Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
|Wallace & Gromit:|
The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
|Based on||Wallace and Gromit|
by Nick Park
Helena Bonham Carter
|Cinematography||David Alex Riddett|
|Edited by||David McCormick|
|Music by||Julian Nott|
|Box office||$192.6 million|
Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (Originally titled "Wallace & Gromit: The Great Vegetable Plot") is a 2005 stop-motion animated supernatural comedy film produced by DreamWorks Animation and Aardman Animations. United International Pictures distributed the film in the United Kingdom, and it is the last DreamWorks Animation film to be distributed by DreamWorks Pictures in the United States, when the studio would spin off as an independent studio until being acquired by Universal Pictures in 2016.[note 1] It was directed by Nick Park and Steve Box (in Box's feature directorial debut) as the second feature-length film by Aardman, after Chicken Run (2000). The film premiered in Sydney, Australia on September 4, 2005, before being released in cinemas in the United States on 7 October 2005 and in the United Kingdom a week later on October 14, 2005.
The Curse of the Were-Rabbit is a parody of classic monster movies and Hammer Horror films and also serves as part of the Wallace and Gromit series, created by Park. The film centres on good-natured yet eccentric cheese-loving inventor Wallace and his intelligent quiet dog, Gromit, in their latest venture as pest control agents. They come to the rescue of their town plagued by rabbits before the annual Giant Vegetable Competition. However, the duo soon find themselves against a giant rabbit consuming the town's crops.
The film features an expanded cast of characters relative to the previous Wallace and Gromit shorts, with a voice cast including Helena Bonham Carter and Ralph Fiennes. While the film was considered a box-office disappointment in the US by DreamWorks Animation, it was more commercially successful internationally. It also received critical acclaim and won a number of film awards including the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, making it the second film from DreamWorks Animation to win that award. In January 2022, a stand-alone sequel feature film was announced, which is due to release in 2024 on Netflix worldwide, except for the UK, where it will premiere first on the BBC before also coming to Netflix at a later date.
As Tottington Hall's annual giant vegetable competition approaches, cheese-loving inventor Wallace and his beagle Gromit provide a humane pest control business known as "Anti-Pesto," protecting people's vegetables from rabbits. One evening, after capturing rabbits found in the garden of Lady Tottington, Wallace uses two of his latest inventions, the "Bun-Vac 6000" and "Mind Manipulation-O-Matic," to brainwash them into disliking vegetables. All goes well until Wallace accidentally sets the Bun-Vac to "BLOW," and his brain is fused with that of a rabbit, forcing Gromit to destroy the Mind-O-Matic. The transfer appears to have worked, as the rabbit shows no interest in vegetables. They name the rabbit Hutch and place him in a cage.
That night, a giant "Were-Rabbit" devours many people's vegetables and the duo fail to respond. During a town meeting the next day, hunter Victor Quartermaine offers to shoot the creature, but Tottington persuades the townsfolk to give Anti-Pesto a second chance. After Anti-Pesto unsuccessfully tries to trap the Were-Rabbit, Wallace suspects that Hutch is the beast and has Gromit lock him in a high-security cage. Gromit then follows a trail of footprints into Wallace's bedroom and finds a pile of half-eaten vegetables inside, indicating that Wallace is the real culprit.
After celebrating his success with Tottington, Wallace is cornered in the forest by Victor, who vies for Tottington's affections. Wallace transforms into the Were-Rabbit under the full moon and flees. Now seeing the perfect chance to eliminate his rival, Victor obtains three "24-carrot" gold bullets from the town's vicar, Reverend Clement Hedges, to use against Wallace.
On the day of the vegetable competition, Gromit reveals to Wallace that the experiment has swapped his and Hutch's personalities; the latter is now carrying his human traits and is the only one who can fix the Mind-O-Matic. Tottington visits and informs Wallace of about Victor's plan; as the moon rises, Wallace begins to transform again and hastily forces Tottington to leave. Victor arrives and attempts to shoot Wallace with the golden bullets, but Gromit helps Wallace to escape. Once Victor is gone, Gromit and Hutch devise a plan to save Wallace.
At the competition, after using up all his gold bullets, Victor takes the Golden Carrot trophy to use as ammunition. Wallace, carries Tottington atop Tottington Hall and reveals his true identity to her. Meanwhile, Gromit subdues Victor's dog, Philip, in a dogfight using aeroplanes taken from a fairground attraction. Gromit then steers his plane into Victor's line of fire as he shoots at Wallace, causing the bullet to hit the plane instead. The damaged plane falls and Wallace jumps to grab Gromit, sacrificing himself to break his fall into a cheese tent. Gromit quickly disguises Victor as the Were-Rabbit, causing Philip and the townspeople to chase him away.
Wallace morphs back to his human self and appears dead, but Gromit revives him with Stinking Bishop cheese, undoing the Were-Rabbit's curse. Tottington awards Gromit the Golden Carrot for his valor, and converts the grounds of Tottington Hall into a nature reserve for Hutch and the other rabbits.
- Peter Sallis as Wallace, a good-natured yet eccentric, absent-minded and accident-prone inventor with a great fondness for cheese, who runs Anti-Pesto with his dog and best friend, Gromit.
- Sallis also provides the voice of Hutch, a kidnapped rabbit who gradually develops several of Wallace's mannerisms — his dialogue consists entirely of phrases and statements previously made by Wallace — after an attempted mind-alteration goes awry and who is at first suspected to be the Were-Rabbit. Sallis' voice was digitally accelerated to create that of Hutch's.
- Gromit is Wallace's silent, brave and highly intelligent dog who cares deeply for his master, and saves him whenever something goes wrong.
- Ralph Fiennes as Lord Victor Quartermaine, a cruel upper class bounder and a prideful hunter who is courting Lady Tottington. He wears a toupee and despises Wallace and Gromit.
- Philip is Victor's vicious but cowardly and dimwitted hunting dog who resembles a Bull Terrier. He is too cowardly to face the Were-Rabbit so he instead targets Gromit.
- Helena Bonham Carter as Lady Campanula Tottington, a wealthy aristocratic spinster with a keen interest in vegetable horticulture and 'fluffy' animals. For 517 years, the Tottington family has hosted an annual vegetable competition on their estate on the same night. Lady Tottington asks Wallace to call her "Totty" (which is a British term for attractive women) and develops a romantic interest in him. Her forename, Campanula, is the scientific name of a bellflower, and her surname is taken from the Lancashire village of Tottington.
- Peter Kay as Police Constable Albert Mackintosh, the local village policeman who judges the Giant Vegetable Contest, though he would prefer it if the "troublemaking" competition didn't happen.
- Nicholas Smith as Reverend Clement Hedges, the superstitious town vicar and the first resident to witness the Were-Rabbit.
- Dicken Ashworth and Liz Smith as Mr. and Mrs. Mulch, neighbours of Wallace and Gromit who raise prize-winning pumpkins.
- Edward Kelsey as Mr. Growbag, an elderly resident of Wallace and Gromit's neighbourhood and a founding member of the town's vegetable growers council.
- Mark Gatiss as Ms. Blight, a resident of Wallace and Gromit's neighbourhood.
- Geraldine McEwan as Miss Thripp, an Anti-Pesto customer. McEwan reprises her role in A Matter of Loaf and Death.
In March 2000, it was officially announced that Wallace and Gromit were to star in their own feature film. It would have been Aardman's next film after The Tortoise and the Hare, which was subsequently abandoned by the studio in July 2001, owing to script problems.
The directors, Nick Park and Steve Box, have often referred to the film as the world's "first vegetarian horror film". Peter Sallis (the voice of Wallace) is joined in the film by Ralph Fiennes (as Lord Victor Quartermaine), Helena Bonham Carter (as Lady Campanula Tottington), Peter Kay (as PC Mackintosh), Nicholas Smith (as Rev. Clement Hedges), and Liz Smith (as Mrs. Mulch). As established in the preceding short films, Gromit is a silent character, communicating purely via body language.
The film was originally going to be called Wallace & Gromit: The Great Vegetable Plot, but the title was changed, as the market research disliked it. The first reported release date for The Great Vegetable Plot was November 2004. Production officially began in September 2003, and the film was then set for release on 30 September 2005. In July 2003, Entertainment Weekly referred the film as Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.
Park told an interviewer that after separate test screenings with British and American audiences, along with their children, the film was altered to "tone down some of the British accents and make them speak more clearly so the American audiences could understand it all better." Park was often sent notes from DreamWorks, which stressed him. He recalled one note that Wallace's car should be trendier, which he disagreed with because he felt making things look old-fashioned made it look more ironic.
The vehicle Wallace drives in the film is an Austin A35 van. In collaboration with Aardman in the spring of 2005, a road going replica of the model was created by brothers Mark and David Armé, founders of the International Austin A30/A35 Register, for promotional purposes. In a 500-man-hour customisation, an original 1964 van received a full body restoration, before being dented and distressed to perfectly replicate the model van used in the film. The official colour of the van is Preston Green, named in honour of Nick Park's home town. The name was chosen by the art director and Mark Armé.
The film had its worldwide premiere on September 4, 2005, in Sydney, Australia. It was theatrically released in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, and the United States on October 14, 2005. The DVD edition of the film was released on February 7, 2006 (United States) and February 20, 2006 (United Kingdom).
In Region 2, the film was released in a two-disc special-edition that includes Cracking Contraptions, plus a number of other extras. In Region 1, the film was released on DVD in widescreen and full-screen versions and VHS on February 7, 2006. Wal-Mart stores carried a special version with an additional DVD, "Gromit's Tail-Waggin' DVD" which included the test shorts made for this production, making of the Were-Rabbit creature, an instructional video on how to draw Gromit, as well as "Cracking Contraptions" shorts.
A companion game, also titled Curse of the Were-Rabbit, had a coinciding release with the film. A novelisation, Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit: The Movie Novelization by Penny Worms (ISBN 0-8431-1667-6), was also produced.
It was the last DreamWorks Animation film to be released on VHS. It was rereleased on DVD on May 13, 2014, as part of a triple film set, along with fellow Aardman/DreamWorks films Chicken Run and Flushed Away.
Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit opened in 3,645 cinemas and had an opening weekend gross of $16 million, putting it at number one for that weekend. During its second weekend it came in at number two, just $200,000 behind The Fog. It remained number one worldwide for three weeks in a row. The Curse of the Were-Rabbit grossed $192.6 million at the box office, of which $56.1 million was from the United States. As of September 2022, it is the second-highest-grossing stop-motion animated film of all time behind Aardman’s first film, Chicken Run.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 95% based on 184 reviews and an average rating of 8.1/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "The Curse of the Were-Rabbit is a subtly touching and wonderfully eccentric adventure featuring Wallace and Gromit." On Metacritic, the film received a weighted average score of 87 out of 100, based on 38 critics, indicating "universal acclaim." Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale.
In 2016, Empire magazine ranked it 51st on their list of the 100 best British films, with their entry stating, "The sparkling Curse Of The Were-Rabbit positively brims with ideas and energy, dazzling movie fans with sly references to everything from Hammer horrors and The Incredible Hulk to King Kong and Top Gun, and bounds along like a hound in a hurry. The plot pitches the famously taciturn Dogwarts' alumnus and his Wensleydale-chomping owner (Sallis) against the dastardly Victor Quartermaine (Fiennes), taking mutating bunnies, prize-winning marrows and the posh-as-biscuits Lady Tottington (Bonham Carter) along for the ride. In short, it's the most marvellously English animation there is."
|78th Academy Awards||Best Animated Feature Film||Nick Park
|33rd Annie Awards||Best Animated Effects||Jason Wen||Won|
|Best Animated Feature||Won|
|Best Character Animation||Claire Billet||Won|
|Best Character Design in an Animated Feature Production||Nick Park||Won|
|Best Directing in an Animated Feature Production||Nick Park
|Best Music in an Animated Feature Production||Julian Nott||Won|
|Best Production Design in an Animated Feature Production||Phil Lewis||Won|
|Best Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production||Bob Persichetti||Won|
|Best Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production||Peter Sallis as the voice of Wallace||Won|
|Best Writing in an Animated Feature Production||Steve Box
|Best Character Animation||Jay Grace||Nominated|
|Best Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production||Michael Salter||Nominated|
|Best Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production||Helena Bonham Carter as the voice of Lady Campanula Tottington||Nominated|
|Ralph Fiennes as the voice of Victor Quartermaine||Nominated|
|Nicholas Smith as the voice of Reverend Clement Hedges||Nominated|
|59th British Academy Film Awards||Best British Film||Claire Jennings
|British Comedy Awards||Best Comedy Film||Nick Park||Won|
|11th Critics' Choice Awards||Best Animated Feature||Nick Park and Steve Box||Won|
|Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association||Best Animated Feature||Won|
|Empire Awards||Best Director||Nick Park
|Best British Film||Nominated|
|Scene of the Year||Nominated|
|Florida Film Critics Circle Awards 2005||Best Animated Film||Won|
|50th Hugo Awards||Best Dramatic Presentation – Long Form||Nominated|
|London Film Critics Circle Awards 2005||British Film of the Year||Nominated|
|Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards 2005||Best Animated Film||Won|
|53rd Motion Picture Sound Editors Golden Reel Awards||Best Sound Editing in Feature Film – Animated||Won|
|Golden Tomato Awards 2005||Best Animated Film||Won|
|Best Wide Release||Won|
|New York Film Critics Online Awards 2005||Best Animated Film||Won|
|2006 Kids' Choice Awards||Favorite Animated Movie||Nominated|
|Online Film Critics Society Awards 2005||Best Animated Feature||Won|
|17th Producers Guild of America Awards||Producer of the Year Award in Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures||Claire Jennings
|10th Satellite Awards||Outstanding Motion Picture, Animated or Mixed Media||Nominated|
|32nd Saturn Awards||Best Animated Film||Nominated|
|Toronto Film Critics Association Awards 2005||Best Animated Film||Nick Park and Steve Box||Won|
|Visual Effects Society Awards 2005||Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Motion Picture||Lloyd Price for "Gromit"||Won|
|Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association||Best Animated Film||Won|
|1.||"A Grand Day Out"||1:54|
|2.||"Anti-Pesto to the Rescue"||3:18|
|3.||"Bless You, Anti-Pesto"||1:56|
|4.||"Lady Tottington and Victor"||2:03|
|5.||"Fire Up the Bun-Vac"||1:47|
|7.||"Brainwash and Go"||2:28|
|10.||"A Big Trap"||3:27|
|11.||"The Morning After"||1:44|
|13.||"Ravaged in the Night"||1:45|
|14.||"Fluffy Lover Boy"||4:36|
|15.||"Kiss My Artichoke"||4:31|
|17.||"Every Dog Has His Day"||2:43|
|18.||"All Things Fluffy"||1:07|
|19.||"Wallace and Gromit"||1:08|
After the box-office failure of Flushed Away resulted in a major write down for DreamWorks, it was reported on 3 October 2006 and confirmed on 30 January 2007 that DreamWorks had terminated their partnership with Aardman. In revealing the losses related to Flushed Away, DreamWorks also revealed they had taken a $29 million write down over Wallace & Gromit as well, and the film under performed expectations despite grossing $192 million against a budget of only $30 million.
Following the split, Aardman retained complete ownership of the film, while DreamWorks Animation retained worldwide distribution rights in perpetuity, excluding some United Kingdom television rights and ancillary markets. Soon after the end of the agreement, Aardman announced that they would proceed with another Wallace & Gromit project, later revealed to be a return to their earlier short films with A Matter of Loaf and Death for BBC One.
During production of the short, Park remarked publicly on difficulties with working with DreamWorks during the production of The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, such as the constant production notes and demands to alter the material to appeal more to American children. This discouraged him from producing another feature film for years, with Lord noting that Park preferred the “half hour format”. However, in January 2022, a new Wallace & Gromit feature film was announced, which is due to release in 2024 on Netflix worldwide, except for the UK, where it will first premiere on BBC before coming to Netflix at a later date.
- In July 2014, the film's distribution rights were purchased by DreamWorks Animation from Paramount Pictures (owners of the pre-2005 DreamWorks Pictures catalog) and transferred to 20th Century Fox before reverting to Universal Pictures in 2018. However, Aardman Animations still retains complete ownership of the film.
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Earlier this year, Wallace and Gromit took the best British film at the main Bafta ceremony,...
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- Official website
- The Curse of the Were-Rabbit at the Official Wallace & Gromit website
- Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit at IMDb
- Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit at The Big Cartoon DataBase
- Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit at British Comedy Guide
- Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit at AllMovie