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Friday, October 9, 2009

DVD Pick: Wallace & Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death

Posted By on Fri, Oct 9, 2009 at 2:40 PM

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By Matt Brunson

After appearing in three brilliant short films (the first arriving on the scene exactly 20 years ago), the clay-animated pair of Wallace and Gromit went on to big-screen glory in the Oscar-winning feature Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. Those hoping to see the English inventor and his far wiser canine companion again headline a theatrical release will be disappointed that not only has their latest picture gone straight to DVD, it also only runs 30 minutes (NOT 87 minutes, as advertised on the DVD box) as compared to Were-Rabbit's 80 minutes. Still, when all is said and done, it's a thrill to see the duo back in action, even if the end product doesn't quite match the level of the earlier shorts (or Were-Rabbit, for that matter).

Heavily borrowing plot elements from two of the previous flicks (The Wrong Trousers and A Close Shave), this finds Wallace (voiced, as always, by Peter Sallis) and Gromit running a bakery service called Top Bun. While Gromit worries about the string of murders that has left 12 other bakers dead, Wallace unexpectedly finds romance with Piella Bakewell (Sally Lindsay), a former bread-company model. And when it appears that Wallace will be the next victim of the mysterious assassin, it's naturally up to his savvy sidekick to save the day.

Series creator-director-cowriter Nick Park retains the veddy British humor that's always been a mark of the series, and the film includes clever homages to such Hollywood properties as Aliens and Ghost.

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Extras on this new DVD release include audio commentary by Park and editor David McCormick; a 20-minute making-of featurette; and the 7-minute Shaun the Sheep short, "Off the Baa!"

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