Directed by Nick Park, Steve Box
Production Company Aardman Animations, DreamWorks Animation
Running time 81 min
The second full-length feature from Aardman Animation was the fourth to feature Nick Park’s lovably daffy inventor Wallace (voiced, as ever, by Peter Sallis) and his silent yet infinitely expressive canine assistant Gromit.
Thankfully, substantial US funding had no apparent effect on its glorious parochialism: the only difference is that the never-never northern England of the earlier films is now rendered in far greater detail. The budget also paid for Helena Bonham Carter and Ralph Fiennes to incarnate the lady of the manor, Lady Campanula Tottington, and her would-be paramour Victor Quartermaine, whose rivalry with Wallace for her affections is complicated when the latter’s Mind-O-Matic accidentally creates a ravening beast that could have come straight out of a Hammer horror film, were it not for the fact that it’s obviously a giant rabbit. It’s as exuberantly inventive as anything by Pixar, albeit (mostly) achieved with far more old-fashioned methods.