't a chapter selection option.
In terms of the films themselves, The Wrong Trousers has been altered, and that's what really bugs me. I think it has something to do with copyright laws, but several music tracks have been replaced with terrible-sounding substitutes. Gromit's birthday card plays a very non-birthday-card-sounding version of "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow" instead of "Happy Birthday To You". When the Penguin is listening to the radio, the songs "Happy Talk" and "How Much Is That Doggy In The Window" have been replaced with terrible, generic organ music that completely takes away the mood of the scenes. Consequently, the sound of Wallace humming "How Much Is That Doggy In The Window" the next morning has also been removed.
This bit may not bother most people, but for some reason all the soundtracks for the shorts are a semitone flat. I can only assume this is because the film was transferred at a slower rate.
The only really redeeming quality about this disc is the inclusion of all ten Cracking Contraption shorts, which have never been available on region 1 DVD before.
The bottom line: Get this DVD if you want the Cracking Contraption shorts. Otherwise, stick to your old VHS copies.
A Grand Day Out: Despite some immensely funny sight gags, this is ultimately kind of a lightweight. Pleasant, but weird and not as focused as the other two.
The Wrong Trousers: If Hitchcock made a claymation movie, it would be this. A perfect blend of suspense and comedy involving a mysterious penguin, a model train set, a daring jewel heist, and a pair of mechanical pants. Arguably one of the greatest short films in animation history.
A Close Shave: Not quite as brilliant as its predecessor, but still well-done and tons of fun. An action-adventure romp in which Wallace and Gromit discover a dastardly sheepnapping scheme. Includes an ingenious parody of a well-known American action film (to say any more would be telling.)
All in all: Well worth its high price. Pure entertainment you'll want to watch over and over.
If you do end up liking these videos, you should definitely get 'Creature Comforts' by Aardman productions--it's got a great Nick Park short, and three other great pieces. Plus, Chicken Run was great, too (though it was no Wallace and Gromit!)
Another problem with the Warner DVD is the fact that the animated menus for the films show scenes from the films, so that the surprise of them in the films is spoiled (not to mention the fact that it takes extra time to get to view the film). The plain menus in the Fox release do not give away anything in the films, so each scene is viewed without knowing in advance what is about to happen.
Naturally, Wallace and Gromit deserve five stars; there is really very little to add to what has already been said about them.
My advice: Buy a used copy of the Fox release instead. And complain to Warner for altering one of the greatest films ever made.