Saturday, October 15, 2005

Wallace & Gromit

By now you know how this goes. While you were watching an obscure film noir, or maybe a more recent crime flick, I was at the mall watching a feature-length cartoon. Not only that, but the movie itself was preceded by another short animated cartoon featuring the penguins from Madagascar, which I confess I haven't seen. It was called The Madagascar Penguins in A Christmas Caper, so I suppose, what with the penguins getting above-the-title billing, that they were pretty popular in the earlier movie. I'm not sure I like Christmas shorts in October, but I thought it was pretty funny, another riff on the WWII escape movies that Chicken Run pulled off so wonderfully.

But I digress. I was going to talk about the W&G movie, which I thought was hilarious. The fellas (Okay, one fella and a dog) have set up a business called Anti-Pesto. It's a pest-control concern, of course, and the pests are the rabbits that are eating all the vegetables people are growing for the annual giant vegetable contest. There's romance (Wallace and Lady Tottingham), villany ("What ho!") voiced by Ralph Fiennes, a giant were-rabbit, and bows to every Universal horror movie ever made, not to mention a tip of the hat (I'm convinced) to Dastardly and Muttley in their Flying Machines. Plus plenty of jokes that sail over the heads of the kids in the audience but score big with the older guys. What's not to like?


Anonymous said...

A.O. Scott (no relation) has some particularly acute observations about the film in the NY Times, wherein he, rightfully, ranks Gromit with Keaton, Chaplin & Garbo.
Art Scott


Jayme Lynn Blaschke said...

Yeah, Dastardly & Muttley (who now have a DVD set out with all 17 "Catch that Pigeon" episodes available). But mostly Snoopy, as Gromit was flying a Sopwith Camel, if you noticed.

I meant to point this out to you last week, Bill. I knew you'd love it, what with all the classic Universal monster movie riffs. And Lisa just about busted a gut at "Beware! The Full Moon!"