So we now have conclusive proof.
23 is right. 85 is right out.
That’s the account for how much Wallace and Grommit is right.
Now, let’s state up front. I love Wallace and Grommit. I think Grand Day Out is simply one of the best animations ever made. I love all the W & G shorts. I think Nick Park’s a brilliant animator.
But you know, some things are meant to be a certain length. Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit is all the proof we need of this.
Ok. There’s lots to like. I mean, it’s W & G. Grommit manages to say more with an eye-roll than most real people can say with a monolog. The animation’s great, Nick Park’s touch with sound – which is what makes Grand Day Out so brilliant – is still evident. The visual humor is inventive.
But I just don’t want to look at Wallace’s teeth for eighty-five minutes. I don’t want to look at Lady Campanula Tottington’s clown-gumby mouth for eighty-five minutes. Even Grommit, the heart and soul of Wallace and Grommit doesn’t keep me completely entertained for eighty-five minutes.
I dunno. Maybe I needed to be really really stoned, or to be under twelve. That might have helped. Certainly the people sitting next to me were giggling a lot harder than I was; so it worked for them.
Also, maybe a none-story-high screen isn’t that forgiving for claymation. On my teevee, it seems brilliantly lifelike, even while clearly cartoonish. Here, it’s just a clay face of nightmarish proportions.
But no. That’s not it. Because the good parts – the action scenes, and some of the jokes, and there are lots and lots of jokes – work very well. I think it simply comes down to length. What works in a tight thirty minutes, as with The Wrong Trousers and it’s brilliant train-chase – can’t carry an hour and a half.
And you know, maybe it was made worse by following a simply brilliant short featuring the Madagascar penguins (the only thing about Madagascar that was memorable) titled A Christmas Cape; I don’t recall laughing this hard at a cartoon in a long time. That certainly didn’t help.
Whatever the cause, though, I think it’s safe to say “wait for the DVD“.