Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit is a 2005 stop motion clay-animated supernatural comedy film produced by British studio Aardman Animations in partnership with American studio DreamWorks Animation. United International Pictures distributed the film in the United Kingdom, and it was the last DreamWorks Animation film to be distributed by DreamWorks Pictures in the United States. 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 4 September 2005, before being released in cinemas in the United States on 7 October 2005 and in the United Kingdom a week later on 14 October 2005.
|Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit|
British theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Nick Park|
|Produced by||Claire Jennings|
|Screenplay by||Steve Box|
|Based on||Wallace and Gromit|
by Nick Park
Helena Bonham Carter
|Music by||Julian Nott|
|Cinematography||David Alex Riddett|
|Edited by||David McCormick|
|Distributed by||DreamWorks Pictures1 (United States)|
United International Pictures (United Kingdom)
|Box office||$192.6 million|
The Curse of the Were-Rabbit is a parody of classic monster movies and Hammer Horror flicks and also serves as part of the Wallace and Gromit series, created by Park. The film follows good-natured yet eccentric cheese-loving inventor Wallace and Gromit, his intelligent mute dog in their latest venture as pest control agents, as they come to the rescue of a village plagued by rabbits before an annual vegetable competition.
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. It was a critical and commercial success, 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 (after Shrek), as well as both the second non-American animated film and second non computer-animated film to have received this achievement (after Spirited Away).
Tottington Hall's annual giant vegetable competition is approaching with the coveted Golden Carrot as its prize. Wallace and Gromit provide a humane pest control business, "Anti-Pesto", protecting the townspeople's vegetables. One evening after capturing rabbits found in Lady Tottington's garden, Wallace devises a plan to turn them against vegetables by using his latest invention, the "Mind Manipulation-O-Matic", to brainwash them. All goes well until Wallace accidentally kicks the machine's switch into "BLOW," and one rabbit gets stuck to Wallace's head, causing their minds to fuse before Gromit cuts the power. However, 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 rabbit devours many of the town's vegetables. At a town meeting, the hunter Lord Victor Quartermaine offers to shoot the were-rabbit, but Lady Tottington persuades the townsfolk to continue with Anti-Pesto's services. After a failed attempt, Wallace suspects that Hutch may be the were-rabbit and has Gromit lock him in a high-security cage. Gromit learns soon after the Were-Rabbit is in fact Wallace. Victor, who seeks to woo Lady Tottington, corners Wallace in the forest, but Wallace transforms into the Were-Rabbit under the light of the full moon and flees. Gromit lures Wallace home to protect him. Victor obtains three "24-carrot" gold bullets from the Vicar to use against Wallace.
On the day of the vegetable competition, Gromit convinces Wallace that he is indeed the Were-Rabbit, and that he must fix the Mind-o-Matic to undo the curse. Lady Tottington, who has come to like Wallace, visits and tells him about Victor's plan. As the moon rises, Wallace begins to transform, and hastily forces Lady Tottington to leave. Victor arrives and attempts to shoot Wallace as the Were-Rabbit with the golden bullets. Gromit creates a distraction using a rabbit costume to allow Wallace to escape, and Victor gives chase to the competition. Gromit begins working with Hutch, who has developed Wallace-like traits including his appetite for cheese, and plans to use his giant marrow as bait to lure Wallace to safety.
Wallace, as the were-rabbit, creates chaos at the fair. Using up all his gold bullets, Victor takes the Golden Carrot trophy to use as ammunition. Wallace carries Lady Tottington atop Tottington Hall, where she discovers Wallace's connection to the were-rabbit. Victor gives chase, revealing that he only wants to impress Lady Tottington for her money. Victor's dog Philip engages Gromit in a dogfight in aeroplanes taken from a fairground attraction. Gromit sends Philip's plane to the ground, then steers his plane into Victor's line of fire as Victor fires at Wallace, causing the bullet to hit the plane instead. The damaged plane falls and Wallace jumps to grab Gromit, sacrificing himself to cushion their fall into a cheese tent.
Victor gloats about his victory, but Lady Tottington hits him with her giant carrot and he falls into the tent. To protect Wallace from the angry townspeople, Gromit quickly disguises Victor as the were-rabbit in the rabbit costume and the townspeople chase him away. Wallace transforms back to his human self and appears dead, but Gromit uses some Stinking Bishop cheese to revive him. Lady Tottington awards Gromit the Golden Carrot and converts the grounds of Tottington Hall into a habitat 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 captive 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 "trouble-making" competition didn't happen.
- Nicholas Smith as Reverend Clement Hedges, the foolish local vicar and the first resident to witness the Were-Rabbit.
- Dicken Ashworth and Liz Smith as Mr. and Mrs. Mulch, vegetable contestants and clients of Wallace and Gromit's Anti-Pesto.
- Edward Kelsey as Mr. Growbag, an elderly resident of Wallace and Gromit's neighbourhood and a founding member of the town's veg grower's council.
- Geraldine McEwan as Miss Thripp, an Anti-Pesto customer. McEwan reprised 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 issues.
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 irritated 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 4 September 2005, in Sydney, Australia. It was theatrically released in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, and the United States on 14 October 2005. The DVD edition of the film was released on 7 February 2006 (United States) and 20 February 2006 (United Kingdom).
In Region 2, the film was released in a two disc special including Cracking Contraptions, plus a number of other extras. In Region 1, the film was released on DVD in widescreen and fullscreen versions and VHS on 7 February 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.
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 13 May 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 March 2021, it is the second-highest-grossing stop-motion animated film of all time behind Chicken Run, another Aardman film.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 95% based on 184 reviews, with an average rating of 8.09/10. 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|
Split of DreamWorks and Aardman
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 Were-Rabbit, such as the constant production notes and demands to alter the material to appeal more to American children.
- 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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