on September 21, 2005
First off, I'm a crazy Wallace & Gromit fan. I love all the films that Nick Park and Aardman have made for these characters. This DVD, however, does not do justice to the movies.
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.
on January 4, 2000
First, the basics. Nick Park: British clay animator and all-around brilliant chap. Wallace: Kindhearted but hapless inventor known for gently hairbrained ideas. Gromit: Long-suffering but intrepid dog whose facial expressions say it all.
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.
on September 13, 2000
This set includes all three Wallace And Gromit films, which have won a slew of well-deserved awards. The animation is charming, and the attention to detail is impressive. As you watch the videos again and again you keep noticing more little details you missed before--most are witty or inside jokes or references that you'll catch if you pay attention. The characters are beloved for a reason--Wallace is neurotic and obsessive in charming Brit style, and Gromit is brilliant, sarcastic, and parental. 'The Wrong Trousers' and 'A Close Shave' are my favorites--these two have the best plots, the funniest twists, and the best character development (the evil penguin and bully bulldog had me rolling!). You can't help but fall in love with Wallace And Gromit, and you'll probably join the rest of us addicts begging for another installment and buying up every piece of witty merchandise you can get!
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!)
on November 29, 2005
I give the ORIGINAL Wallace and Gromit shorts a 5 stars! They are funny, intelligent, wry, and perfect for persons of any age.
I wish I had read the excellent Wallace and Gromit review above by Mr. J. Lee (first review when I posted my comments) before purchasing this DVD. I was very dissapointed with the editing imposed on the originals by Dreamworks.
To add to Mr. Lee's list of edits to "The Wrong Trousers" I also noted that Dreamworks deleted an early scene in "A Close Shave" where the sheep go into the mincer and then get packaged as Preston Dog Food. These deletion results in "A Close Shave" being a bit incoherent at the conclusion due to the lack of reference to this earlier scene!
Shame on Dreamworks! I can only hope to locate a version of the undedited Wallace and Gromit shorts on DVD somewhere and sometime!
on August 30, 2005
First of all, let me just say that the above rating in no way indicates how I feel about the "Wallace & Gromit" shorts, all of which are superb pieces of animation.
My rating applies only to this slipshod DVD release, obviously intended to capitalize on the upcoming W&G "Curse of the Were-Rabbit" feature, and lacking all of the wonderful extras of the previous BBC version.
Gone are the Nick Park commentaries, the behind-the-scenes featurettes or the cute scrapbooks or photo galleries. In fact the only "behind-the-scenes" material collected on this disc applies to programs OTHER than the main W&G films. A true disappointment.
So, my advice is ignore this release and do your best to track down the old version. It will be well-worth the money.
This video contains the collection of the first three "Wallace and Gromit" claymation cartoons. The shorts are around thirty minutes each and were directed by the brilliant Nick Park (the guy responsible for CHICKEN RUN). All three shorts were nominated for Academy Awards, and THE WRONG TROUSERS and A CLOSE SHAVE both won Oscars.
A GRAND DAY OUT is the middle feature on the video, but was the first Wallace and Gromit short. The film introduces the characters of Wallace, a somewhat absent-minded inventor, and his faithful (and more reasonable) dog, Gromit. Wallace loves cheese, but one day finds that the house is completely empty of the food (look for the cool mice in the basement; maybe they ate it). Since it's a holiday, the two were looking to take a trip and Wallace decides they need to go where there is a lot of cheese. Everybody knows the moon is made of cheese so the duo builds a rocket to the moon for a grand day out.
THE WRONG TROUSERS is by far the best of the three shorts. It's full of comedy, mystery, and suspense and has one of the best chase scenes in modern film history (there's nothing like a death defying race on a model train set). Though the stocks in Moon Cheese are soaring, Wallace and Gromit find themselves short on cash and are forced to take in a border. ...
THE CLOSE SHAVE isn't quite as good as THE WRONG TROUSERS, but it's still an amazing piece of animation. Wallace and Gromit have a window washing business and one oftheir best customers turns out to be a lady who owns yarn and wool shop and lives with a viscious looking dog. Sheep are being stolen all over the countryside. One of the little lambs escapes to W & G's abode and they do what they can to find out where the lamb came. However, along the way Gromit is framed for sheepnapping and sent to jail. Without his friend, Wallace is a mess and not even the little lady at yarn shop can cheer him, because things aren't always what they seem.
These cartoons are just awesome. The animation is amazing and the stories are great. A great way to spend thirty minutes or an hour and a half. Children enjoy these cartoons, but adults like them even more. Great family enterainment.
on July 1, 2002
What, one star for Wallace and Gromit? No, the one star is for this DVD release by Warner. Warner does not give you the original films unaltered. To give you an example, listen to the song in "The Wrong Trousers" when Gromit opens his birthday card. You should hear the song "Happy Birthday" (obviously), but you won't hear it on the Warner release (but that is what you hear with the earlier Fox release, both on DVD and VHS). Warner decided to not release these films in their original form; Nick Park must be furious! Obviously, Warner does not care about the integrity of the films, or the artistic intent of their creators.
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.
on June 26, 2000
This boxed set contains three adventures of Wallace and his dog, Gromit, by claymation wizard Nick Park. These are top-notch products, and at least one of them is an Oscar winner for best animated piece. The names of the three videos are: 1) The Wrong Trousers; 2) A Grand Day Out; and 3) A Close Shave. Each video runs for about 30 minutes, making them perfect options for times when you'd like to have the children watch something, but only for a short time.
In THE WRONG TROUSERS Gromit faces the intrusion of a penguin boarder who takes over his room, but there are more sinister things afoot -- a heist in the works, all made possible by techno-trousers Gromit receives for his birthday. There is drama, sadness, suspence, and lots of fun in this offering.
In the second video, A GRAND DAY OUT, Wallace and Gromit try to decide what to do with their holidays. Being cheese lovers they decide to build a rocket and go to the moon. You'll enjoy this space-age offering. I especially like the fact that Wallace went to the trouble of wallpapering the inside of their spaceship.
In the third video, A CLOSE SHAVE, Wallace meets the lovely Gwendolyn, daughter of an inventor. During the course of the movie Gromit is framed for a devious caper he doesn't commit, but it's sheep and Wallace to the rescue. Move over James Bond, this video boasts plenty of high stakes action, technology, and adventure.
These videos are engaging, creative, and fun! As you watch the videos you may wonder whether Wallace (the inventor) or Gromit (his dog) is the smarter. I do -- I think it's Gromit.
These videos are totally watchable -- no offensive language, violence, or other things to worry about. Excellent family entertainment -- I sometimes slip one of these videos in the VCR after the kids are in bed.
5 stars, but only because I can't award 6 or more.
From a long-time Wallage and Gromit fan, Alan Holyoak
on February 8, 2006
The CORRECT ORIGINAL MUSIC soundtrack is on the first DVD release "Wallace & Gromit: The First Three Adventures" (Green background cover) by CBS/FOX BBC HOME VIDEO. This is the same master used for the Laserdisc & VHS tapes. And this is the rare / out-of-print version to look for!
The change in music on the Dreamworks version does hurt one of the humorous segments.
The original release also has a 'making of The Wrong Trousers' segment plus some BBC christmas promos with Wallace & Gromit.
Much has been said about these great films, and I agree. I just wanted to add the note about which release has the correct audio.
on November 22, 2000
You have all 3 Wallace and Gromit cartoons in one package with this! Anybody interested in animation should see this. Nick Park (also known for Chicken Run and Creature Comforts) uses the Claymation technique (simmilar to The Nightmare Before Christmas) and I was reading 1 review which said his 1st movie, A Grand Day Out took 6 years to perfect. That explains why he has only made 3 films at this writing.
The 1st movie, A Grand Day Out, introduces Wallace, clever crackpot inventor in England who loves cheese, and his dog Gromit, the brains behind the two. Wallace invents a rocketship to take himself and Gromit to the moon (after all, the moon IS made out of cheese, isn't it?). They find out quickly that the "oven" they've been using to heat Wallace's moon-cheese is really a crater-skiing robot who doesn't take too kindly to their visit!
In the 1993 Academy Award winning The Wrong Trousers, Wallace gives Gromit a pair of walking trousers (designed to walk Gromit when Wallace has better inventions to think up!). Gromit feels ignored, especially after Wallace takes in a boarder, a mysterious penguin. Later, Gromit discovers the penguin is a notorious thief and makes plans to save himself and Wallace!
In the 1995 Academy Award winning A Close Shave, Wallace and Gromit go into the window washing business. When Wallace meets the sweet Wendoline (who owns a knitting business) and her evil dog Preston, Wallace invents the Knit-O-Matic, a yarn making machine which strips the wool of a whole flock of sheep as fast as you can say "Confound it, Gromit!". Then when Preston starts playing with the machine, trouble begins (and it's up to Gromit to save the day)!
Each one of these adventures is worth more than 1 view and I look forward to more Wallace and Gromit adventures (and other Nick Park produced efforts) in the future.