Genre: Animated family horror spoof.
The pitch: In this film from Chicken Run's creators, inane inventor Wallace (voiced by Peter Sallis) and his silent, sensible dog, Gromit, face the limits of their humane pest-control business when an oversized rabbit-monster runs amok before their town's beloved vegetable competition.
Money shots: Like Batman, Wallace & Gromit gather their gadgets and swing into action. Like the Wolf Man, the Were-Rabbit transforms from a hapless human to a floppy-eared, cotton-tailed beast. Like Jaws, the Were-Rabbit tows Gromit's car through the streets and into a massive burrow. Like King Kong, the Were-Rabbit scales a building while Gromit flies to the rescue in a plane from an amusement park ride.
Best pun: The woolly headed vicar tells bullying hunter Victor Quartermaine (Ralph Fiennes) that the only way to kill the Were-Rabbit is with a bullet of "24-carat gold!"
Worst pun: A tie between Wallace asking Gromit, "What's up, dog?" and a gawker looking up at the Were-Rabbit and crying, "Stand back -- there may be a large rabbit dropping!"
Flesh factor: In gags that question the film's G-rating, the vicar shouts, "Beware the moon!" before the briefest glimpse of Victor's exposed bum. Later, the Were-Rabbit transforms into an unclad human form and puts on a box labeled "Cheese -- may contain nuts."
Coincidence?: Helena Bonham Carter provides the voice of animated love interest Lady Tottington just two weeks after the opening of Corpse Bride, in which she voiced Johnny Depp's animated love interest. Both films feature romantic triangles with guys named "Victor."
Better than the predecessors?: No. Aardman Animations' previous Wallace & Gromit short films -- especially the Oscar-winning "The Wrong Trousers" -- were instant classics of British whimsy and cinematic satire. Curse of the Were-Rabbit shows some of the strain of stretching their claymation adventures to feature length.
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