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Wallace and Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this British claymation movie delves into some darker themes, but with slapstick humor and even a bit of pathos. One main character gets involved with a deceptive love interest while the other hunts for a serial killer. In an attempt to fight off the killer, the main characters endure tense moments, including being kidnapped and threatened by a bomb.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Hapless Wallace and his trusty but silent dog Gromit have started a bread-baking business, employing their trademark gadgets to help knead and bake the bread. When fellow bakers start turning up dead and Wallace meets the charming, if controlling Piella Bakewell, Gromit begins to investigate the mysterious woman. Perpetually oblivious, Wallace becomes infatuated with the zaftig lady while Gromit gets to the bottom of the murder mystery, but not before being muzzled, kidnapped, and threatened with a bomb. In the end, it's Gromit who finds a mate, instead of Wallace.
Is it any good?
Like other offerings from director Nick Park, this movie's offbeat and dark humor sets it apart from other more mainstream titles. The wild contraptions, unlikely capers, and death-defying stunts make for a high-energy, witty comedy with quirky details that can appeal to both adults and children. A MATTER OF LOAF AND DEATH tips its hat to classic noir films, beginning with the opening scene where a mysterious attacker sneaks up behind a clueless baker and dispatches the man with a swift (offscreen) whack to the head. Fans of Wallace and Gromit's other work will find this movie chock full of the usual quirky humor, like Wallace's appreciation for the tea Gromit poured from the nozzle of a gas pump: "Lovely cuppa, Gromit. But with a slight diesel-ly aftertaste." However, some of the less obvious concepts in the film might trouble more sophisticated viewers, like the murderer's motive -- resentment toward bakers for weight gain.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about being pressured to make poor choices. Why did Piella Bakewell's dog turn against her? Why do you think she stayed with Piella in the first place?
Families with older children can talk about media images of women. Why did Piella get fired from her job as a spokesperson? Do you think that kind of thing happens in real life? If so, why?
Families can talk about gadgets. What kind of gadgets do you wish you had in your house? Have you ever invented anything?