Prayer Focus
Movie Review

Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

Reviewed by: Keith Howland
CONTRIBUTOR

Better than Average
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Kids, Family
Genre:
Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Family
Length:
1 hr. 25 min.
Year of Release:
2005
Featuring: Peter Sallis, Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes, John Thomson, Peter Kay
Director: Steve Box, Nick Park
Producer: Carla Shelley
Distributor: Dreamworks Distribution Llc
Copyright, Dreamworks Distribution Llc
Copyright, Dreamworks Distribution Llc
Copyright, Dreamworks Distribution Llc
Copyright, Dreamworks Distribution Llc
Copyright, Dreamworks Distribution Llc
Copyright, Dreamworks Distribution Llc
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Dreamworks Distribution Llc

Something wicked this way hops.

Wallace is a peculiar person, and Gromit is an extraordinarily industrious dog. Through just three short films, they became internationally beloved stars and multi-Academy Award winners in the 1990s. And they are both plasticine. Now, ten years after their last adventure, they hit the big screen in their first feature film (not looking a day older).

Wallace (voice of Peter Sallis) is a prodigious inventor, but he lacks marketing sense, so he is repeatedly devising new occupations by which he and Gromit can keep themselves in cheese and bones. After returning from their quest for cheese on the moon in “A Grand Day Out” (1989), the lads tried renting a room (with fateful results) in “The Wrong Trousers” (1993), and then became window washers in “A Close Shave” (1995). Now, they have formed Anti-Pesto, a humane pest-control operation.

Their business is bustling, because their community is brimming with rabbits keen on eating the prize vegetables the locals are growing for their annual competition. The problem with humanely trapping rabbits, however, is that there is nowhere to put them. They are all simply kept in Wallace’s cellar, but that cannot last. So Wallace opts for a decidedly risky scheme: Using a new invention that controls brainwaves, he attempts to remove all thoughts of munching veggies from the rabbits’ little brains.

There is a glitch, however (has nobody learned from Frankenstein?), and soon the beastly Were-Rabbit hops madly about when the moon is full (which it appears to be every night).

Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit was made by Aardman Animations and the incredible Nick Park, who created the characters. As with their last feature, “Chicken Run”, the Aardman team has produced an astonishing work of motion picture art. The viewer can spend the full 90 minutes of the film marveling at the stop-motion animation, photography, lighting, specially made props and settings, and countless puns that fly by in the background-from Wallace’s selection of cheese-titled books to the letters on the buttons of the van’s radio. There is action, humor, and suspense in just about equal measure, and the adults should perhaps find more to laugh at than the children (especially all those puns).

It does seem, though, that 90 minutes does not suit Wallace and Gromit quite as well as 30 minutes. Their earlier adventures were told with considerable thrift, whereas this story seems unnecessarily protracted. Further, in stretching the scenario to feature length, the writers opted to broaden the scope of its humor. One expects jokes involving double entendre, belching, and underwear from Shrek, not from Wallace and Gromit. Add to this a little irreverence involving the character of the vicar, and the result is a film different in tone than the short films. It is as though Wallace and Gromit have lost some of their innocence, and there was never any need for them to lose it.

One thing thankfully does not change: Wallace gets himself and Gromit into trouble, and Gromit gets them out of it. Gromit must be the finest dog ever. He knits, fetches, and makes breakfast; he does not shed or stink or make noise; and he exposes evildoers and rescues his master without ever holding a grudge. He is great with gadgets, too. He is truly man’s best friend.

Violence: Minor / Profanity: None / Sex/Nudity: Minor

Year of Release—2005 / USA release: October 7, 2005 (wide).

Viewer Comments
Positive—My wife and I took our 13 year old son and 10 year old daughter. We all loved the movie. The kids were talking about it for days. …On Sunday we were all recommending it to everyone.
My Ratings: Good / 5
—Bob, age 45
Negative—As adult viewers, the movie was very slow. Our children, ages 6 and 8, thought the movie was great. There were several references to body parts (a woman holding two melons at her chest, an undressed man wearing a box with the words “May Contain Nuts” printed on the box, etc.) that children would not catch, but were offensive to me and my husband. Characters used a few curse words hidden in silly expletives like “shitake mushrooms.” Why does Hollywood insist on putting in material to “entertain” adults when it is a “G” movie! My husband and I love taking our children to the movies, but this one was BORING! Wait for it to come out on DVD.
My Ratings: Average / 4
—Nikki, age 33
Positive—My husband and I went to see this movie (we have our first child on the way). As cute and harmless as the short movies were, I never figured Wallace and Gromit to be for children, like Lilo and Stitch or Cinderella. In fact, most of the theatre was occupied by adults and young adults. I admit, I didn’t expect the innuendos, but overall I found the story cute, and I laughed a lot. It’s definitely better than most of the filth in movie theatres today. I recommend it to old Wallace and Gromit fans and those who are into British comedy. Some may find it slow and/or dry if they’re not used to it.

Overall, the only word I can describe this movie is cute. Just a side note: a previous reviewer complained of “hidden” swearing in the form of sayings such as “shittake mushrooms.” These were NOT in Wallace and Gromit. They were in the Penguin short before the movie began.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 4½
—Kate, age 24
Negative—I thought the film was pretty funny, and my friends and I enjoyed the movie (even though we are all college students). However, for being a kids’ movie (and not to mention I watched the older movies in Sunday school), I was appalled at the sexual innuendos in the movie. …if you take your kid to the movie, I’m sure they will never even notice, if you have read the first 2 comments, those parents didn’t even seem to notice, however, I was just shocked to find those things hidden. Didn’t think there were any innuendos? Watch it again, lots of times the fruit is used as metaphors for other things, especially when Wallace is talking to Lady Toti.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 3
—Nicole, age 19
Positive—A treat for the whole family! My husband and I took our twin boys, ages 7, and we all enjoyed it a lot. It was creative and funny. There were a couple of parts that included adult humor, but it went right over their heads, so it wasn’t a problem. The pace was a bit slower than several of the ultra-fast paced animated movies out these days, which was a good thing because I didn’t leave the theater dizzy. It was worth the time and the money. Highly recommmend it.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 4
—Elicia, age 36
Negative—My husband and I went to this movie without reading any reviews by Christians. BIG MISTAKE! As others have mentioned there were a few sexual innuendos. We were both offended that this G-rated movie can’t just be morally positive and contain nothing offensive. We would not recommend this movie to anyone with a conscious against such material. My overall opinion is that it had a cute storyline, but dragged a bit, and the innuendos made it not worth the time or money.
My Ratings: Offensive / 3
—CED, age 26
Positive—The film is an absolute gem. A film to watch over and over in order to really get the best out of the spectacular animation and hilarious script. Innuendo is not designed to be offensive or designed to specifically upset a particular religious group. I think the fact that everyone who has come on here that has complained about any hidden “adult” jokes has also commented on the fact that children would never see it says a lot. Filmmakers want to appeal to the largest demographic they can—and that includes adults in kids’ films. I think that’s the sort of thing you have to just accept, because that’s the way it is.

I’d recommend that everyone goes to see this film, or watches it in some form, otherwise you’ll be missing out on an instant animation classic. And I say that, regardless of your religious inclination…
My Ratings: Excellent! / 5
—Joe Dimuantes, age 19
Negative—My wife and I took our 3 kids ages 5-9 to see this film. As for the two adults, it was a 3-4 on a scale of 0-10. The filmmaking itself was very good, but the story started to drag about 30 min. into it and stayed that way for the next 30-40 min., until the last 8-10 min. where the attention level seemed to pick-up. But hey, I’m an adult watching a kid’s film, as for the words of my 8 yr. old son “It’s not what I expected,” and the other two seemed to feel the same way Try to find this one at a discount theater as we did, so you won’t leave with that feeling that you just ate a two dollar sandwich and paid four dollars for it.
My Ratings: Average / 3
—tlbarbee, age 42
Positive—Our family loved this movie! We took our 4 and 7 year olds with us and we all were laughing out loud. The characters were adorable, the film-making quality great, and the timing perfect for a family with younger kids. The innuendos went totally over our kids’ heads and really did not seem as concerning as I had read about in some of the other reviews (and we are quite choosy with what we allow). If you like silly cartoon comedy and fun characters, we definitely recommend seeing it.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 4
—Tammy, age 34
Neutral—I had let my preschoolers watch the original W&G movies, and they loved the short features. So when they asked to see Curse, I took them. While the movie made all of us laugh quite a bit, I was disturbed by the underlying messages. First, there was a vicar who was greedy and clearly not concerned about his flock. Then the entire theme of the rabbit plotline was that it was wrong to ever kill animals. In fact, every character in the movie seemed to take it as gospel that rabbits had more right to live than we had to kill them for food or to stop them from raiding our food. I was quite relieved when we left the theatre and my son asked if we could go rabbit hunting someday.

Finally, like several other reviewers, I was distressed by the steady stream of adult jokes. Like most of the other reviewers, I am sure that my children didn’t catch any of them. But the movie would have been just as funny without these cheap shots. And for those of us trying desperately to keep the current culture OUT of our children’s hearts, this will make it more difficult down the line. It made me long for the next Veggie Tales movie.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 4½
—Alan, age 37
Negative—My husband and I took our 13 and 10 year old children to see this movie, but frankly for the price of a ticket I would rather wait to see it on video, if even then. My husband and I were both bothered by the fact that even in a “G” rated movie, the industry still had to include sexual inuendos. These flew over the head of my 10 yr. old, but not my teenage son. After the movie, while waiting at the curb for my husband to bring the car, all you could hear from other movie patrons was talk about the sexual inuendos. That’s what they liked about the movie. I am disappointed with the film.
My Ratings: Average / 3½
—Susan, age 48
Positive—I read all of the above comments and many other reviews before deciding whether or not to take my children to see this movie. My husband and I did take them and we enjoyed it. We found that many of the afore mentioned negative comments were blown out of proportion. We are generally the most conservative people in our group of Christian friends because of how carefully we monitor what we allow our children to be exposed to. Our children, especailly our son, are very impressionable, but you have to watch this movie through their eyes. The few “inappropriate” scenes were very quick and unnoticed by the children.
A side note—if you see this movie in the theater—many of the negative comments were concerning the “short” shown before the movie with the penguins from “Madagascar.” I didn’t enjoy it, nor do I recommend seeing it. If you are still unsure, wait until it comes out on DVD and watch it yourself before you let your kids see it. It’s best to do it that way then to waste bucks by leaving halfway through the movie with crying, confused kids.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 5
—Amy Boyd, age 28
Neutral—I took my 5 year old daughter today. We had a good time, but we both got sleepy. I actually caught a short nap. I think I was too bored or sleepy to catch the innuendos. As we were leaving, I asked her if she enjoyed it. She said, Yes. I asked if she wanted to see it again. She said, No. It’s not a movie we will buy on video.
My Ratings: Average / 3½
—Steve, age 35
Negative—Unfortunately, we saw this movie with our kids before reading the reviews. I guess we assumed G-rated movies were meant for children. Once again, Veggie Tales would have been a much better choice. We should remain Christians in our daily lives and not overlook such offensive material presented in today’s “children’s” movies. I’m saddened to read these reviews and find how many of the “Christians” thought the offensive material wasn’t “that bad.” Furthermore, most said that stuff went over their kids’ heads. Read the Kids’ comments. They noticed it all. In a dirty, sneaky way, that’s what the film makers want. They’re not just selling those “jokes” to the adults, they’re priming tomorrows adults for their disturbing humor. “Lunchable” Christians may think this is okay (a Lunchable Christian lives their life in compartments… a Christian on Sundays, but not at work and sometimes, not at home’…
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 4
—donna, age 37
Positive—I am a big Wallace and Gromit fan, and once again I was very impressed with the quality of animation in this movie, the good, clean humor and the depiction of the genuine love and friendship Wallace and Gromit have for each other. Unfortunately, I was disappointed by all the innuendo catering to an audience of adults who can’t appreciate a clean movie. Also, there was a lot of violence in the movie which may upset younger children. Overall, I thought it was an interesting and entertaining movie, which I would recommend to most people over the age of about 12.
My Ratings: Average / 5
—Brienne, age 18
Positive—I thought this was a very cute movie, but I’d give it a PG rating. Any movie with any sexual innuendo should be rated PG, not G, and the were-rabbit scenes were very frightening to some of the little children in the audience. One very small girl had to be carried out screaming by her father. I’d recommend this movie for kids 7 and up.

In our home, this movie generated some interesting discussions about stewardship and how God wants us to care for His Earth. We also discussed the movie’s strong pro-vegetarian view, and how this compares to God’s instructions to Noah after the flood. Neither of my children came away with any new offensive words in their vocabulary or memorable “bathroom humor” phrases as they have from so many other movies.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 4
—Ashley S, age 42

Comments from young people
Positive—I really enjoyed this film! As a fan of the original Wallace and Gromit episodes I was happy to find that the film lost little of it’s Britishness. The animation was as cute and colourful as ever. There are some incidents with almost-swearing etc., but I went with my nine year old sister and found that these went right over her head. She particularly enjoyed the scene where the gun-happy lord loses his hair to Wallace’s machine.

There was nothing that could scare young children, although for the very young (4ish) the were-rabbit scenes might be worrying. This movie promotes caring for creatures, love, friendship and loyalty (as ever from the brilliant Gromit). The competition between the villagers is made to seem silly, the only semi-offensive thing being the portrayal of the local vicar as a “crazy” man believing in were-beings and promoting competition. However, I would definitely recomend this movie.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 4½
—Elanor James, age 17
Negative—As a huge fan of Wallace and Gromit, I was expecting something like “Chicken Run” in terms of a full length movie—not quite as funny as the originals, but clean. Well, it was most assuredly funny. It was also definitely well done. What I was not expecting were the sexual insinuations.

Now, sure, the worst ones would fly right over young children’s heads. As one who has stumbled his fair share, and seen some of the sicker stuff this world has to offer, I was extremely offended that they put it in this movie. Some adults may not pick up on how bad it was, but let me tell you, it most assuredly left no doubts in mind. Thee’nuts’ joke, the vegetable body part replacements, and the hidden swearing alone would be cause enough for me to warn you against children seeing it. And for adults, seeing Toti encouraging Wallace to “take her fruit”… Well. I only hope you don’t think the movie’s “not that bad.”

I hate to dis-recommend a Wallace and Gromit, but I don’t think I have a choice. The filth in the movie is no where near overwhelming, but it’s mere presence ruins it.
My Ratings: Offensive / 5
—Jonathan, age 17
Positive—This is a awesome movie! It is funny, and just like a Wallace and Gromit movie should be. It did have a few negative things in it (“nuts”, poking fun at church, etc.), but nothing that bad. …Gromit is a model of true friendship and loyalty, and stands by Wallace no mater what happens. The music can be spooky at times, but nothing extreme. Don’t miss this wonderfull movie!
My Ratings: Good / 5
—Elizabeth Dinius, age 11
Positive—I thought this movie was great, a movie for all the family. The movie did have one or two sexual references, like when Wallece was naked in a box that said “may contain nuts”… One of the best movies I have ever seen. My advice: SEE IT!!!
My Ratings: Excellent! / 5
—Nathan, age 13
Positive—This movie is the best I have seen in a looong time. I would HIGHLY recommend this film to any Wallace and Gromit fan, or anyone in general. We sat through the hour and a half it was on watching with amazement and laughing as the film played its way out. All in all it was a great film for kids great film for adults.
My Ratings: Good / 4½
—Simon Hull, age 12
Positive—I loved this movie soooo much. It was funny and cute, but some people might find it a bit offensive—mostly parents, because some things that are not the best things to let young children see… it is still a GREAT movie especially a wonderful movie to take children to see!!
My Ratings: Better than Average / 5
—Michelle, age 10
Positive—I’m a longtime fan of Wallace and Gromit, so I was excited to see the movie! I wasn’t disappointed. There are a few innuendos, but nothing too bad. I think Gromit is the coolest character in the whole movie. Who wouldn’t want a dog who would sacrifice his most special thing for you?
My Ratings: Better than Average / 4
—Brittney, age 15
Positive—I loved this movie. I really didn’t see anything wrong with it. It’s a kids movie…
My Ratings: Excellent! / 5
—Will Ratchford, age 11
Positive—…the funniest movie I ever saw. I thought it was better than the originals and despite what other people may say, I thought the scenes with the vicar were the best parts. Those scenes wern’t putting down or making fun of Christianity. It was just making a spoof of vintage horror movies. The film would have been perfect except for the burps and the writing on the box Gromit wore. I would recomend it for all ages.
My Ratings: Good / 5
—Gordon, age 13
Movie Critics
…a complete delight… good fun…
—Associated Press
…The animation is a marvel—all the more so because the most demanding sequences seem almost casually tossed off…
—New York Times, A.O. Scott
…delightful… both a family movie and a date movie…
—Hollywood Reporter, Kirk Honeycutt
…a few elements that push the G rating…
—Plugged In, Tom Neven
…as sweet and homey as a cup of tea…
—St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Joe Williams