I think what impressed me most about A Matter of Loaf and Death was the simple fact that it came out mere three years after the largely successful Where-Rabbit film (which itself came out a full decade after the prior W&G film, A Close Shave). I’m not sure if this has to do with the animation process being perfected or the infusion of Ardman resources from three successful DreamWorks collaborations, but it’s great that gang has been able to follow up a solid effort with another solid effort so quickly.
Returning to its typical 30-minute runtime, A Matter of Loaf and Death places Wallace and Gromit into but another new business venture.
From window washers, to rabbit control, this time 62 West Wallaby Street converted into bakery-mode complete with ovens, robotic kneading arms, and contraptions that can only be described as “Wallace-esque”. Calling their new venture "Top Bun,” profits are raising right along with the bread dough up until the moment Wallace falls head over buns in love with a seductive bread-industry icon, Piella Bakewell.
Oblivious-er than usual, Wallace is high on life with the course of events but Gromit finds himself concerned by the news that 12 local bakers disappeared mysteriously and all of them seemed to have had connections with one miss Piella Bakewell.
The humor, once more, is spectacular. If the low key comedic bits don’t capture your attention the first time through, the scene that spoofs the famous pottery wheel/ Righteous Brothers bit from the movie Ghost certainly will! I was also quite enamored with the segment that spoofs the pay-loader suit made famous in James Cameron’s ALIENS.
I’m surprised to observe around the web the general consensus that this one happens far too quickly (or is too short as the complaints seem to balk). Interestingly, save for the Where-Rabbit, all of Wallace and Gromit’s films have been 30-minutes or under. How quickly we get spoiled!
To counter such complaints, truly this team does their absolute best work when the proverbial clock is ticking. The pacing here and the near-frantic exposition harkens back to the early-shorts, particularly reminiscent of the structure of A Close Shave.
I must confess to having inadvertently viewing this one out of order but as a result of the error, can state with absolute certainty that despite the general consensus, this one looks and feels a lot more like the original W&G shorts than it does the slightly out of place Where-Rabbit full length feature.
In all, some argue that A Matter of Loaf and Death is too short in runtime or not as clever as the earlier entries of the franchise but I completely disagree with these sentiments. Having been afforded the luxury of viewing the entire Wallace and Gromit collection within the course of a week, I can state with absolute conviction that this one more closely resembles the original features than it does the more Hollywood-finessed Where-Rabbit that preceded it. Highly recommended entertainment!
What did you think of this review?