Here's another one of those great family favourites I put on that list I mentioned in my 'Hocus Pocus' review. Even though that was a list of a pretty randomized 20, I would have to say that this has to be somewhere at the top of that list as far as good, wholesome, family-friendly Halloween fun goes. And yes, I do say that with a bit of a bias toward these two charming characters, who we've seen in a few different things up to this point. There's something I love about the way these two play off each other. Wallace (Peter Sallis) is a sweet, charming man but a bit of a bumbler, and Gromit is the silent dog whose facial expressions say everything he needs to. My appreciation of Aardman Animations goes beyond these two as well, with films like 'Chicken Run', 'Arthur Christmas' and 'Shaun the Sheep' - just a few examples of some rather hilarious, yet wholesome entertainment.
Interestingly enough, 'Curse of the Were-Rabbit' marks Wallace & Gromit's only full-length film so far, and I have to give them bonus points for making it a Halloween film! If you go through my list of 20 (as posted earlier), you'll see a lot of it is pretty hard to find, or otherwise painfully obvious, while this lies somewhere in between. I don't hear a lot of people talk about it during the Halloween season, but in my opinion, it's one of the best light-hearted Halloween-related things one can watch during the spooky season. This is one of those movies one can use to shine just a little bit of light on the otherwise scary and/or suspenseful thrillers and horrors they're watching through the month of October.
In this feature, we see cheese-loving inventor, Wallace and his faithful dog, Gromit working in animal control with their humane company "Anti-Pesto". The big deal at the moment is rabbits who have been invading people's crops. This is made even worse by the fact that these people are attempting to grow giant vegetables for the upcoming Giant Vegetable Competition at Tottington Hall. After the pair rand up a massive group of rabbits in one, Lady Tottington's (Helena Bonham Carter) garden, Wallace attempts to use one of his new inventions to try brainwashing the rabbits into not liking vegetables. As one can imagine, this all backfires and, long story short, it ends up creating a giant rabbit who terrorizes the local gardens.
Just to add to the story a little bit, there's a love-interest thing going on here between Wallace and Lady Tottington, but Wallace does have to deal with that "jock" type in the form of Victor Quartermaine (Ralph Fiennes). However, thankfully, this all takes a back seat to a lot of the other stuff going on throughout the film, and it's clear that this is out to have fun first - just like most, if not all of Aardman Animations' work. It's actually a good collection of (yet again) family-friendly material that doesn't have to rely on a love story of any sort to keep things interesting.
So, if you're in the mood for something your kid can watch that plays well for Halloween but really isn't scary, you need not look any further. One might wonder what kind of monster a were-rabbit could be, and what it might do to human beings, but to make it a little extra kid-friendly, the big threat here is against vegetables and not people, so even though the monster, itself could be a sort of scary idea, the execution of the monster is nice and tame, so you probably won't have to worry about getting your kids to bed after something like this. It may have a moment here and there, but for the most part, it's just fun all around.