Thursday, October 18, 2007

Scene Gems: Victor Discovers the One Way to Kill a 'Were-Rabbit'



Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005) is a wonderfully wacky film starring Nick Park's popular claymation creations. Previously featured in three short films (two of which won Oscars), Curse was their major motion picture debut. This time the duo of nutty inventor and trusty sidekick dog get involved in their biggest adventure yet when they go against a supernatural bunny and the swath of destruction he creates in a small town.

There is so much to love about this movie that was one of my favorites from two years ago. The characters are great and well-drawn, the animation is crisp and the script is very funny. Directors Park and Steve Box also take pride in their directing as well, with carefully placed camera angles, effective dolly shots, and really good action sequences. The film is essentially a parody of classic horror movies, and not only pokes fun, but shows obvious affection as well.

Ironically, the clip I have chosen from the film is a scene with two of the sub-characters, with neither Wallace or Gromit to be found. It really doesn't matter, as it is a perfect example of the many things the movie does right. The cinematography, the humor, and the great voice work (by Ralph Fiennes and Nicholas Smith) is all there. Watching this clip doesn't give any of the surprises away, but watching it made me want to see the whole thing again.

Pay attention to the level of detail that Park and Box go after. Notice the rain splashing on Victor's coat, or the burning candle (which is probably digital), or the jokes on the "Nun Wrestling" magazine. I also liked the tracking shot that follows the Reverend to the window. Despite being animated frame-by-frame, it still looks like a smooth tracking shot! Amazing.

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