On Saturday I grabbed the Wallace & Gromit movie, Curse of the Were-Rabbit, on DVD. I missed it in the cinema even though most reviews seem to think that it’ll be a Best Animated Picture come next Sunday, but I’ve loved Aardman’s stuff since The Wrong Trousers way back in 1993. I’d seriously put Nick Park up there with John Lasseter and Hayao Miyazaki as one of the greats of modern animation.
Anyway, I thought the film was excellent. Maybe not the all-time classic that it’s been hailed as, but it’s by far the most impressive claymation that I’ve ever seen and the humour in it is absolutely great. Wallace is funny but as always the taciturn Gromit steals the show – even with nothing to emote with but body language and an eyebrow he has more personality than a lot of the generic CG characters that are being churned out. The scene in the image above has no dialogue at all (it’s rabbits and a dog, after all) but still manages to be extremely funny through music, slapstick, and Gromit’s cynical reactions.
One other thing that should be mentioned is that the DVD has a really great video transfer, and claymation seems to be a medium that likes DVD: the vivid colours of animation that can be shown off, but by nature of the fact that it’s three-dimensional none of the common issues of animated DVD transfers are present. The quality is good enough that you can see fingerprints on the models occasionally which actually helps to give it all some added personality and a “homebrew” feel. A great movie and well worth picking up.