Western Animation: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
The Curse of the Were-Rabbit is the first (and, to date, only) feature-length animated film featuring Wallace & Gromit. It was the second co-production between DreamWorks Animation and Aardman Animations, as well as being Aardman's second full-length feature film, after Chicken Run.The combination of a vegetable-growing contest and Wallace's latest invention accidentally unleashes a giant rampaging parody of ancient Hammer Horror cliches on their unsuspecting village... oh, also a giant half-man, half-bunny. This received a Licensed Game adaptation and is noted as being, possibly, the only horror film in existence to feature a vegetarian monster.Released in 2005, it won not only the Academy Award for "Best Animated Feature", but also the British Academy Film Awards' "Best British Film", the British Comedy Awards' "Best Comedy Film", and the Hugo Award for "Best Dramatic Presentation - Long Form", among many others.
This film provides examples of:
- Absent-Minded Professor: Wallace as usual.
- Accidental Public Confession: "The beast isn't actually dead yet!?!"
- Aside Glance: Gromit. All the time.
- Attack! Attack... Retreat! Retreat!: On hearing that their vegetables will be used as bait to attract the Were-Rabbit, Mrs. Mulch flees with her Pumpkin, whilst the townsfolk yell at her "Come back! Come back!". The Were-Rabbit then approaches, prompting her to about turn. Cue villagers now yelling "Go away! Go away!"
- Attack of the Town Festival: The vegetable festival. Since the eponymous creature is a giant rabbit, it's only the focus of the festival that will attract it, and the people are in no real danger. The festival is Serious Business, though.
- Background Halo: Lady Tottington gets one, along with a set of background wings, when she advocates trapping the Were-Rabbit humanely. Lord Victor Quartermaine, who wants to just shoot it, gets a pair of background horns.
- Bait and Switch: At first the movie cleverly fools you into thinking that Hutch is the Were-Rabbit, but as it turns out Hutch is simply a Were-Wallace. The real Were-Rabbit was Wallace.
- Beleaguered Assistant: Gromit.
- Big "NO!":
- Victor yells this in frustration when Gromit uses his plane to take the bullet meant for Were-Rabbit Wallace.
- Before that, when Were-Rabbit Wallace just broke off the pipe he's climbing from, sending him tumbling down to the cotton candy machine.
- 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...
- Blessed Are the Cheesemakers: Wallace's cheese obsession. The producers have great fun referencing the most bizarre and obscure cheese names possible.
- Bungling Inventor: Wallace, natch.
- The Cameo: There's two portraits of directors Nick Park and Steve Box (blink and you'll miss it) in the parsonage before the door slams shut.
- Chekhov's Boomerang: the "female rabbit". First Wallace and Gromit attempt to catch the were-rabbit with it, and then Gromit leads the were-rabbit away from Victor with it. Finally, Gromit dresses Victor in it to decoy the mob.
- Civilized Animal: 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.
- Continuity Nod:
- In the montage of portraits in the beginning, orange rockets resembling the one seen in A Grand Day Out appear on the wall.
- Every single phrase Hutch in "Were-Wallace" mode spouts is, if it's not from earlier in this movie, a quote from previous entries.
- When Wallace leaves Gromit alone in the van, he's parked outside a hairdressers called A Close Shave.
- Creative Closing Credits: Rabbits float past as if in the holding tank of the Bun-Vac. Some of them are in costume, and some interact with each other, or with the credits text. The last rabbit bumps its head on the paragraph promising that No Animals Were Harmed.
- Cute Giant: The Were-Rabbit. Despite being many times larger than the average rabbit, it's still, well, a rabbit.
- Defanged Horrors: Curse of the Were-Rabbit.
- Did Not Get the Girl: Despite an enormous amount of innuendo whenever the two of them are both on screen, Wallace and Lady Tottington do not end up together, though they do ultimately create a nature preserve for bunnies.
- Disney Death: Were-Rabbit Wallace.
- Dramatic Thunder: Spoofed.Reverend Hedges: To kill such a beast would require nerves of steel and... (Dramatic Pause) a bullet. (Thunderclap)
Lord Victor: A bullet? (Thunder)
Reverend Hedges: A bullet! (Thunder)
Lord Victor: A bu— (Thunder; Victor slams the shutters of a nearby window shut, annoyed) What kind of bullet?
- Egomaniac Hunter: Victor Quartermaine.
- Face Palm: Gromit's common reaction to the foolishness surrounding him.
- Foreshadowing: Early on, when the Mind-Manipulation-O-Matic begins to go wrong, Wallace hops like a rabbit.
- The morning after the first Were-Rabbit rampage, Gromit looks into the kitchen and sees the fridge door open and the cheese dish left on the floor, with bits of half-eaten cheese around it.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: It seems like every frame of animation has a joke in it somewhere. A notable example are the species names in "The Observer's Book of Monsters," by Claude Savagely (see Hurricane of Puns below): touristis trappus (Loch Ness Monster), enormyious flippus-floppus (Bigfoot), numerous pedulus udderis (were-cow), and, of course, carrotus apetitus giganticus (were-rabbit).
- Genius Ditz / Mad Scientist: Wallace's inventions range from malfunctioning Rube Goldberg-esque devices to clever and groundbreaking gadgets — which also have a tendency to malfunction. Notably, he seems more competent in the feature film than in most of the shorts.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: It's a movie about vegetable. You knew this was going to happen.
- At one point, when Gromit disguises himself as a female Were-Rabbit to lure the Were-Rabbit to safety, the Were-Rabbit pinches the female Were-Rabbit's tail.
- Towards the end, Wallace finds himself clothes-less, so he grabs a handy cheese box to hold front of his private bits. The box has a "May contain nuts" label on it.
- Lady Tottington inviting Wallace to see her secret garden is probably the most risqué.Lady Tottington: Please...call me Totty.
- Gold Digger: Victor's already a rich nobleman, but he was wooing Lady Tottington solely for her money.
- Gone Horribly Wrong: The Rabbit Rehabilitator.
- Go Through Me: Lady Tottington, after she realises the Were-Rabbit is Wallace, attempts to protect him from Victor.
- Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress: Phillip, Victor's dog, and Gromit, near the end.
- Growling Gut: Wallace's tummy rumbles.
- Heroic Sacrifice: During the climax, Were-Wallace jumps onto Gromit's falling plane to break its fall. He gets better though.
- Homemade Inventions: A major plot propellant.
- Horns of Villainy: Invoked and parodied. During the meeting of the towns' citizens in regard to how to deal with the creature that has been seen around their town, just before Lady Tottington makes an address, Victor is shown with two pairs of spikes that are behind his head that gives him an appearance of having devilish horns. In addition, Tottington has an angel sculpture behind her which gives her the appearance of having wings.
- Human To Werewolf Footprints: Reversed. Originally they thought that the were-rabbit prints were leading to the basement and that the pet bunny was the culprit. Then Gromit closes the door and sees that not only do the prints continue past the basement door, they change into human prints as they lead towards Wallace's bedroom.
- Humiliation Conga: At the end, Victor gets smacked by Lady Tottington with a giant carrot, stuffed into a rabbit suit, sent out to be chased away by the mob, and bitten on the tail of the suit by Phillip.
- The Hunter Becomes The Hunted: Victor, after a fashion, at the end of the film. Gromit dresses him up in the female rabbit costume and sends him out to the mob, who chase him away.
- Hurricane of Puns: More like a perfect storm of puns.
- The cheese-themed classic titles behind which Wallace's secret cheese dish is hidden.
- The climax is also very groan-heavy.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: Gromit.
- Idea Bulb: When Wallace gets the idea to use his brainwashing machine to make the rabbits he has captured hate vegetables, the light on his van turns on...though that was Gromit's doing.
- Impact Silhouette: The Were-Rabbit leaves a Were-Rabbit-shaped hole in the church window during its first rampage.
- Intellectual Animal / Speech-Impaired Animal: Gromit.
- Ironic Echo: A rare non-verbal example; Victor's dog Phillip refuses to let Gromit step out of Wallace's car so that he can assist him during his duel with Victor. After Wallace transforms into the Were-Rabbit, Phillip begs for Gromit to let him inside his car. Gromit refuses to do so.
- It's Personal: Victor is the one of the few who knows the real identity of the Were-Rabbit and makes it clear to Lady Tottington that this trope is the real reason why he wants the creature killed.
- Juggling Loaded Guns: Victor at the church meeting.
- "King Kong" Climb: At the climax of the film, the Were-Rabbit climbs to the top of Tottington Manor, carrying Lady Tottington.
- Lame Pun Reaction: Victor is not impressed by the vicar's little joke about how many "carrots" are in the gold bullets needed to kill the Were-Rabbit.
- Gromit also rolls his eyes when Wallace makes a comment about the rabbits breeding like...you know.
- Left the Background Music On: The Vicar gives a doom and gloom rant about the Were-Rabbit with dramatic organ music in the background. The church organist is told to knock it off.
- Little Bit Beastly: Midway through the film, Wallace is suddenly sporting rabbit ears. Somehow he doesn't notice until Gromit points it out to him, at which point he concedes it's "a bit odd" but simply dismisses it as a side-effect of the vegetable diet Gromit has him on.
- Man Hug: Wallace and Gromit exchange one after Wallace awakens from nearly dying.
- Manly Men Can Hunt: Victor is utterly obsessed with hunting to the point where he keeps at it even knowing Totty can't stand it.
- Mid-Battle Tea Break: Gromit and Philip are fighting in a coin operated plane that suddenly stops working. They stop fighting to insert some more change, then they resume fighting as soon as the plane starts working again.
- New Neighbours as the Plot Demands: As the first film in the series without a Minimalist Cast, Wallace and Gromit suddenly have a whole bunch of neighbours we've never seen before.
- No Mouth: Gromit
- Not Good with Rejection: Victor.
- Oh, Crap: Wallace when he realizes he's the Were-Rabbit.Wallace: Ohhh dear.
- Gromit when Wallace begins to turn into the Were-Rabbit. He reacts by locking the doors of the van.
- Later, a Mass "Oh, Crap!" from Gromit, the Were-Rabbit, and a group of rabbits when they realize Gromit accidentally let go of his safety line while high-fiving the Were-Rabbit.
- The Were-Rabbit emits a Loud Gulp as Victor Quartermaine takes aim at him during the final fight scene.
- Only Sane Man: Gromit; it turns out that Wallace is fairly typical of the villagers' level of common sense. Lampshaded in the church scene:Lord Victor Quartermaine: How on earth would those tiny-minded buffoons ever catch such a big rabbit?
Wallace: Um... with a big trap!
[Face Palm from Gromit. Hurrahs from everybody else.]
- Oop North: Specifically, Oop in Lancashire (though Wallace's accent is actually Yorkshire). Kept vague, but a deleted scene shows Gromit dumping all the rabbits Wallace was catching over the border into Yorkshire.
- If you look closely the first time they start up the van you can actually see an A-Z of Wigan on the dashboard, implying it takes place at least close to said city.
- Our Werebeasts Are Different: A were-rabbit instead of a werewolf.
- Parental Bonus: Besides a number of sophisticated jokes, Lady Tottington's nickname "Totty" is British slang for an attractive woman.
- Parody: Of Hammer Horror films.
- Parrot Exposition: Spoofed.Reverend Hedges: To kill such a beast would require nerves of steel and... (Dramatic Pause) a bullet.
Lord Victor: A bullet?
Reverend Hedges: A bullet!
Lord Victor: A bullet? What kind of bullet?
- Photo Montage: The opening titles.
- Popping Buttons: During the Were-Rabbit's transformation sequence.
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Victor, about to shoot the Were-Rabbit with a golden bullet shaped like a root vegetable: "Eat carat, bunny boy."
- Punny Name:
- Most of the villagers have names related to plants or gardening. Even Lady Campanula Tottington gets in on it; Campanula is a type of flower.
- PC Mackintosh.
- A Real Man Is a Killer: Victor is quite disgusted to discover that Wallace's Bun-Vac doesn't harm the bunnies it captures. He asks how Wallace intends to finish the little blighters off and considers the job only half-done while the rabbits are still alive.
- Red Herring: The Were-Rabbit is initially hinted to be Hutch, the rabbit victim of the mind manipulation machine. However, Gromit soon discovers, to his horror, that the Were-Rabbit is actually the human victim of the mind manipulation machine.
- A big deal is made of Wallace's inability to fix the mind manipulator, and then Hutch takes over and seems to be making real progress repairing it, so it's natural to think that it will be a major plot point later. It's the last we actually see of it, though.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: No wonders why Lady Tottington doesn't want to harm the rabbits◊...
- Heck, the Were-Rabbit◊ can qualify as this at times.
- Right-Hand Attack Dog: Victor's dog, Phillip.
- Screams Like a Little Girl: Victor lets out a high-pitched scream when the Were-Rabbit flings a log over him and Gromit in the van after it seems like the Were-Rabbit was going to crush them with it.
- Serious Business: The veg competition. It's Wallace and Gromit so the monster isn't gonna kill anybody, so to keep the tension/plot going, the townspeople take the competition super seriously. Played for Laughs and lampshaded to hell and back. At one point PC Macintosh just flat out says that the whole thing is more trouble than it's worth.
- Shout-Out: Several. The entire film's a Hammer Horror parody, even. They range from Dracula to King Kong to Jaws, and so on.
- At some point, Gromit turns on the radio, and the song is Art Garfunkel's "Bright Eyes" from another British animated film about rabbits.
- The same scene is set outside of Harvey's grocers.
- To Peanuts and Snoopy's role-play as a "World War 1 Flying Ace", when Gromit is flying a Sopwith Camel, and Philip is in a red triplane, like the Red Baron.
- When Gromit notices Wallace turning into the Were-Rabbit, Wallace says "What's up Dog?"
- During the opening credits, the camera pans over a series of photographs. One of them shows Gromit graduating from "Dogwarts University".
- The music for the opening scene sounds very similar to the main theme from The Elephant Man.
- The routine capture and containment from the opening scenes of the film plays rather like similar capture scenes from Ghost Busters.
- Silent Partner: Gromit, who is also...
- Silent Snarker: ...and it's remarkable how expressive he is considering he is always portrayed without a mouth, leaving his eyebrows to convey all of his emotions.
- Silver Bullet: Spoofed. A were-rabbit can only be killed with a gold bullet — 24 carat.
- Something Only They Would Say: Early on in the film, Wallace makes a playful "rabbit paws" gesture in Lady Tottington's direction. She smiles and repeats it back. Later, after carrying her away from the mob and back to the greenhouse, the Were-Rabbit makes the same gesture, looking at her wistfully. She recognizes Wallace at once, stops being afraid, and pulls a Go Through Me moment when Victor arrives to shoot him.
- Sore Loser: Victor.
- Stab the Salad: When one of the villagers grumpily remarks that she hopes the rabbits "get what's coming to them", the next shot has Gromit holding something on a cutting board and raising a big knife...and then he starts cutting up carrots for the bunnies.
- Stop Motion
- Super Multi-Purpose Room: Basically every room in Wallace's house has built-in intricate mechanisms and contraptions to help Wallace and Gromit wake up, get dressed, effortlessly get seated for breakfast, get the breakfast prepared, get into their car, and and and ... See To the Batpole!.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: Hutch, in the middle of rambling about cheese, inventing, cheese, how cracking he thinks things are, eh, Gromit?, and cheese, says "I'm Wallace" for no apparent reason. Perhaps he's vaguely aware that someone's been tinkering with his thinker, and trying to reassure himself?
- Torches and Pitchforks: When the Were-Rabbit is loose at the festival, a booth selling "farm supplies", with pitchforks prominently displayed, places a new sign reading "angry mob supplies".
- To the Batpole!: Our heroes suit up via a Heath Robinson-esque process, depicted in all its absurd detail, complete with several direct references to Gerry Anderson and Thunderbirds.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Cheese, particularly Wensleydale, is Wallace's favorite, but he's also pretty enthusiastic about toast.
- Trailers Always Spoil: One TV ad completely spoiled the secret of the Were-Rabbit.
- Unusual Euphemism: Victor gives a most indignant "Potty POO!!!" after Gromit blocks his shot at the Were Rabbit.
- The Vicar: Reverend Hedges.
- The Voiceless: All of the non-human characters, except for when the rabbits howl at the moon, cheer when Gromit takes the bullet in his plane that was meant for the Were-Rabbit, and cry when Wallace is believed dead; and Hutch when he's become a were-Wallace.
- Tomato in the Mirror: Wallace is the Were-Rabbit.
- Visual Pun: PC Mackintosh blurts out that the titular character isn't dead, the festival comes to a screeching halt, everyone is standing there in Stunned Silence, and a piece of cotton candy tumbles by.
- Weird Moon: The moon is full for five nights, four of which the Were-Rabbit runs loose.
- Wham Shot: As Gromit finishes building the bigger cage for Hutch, whom they believe to be the real Were-Rabbit, he leaves the basement and closes the door... only to reveal more footprints behind it.
- Where the Hell Is Springfield?: The name of the town is never given, though freeze-framing reveals a Wigan A-Z in Wallace's van.
- Which Me?: Wallace starts referring to Hutch in the first person after he takes on his personality. For instance, when Lady Tottington rings the doorbell, Wallace panicks that he can't see her with his rabbit ears. Hutch goes to answer it, and Wallace shouts, "I already am!"
- Who's on First?: After Victor's wig is sucked up by the Bun-Vac 6000:Victor: I want... toupée, please.
Wallace: Oh, grand. We take cheque or cash—
Victor: No, you idiot! Toupée! My hair is in your machine!
Wallace: Oh no, it's only rabbits in there. The hare, I think you'll find, is a much larger mammal.
- Worm Sign: Preceding some of the Were-Rabbit's attacks.
- You Can Run, but You Can't Hide: Near the end, this line from Victor: "You can hop, but you can't hide, Pesto!"
The spin-off video game provides examples of:
- Continuity Nod: There is a "have you seen this chicken?" poster with Feathers McGraw.