Too much clay

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 […]

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“.

4 thoughts on “Too much clay”

  1. Sounds like wait for the DVD and keep the remote handy for 3-4 breaks during, actually. Thanks for the headsup, I’ll see if I can get my nephew to say ‘Uh, no, wait for it’.

  2. The penguin short is truly worth the price of the movie, and I’m glad to hear it wasn’t that funny just *because* i was stoned out of my skull. And while I’m sure the drugs made W&G a little more tolerable than it otherwise would have been, there were still many, many moments where I was doing things like planning dinner, or thinking about what color to paint the bathroom. That is NOT a good sign. This is definitely a WFTV (wait for the video) film.

  3. Having once decided in a moment of drunken exuberance that it would be nice to have a school-bus-yellow-and-hot-pink office, I’ll definitely avoid orange for the bathroom. Of course, it helps avoid such disasters that I’m now too exhausted by 10 p.m. to do any middle of the night painting projects.

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