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5 Fun Facts You May Not Know About Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
Let's look back at the amazing world of Aardman's stop-motion classic, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.
The meticulous technique of stop motion has been getting its flowers of late with a steady flow of projects using the painstaking style of animation. From the recent sequel Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget to Peacock's first adult animated comedy, In the Know, there's been no shortage of fresh releases in this relatively niche animation subcategory. One of the most respected stop-motion studios in modern cinema that's still dedicated to this art remains England's Aardman Animation, which has been celebrating and innovating the technique since 1972.
One of Aardman's greatest creations remains their second theatrical release, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. Despite hitting theaters in 2005, it remains the second highest-grossing stop motion film in box office history, earning $197 million worldwide. Were-Rabbit also took home the Academy Award, a BAFTA, and an Annie Award for Best Animated Feature Film. With the film now streaming on Peacock, there's no better time to revisit the craftsmanship and humor that makes Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit such a standard bearer for stop motion animation.
5 things you may not know about Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
Were-Rabbit is the fourth entry in the Wallace and Gromit franchise
While Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit is the first theatrical film featuring the characters of Wallace (Peter Sallis) and his crackin' smart but long-suffering pet, Gromit, the pair were first introduced to audiences in the short film, A Grand Day Out in 1989. In 1993, they returned in the short The Wrong Trousers, and in 1995 in A Close Shave. Having established an international fandom, and a shelf full of prestigious awards, the duo graduated to cinemas with this film. In 2008, they returned to the world of shorts with A Matter of Loaf and Death.
It's an Easter egg fest for horror, animation, and thriller classics
With Wallace turning into the eponymous Were-Rabbit in the story, there are obviously plenty of horror homages and references baked into the visuals. But directors Nick Park and Steve Box are also big cinephiles who tipped their hat to many of their favorites within the movie. Aside from the Hammer Horror references, there are also call-outs to Watership Down, The Simpsons, Top Gun, Indiana Jones, Universal Monsters, Harvey, King Kong, and many more.
Two voice-actors reunited after this film in another famous franchise
The other two humans of note in Were-Rabbit are Lord Victor Quartermaine and Lady Campanula "Totty" Tottington, voiced by Ralph Fiennes and Helena Bonham Carter, respectively. As it turns out, 2005 is the same year that Fiennes debuted as series Big Bad, Lord Voldemort, in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Two years later, Bonham Carter joined him in the dark side as Voldemort's loyal acolyte Bellatrix Lestrange in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. A fortuitous turn of events because Were-Rabbit reveals in a photo that Gromit graduated from Dogwarts.
A tragedy met the release of the film
In England, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit was released in theaters on October 14, 2005. Four days before, Aardman Animation's storage facility in Bristol experienced a major fire which incinerated 30 years of their props, puppets, and scenery for their whole history of creations. Luckily, no one was hurt and the entire Aardman filmography was stored at a different location, so their masters were safe.
Stop-motion stats for Were-Rabbit
The runtime for Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit is 85 minutes long and the film took five years to make. Because stop motion animation is done by hand, with animators moving any puppet in the frame up to 24 times to create one second of film, Aardman Animation completed an average of 10 seconds of footage every work day. The team included 30 animators led by supervising animator, Loyd Price. To make the 40 characters in the film, they utilized 2.8 tons of Plasticine modeling material in 42 different colors.
Watch Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, now streaming on Peacock.