After several impeccable short films featuring eccentric inventor Wallace and his even smarter dog, Gromit, Aardman finally gave us a feature-length adventure for the duo. Marking Curse of the Were-Rabbit from beginning to end is the series’ trademark cleverness (Wallace’s goofy gadgets being an extension of the animators’ own inventiveness in bringing the claymation pair to life), throwaway puns, and celebration of English quaintness.
Here, the cheese-loving inventor and the silent canine are running a pest-control business, protecting the townsfolk’s prized vegetable gardens from ravenous rabbits. But Wallace’s attempt to use technology to brainwash veggie-despoiling urges out of the bunnies results in the inadvertent creation of the title monster.
The resulting chills (with a tip of the hat to the classic Universal monster movies of the 1930s and ’40s) are suitable for wee viewers, while there’s plenty for adults that will go over kids’ heads. Not just jokes, but an appreciation for the craftsmanship of Nick Park, Steve Box, and the Aardman team, from the wondrous Gromit himself (who somehow manages to be even more expressive without a mouth) to the entire universe built to house Aardman’s claymation creations.