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 is a compilation of three shorts: "A Grand Day Out," "The Wrong Trousers," and "A Close Shave." Preschoolers will enjoy lovable-looking Wallace and Gromit but may find certain scenes too scary. Grammar school kids will be riveted by the special effects and will replay their favorite scenes over and over again. Tweens, teens, and adults will appreciate the brilliant humor, the special effects, and the action-adventure sequences.
- Parents say
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What's the story?
Inventor and proper Englishman Wallace and his silent, wise dog Gromit brave a moon appliance, mechanical trousers, and a robotic dog in this trilogy of Nick Park's award-winning shorts. In "A Grand Day Out," inventor Wallace and his dog Gromit build a spaceship so they can travel to the moon for the ultimate "Cheese Holiday." On the moon they encounter a stove-like robot who causes the duo trouble. In "The Wrong Trousers," Wallace invents mechanical trousers that can take Gromit for walks. But the invention sets Wallace back, and he's forced to rent a room to a shifty penguin who gains Wallace's trust and then rewires the trousers to commit a jewel heist. In "A Close Shave," window washers Wallace and Gromit meet the dazzling Wendolene and note that, despite a wool shortage, her shop is unusually full of wool. Wendolene's evil dog Preston frames Gromit for recent sheep murders, and Wallace, Gromit, and new friend Shorn must outwit Preston and his "mutton-o-matic" dog food machine.
Is it any good?
This trilogy plays on themes (and theme music) from 1940s sci-fi thrillers, action-adventures, and noir classics; it appeals to everyone from preschoolers to seniors. The plots are complex and suspenseful, the characters are comical, and the Claymation is as detailed as it is whimsical. All three shorts depict technology gone horribly and hilariously wrong, as Wallace's faulty and complicated inventions are a continual source of slapstick humor. Adults enjoy the comic timing, and children delight in the action-adventure.
Heroes Wallace and Gromit are an ingenious team, lovable if laughable. It's never quite clear who is a sidekick to whom as Gromit often seems to out-think his human counterpart. Younger children can identify with intelligent yet put-upon Gromit, who sees the villains before Wallace every time. Quirky Park also has a particular talent for creating unlikely villains: a penguin, an appliance abandoned on the moon, and an evil robot dog.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can use the series as a way to encourage creative children to come up with their own inventions or outlandish stories.
What do you think would be some of the challenges in coming up with an animated feature using clay?
What are some of the ways in which humor is used to tell the story of these "adventures"?
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