A Matter of Loaf and Death is the fourth short film featuring Wallace & Gromit. It first aired on Christmas Day 2008.Wallace and Gromit run a bakery, and Wallace falls in love though Gromit has his suspicions. Can you blame him?
Big Ol' Unibrow: Gromit never speaks, so this is the only way you know what he's feeling. It's really incredible, the emotion you can wring out of an artfully-squashed bit of plasticine...
Bigger on the Inside: Somehow, a full bakery factory with machines, chutes and cogs manages to fit into the dimensions of a small two-story house — which still has room for a kitchen, dining room and bedrooms.
Black Screen of Death: Probably the most soul-wrenching part of the short. Piella mercilessly punches Fluffles, and we see it from the dog's perspective. The screen goes black and Fluffles yelps on impact.
Gromit is usually depicted as walking upright, and is capable of creating and operating complex machinery. Generally he's shown to be significantly more shrewd and sensible than his master. However, despite all of this, everyone treats him the same as you treat any dog.
Fluffles is similarly capable, though she's generally shown on all fours for much of the film. Notably, her moments of bipedalism happen either out of the sight of her abusive master, or at the film's end when she finally stands up to her and remains bipedal for the rest of the film.
The baker murdered at the start can be seen on an ad for his bakery in A Close Shave.
When Piella crashes into the zoo, to the right of the gate is a poster saying "One Of Our Penguins Is Missing", complete with a picture of what looks like Feathers McGraw. To the left of the gate is a ladder propped against the inside of the wall — with a rope made of sheets hanging down the outside.
Dunking The Bomb: Subverted, as in the Batman: The Movie moment that it's parodying. Gromit tries to throw a bomb into the water, only to see a group of cute little ducks. He ends up smothering it in bread dough instead.
Family-Unfriendly Death: Piella Bakewell suffers a Karmic Death. She tries to fly away in the old Bake-O-Lite balloon, despite her growing too heavy to fly the balloon being the reason she was fired in the first place, and she babbles "They can't drop me, I'm the Bake-O-Lite Girl!" even as she descends into a pit of hungry crocodiles at the zoo, which is followed by the sound of Piella being eaten alive. It's really horrifying.
Kick the Dog: A literal, yet surprisingly subtle example. Piella kicks Fluffles twice before her true nature is revealed, yet both times the action could be interpreted as her nudging the poodle to greet Wallace. Of course, Fluffles' downcast personality gives the game away to the audience, but not to Wallace.
Metal Detector Checkpoint: Gromit installs one of these (based on a design in "Electronic Surveillance for Dogs") to catch out Piella's murderous intentions toward Wallace. The machine works but fails to convince Wallace.
Nice Girl: To further contrast her with her master, Fluffles is very timid but kind. Gromit ends up falling in love with her when she returns his possessions (by picking them out of the trash no less) when Piella throws them away.
Take That: Gromit is trying to dispose of a bomb. He goes to one window—there are cute little ducks in the pond underneath. He goes to another window—nuns collecting charity for kittens. He goes to a third—the Yorkshire border. He prepares to throw.
Take the Wheel: Wallace hands the wheel off to his dog while he makes a death-defying leap to save a bread heiress. And when Wallace says it, he means it literally. Apparently that particular incarnation of the ever changing Wallacemobile has a socket for the steering wheel on either side. Hopefully the pedals are replicated on both sides as well...
To the Batpole!: Our heroes suit up via a Heath Robinson-esque process, depicted in all its absurd detail.
Trademark Favorite Food: Cheese, particularly Wensleydale, is Wallace's favorite, but he's also pretty enthusiastic about toast.
Vehicular Sabotage: Deliberately invoked. Piella gets together with Wallace after riding a bicycle out of control down a hill. When the duo bring the bike to a halt and rescue her, Gromit is instantly suspicious because the brakes are working fine.
Villainous Breakdown: Piella Bakewell apparently loses it after her plot to kill Wallace is foiled. She tries to fly away in the old Bake-O-Lite balloon, despite her growing too heavy to fly the balloon being the reason she was fired in the first place, and she babbles "They can't drop me, I'm the Bake-O-Lite Girl!" even as she descends into a pit of hungry crocodiles at the zoo, which is followed by the sound of Piella being eaten alive.
Where the Hell Is Springfield?: The name of the town is never given, but the Yorkshire border is prominently featured in one scene and a poster advertising a performance of Carmen indicates that it's in the vicinity of Wigan.
White-Dwarf Starlet: Piella Bakewell. Wallace recognizes her as the spokeswoman for Bake-O-Lite Bread, but she was fired as the "Bake-O-Lite Girl" when she became too heavy to fly the balloon they used in advertising.