Wednesday, 19 July 2017

The Incredible Adventures of Wallace and Gromit: Anyone for some cheese?

Rest in Peace Peter Sallis

I admit I'm almost ashamed this one took so long to do. It shouldn't be a shock to hear that I have a lean towards animation over live action, while a strong part of it was my childhood, where most of the cartoons and animations I watched were really good (in my opinion at the time, time is cruel after all) and a lot of live action things I saw were Tween dramas my sister loved to watch that I still hate to this day, the other part in it is creativity. While it might seem like a bad excuse, I do think animation is truly limitless in its potential for creative ideas, taking away what little restraints there are in live action. To me, its a shame that some animation styles have all but died out, such as traditional/ traditional water colour (take a guess as to why. Here's a hint, they just had a big expo over the weekend) and Stop motion, or to use today's case as an example, Claymation. The only difference between the two being what was used. Stop motion being the overarching style, where instead of filming in seconds, filming is done with pictures to allow for the animators to re-position the objects in each frame when needed. Claymation is the same thing but whereas Stop motion can be with anything, Claymation focuses on the use clay for the main objects, such as people and animals, and in the realm of Claymation, two names stick out, and rightfully so. Wallace and Gromit... or Robot Chicken depending on who you are, but this is kid friendly so Wallace and Gromit!

While there is a lot I could cover for this, and I do plan to get to it in time, for now, I'm going to stick with where the two got started. Between 1990 and 1995, three short films staring the two were let out into the world, with a forth arriving in 2008. A Grand Day Out, The Wrong Trousers, A Close Shave and A Matter of Loaf and Death. I'm not going to review each individually though, as story issues aside, most things I could say about one apply to the other three. Each of the four stories revolve around Wallace and Gromit, each with a simple basic premise to them that leads to interesting situations. Wallace himself is an inventor, trying to automate even the simplest of tasks like getting out of bed in the morning with a Rube Goldberg machine. Gromit is often the one to fix problems that come from the inventions or situations, often to his expense. It's simple and does often get a laugh out of me because its a style of comedy I enjoy, reaction focused comedy. Same as why I like Animaniacs, but as this is from Brittan, there's still a level of class in it. It's kid friendly, with only the smallest of more adult focused comedy in there.

In terms of presentation, I do love the soundtrack, no questions asked (I love orchestral like this, what do you want from me?). But a lot of people may have an issue with the animation style. The animation is fluid in terms of Stop Motion and Claymation, but its not as fluid as digital animation is. If you're willing to live with the style's issues, then you will find the animation enjoyable as there's a lot of energy on screen. But if you can't live with the issues of Claymation, then you are going to hate this show. I personally enjoy it thanks to the charm of the style, which is why to me, these are flawless short films. Next week I plan to go a little further back, because I want to see people punch things so hard words fly out of them!

Oh and if anyone is curious. From best to worst for me: The Wrong Trousers, A Close Shave, A Grand Day Out, A Matter of Loaf and Death (I really like the set work in it, but the villain is just so boring to me. I find Fluffles more interesting then her)

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