Wallace and Gromit. Two plastacine pals. Essentially that show "One man and his dog", but with more cheese. And giant rabbits. And robot dogs. And criminal penguins. This show is so fucked up!
Wallace and Gromit: A Grand Day Out
Officially just called A Grand Day Out, the duo's first outing see's them heading for the moon, because Wallace has run out of cheese. Why couldn't he just go to the nearest supermarket? It's like £1.99 at Sainsburys! That's about $3, which is a reasonable price for cheese, much more reasonable than the price it must have cost Wallace to built a fucking rocket. If Gromit had a mouth, he'd be explaining why Wallace was a moron within the first 3 minutes. So they fly to the moon while earing toast and building a house of cards. When they get to the moon, they go exploring with a picnic basket in search of moon cheese. Whilst there, they find a coin operated robot. Who the fuck put a coin operated robot on the moon? God? Neil Armstrong? And the robots obsessed with skiing! Who told it about skiing? The moon cheese? Can the moon cheese talk? NONE OF THIS MAKES SENSE! So Wallace tries some of the cheese, but doesn't think it's very good at all. But fuck that, he went for cheese, he's getting cheese! So he takes a basketful of moon shit that they've confused for cheese, foiling the many of the robots attempts to stop him. Well, foiling ins the wrong term, more luckily avoiding. Anyway, the robot tries to go with them, because he wants to ski. But shit goes wrong, and the robot is left behind. But don't dispare, before you go and punch the wall in grief, it turns out the robot pulled suitably sized pieces of metal off the rocket and manages to forge himself some rudamentary skis. The climax of the film is footage of the robot having a gay old time on the moon with his skis.
"I ARE SKIING! WHOOOOOP!"
Wallace and Gromit: The Wrong Trousers
After the mind rape of A Grand Day out, things start to calm down in terms of randomness, but not in sillyness. It's Gromits birthday, a cause for celebration at 62 West Wallaby Street. For Gromits birthday, Wallace has purchased a pair of trousers (ex-Nasa. Fantastic for walkies). These are ideal, since it means Wallace can search Ebay for more pointless items while Gromit gets taken for a walk by a pair of trousers. GENIUS! Unfortunately, the trousers were understandably expensive, and the money situation is looking poor. Wallace decides it's best to take in a lodger, in the form of a penguin. Feeling the story could use a complete prick, the penguin steals Gromits room and belongings, instead of staying in the guest room the duo had prepared earlier. Gromit is understandably pissed off when Wallace starts ignoring him and hanging out with the penguin more, so he packs up some of his stuff from his kennel and leaves (possibly the wierdest moment in animation, who knew clay figures could bring a tear to your eye?). Anyway, as it turns out, the penguin is Feathers Mcgraw, a chicken who specialises in robbery. Now wait a minute. Penguins can't be chickens, thats physicall-Oh my god, he's wearing a glove on his head. OF COURSE! The disguise is perfect! He really looks like a chicken!
"I'm so handsome in my chicken disguise!"
So it turns out, the only reason the penguin stayed with Wallace and Gromit was that he needed a patsy to use in a heist, and with the techno trousers, that patsy is Wallace. By modifying the controls so they are remote, the penguin uses a sleeping Wallace to steal a diamond from a museum. Things, obviously, go wrong (hey, this is a Wallace and Gromit film, not Oceans 11). So, Wallce wakes up in the middle of the museum with the alarms going off and only narrowly escapes through the window with Feathers Mcgraw. They get back to the house, where Wallace gets locked in a wardrobe. But, Gromit arrives to save the day with a rolling pin. Feathers has a gun. Gromit loses and gets locked in the wardrobe with Wallace. Just when it looks like they're going to have to live there for the rest of their lives (unless Wallace eats Gromit or vice versa), Gromit manages to rewire the trousers to stomp their way out. What proceeds may be the best finale to any film ever made. A train chase. Around the house. On a miniature railway. How great is that? Gromit even has to lay down extra track in order to stop from crashing. It's hilarious. It all goes well in the end, as they catch Feathers Mcgraw, get some reward money and pop the wrong trousers in the trash. A happy end to a wierd film.
Wallace and Gromit: A Close Shave
So, right about now, things should be around the "sane" level on the mentality chart. Or maybe just below. Sure, if robot dogs stealing sheep is sane.
Fuck if we know what this means, but it looks impressive!
A Close Shave begins outside Wallace and Gromits house at night. A lorry pulls up outside, allowing a small sheep to escape from the back and enter the house through a dogflap. This is an odd addition to a house with a dog that is capable of making breakfast, and is probably able to open doors. So Wallace and Gromit awaken the next morning to discover a hell of a lot of stuff has been chewed up, including a porridge box and some cables. Oh, and a plant. Basically the sheeps gone to town on their home. They're also displeased to find that their porridge cannon isn't working properly, after it ejaculates all over Wallce, sticking him to the wall. But, no time for such problems, as they get a call from Wendolene Ramsbottom, from the wool shop, who needs her windows cleaned. So Wallace and Gromit head down to the
Batcave Wallacecave garage and head off to do the job they do best! Cleaning windows with the help of bungee rope. While Wallace tries to woo Wendolene, Gromit cleans the windows. After a bit of a run in with Wendolenes dog, Preston, Wallace and Gromit go home to find a small sheep in their kitchen, covered in random shit (jam, chocolate, etc. It's a sheep, so there's probably really some shit mixed in as well.) They take him down to the basement and put him in the wash-o-matic, a tortue device Wallace has invented, most likely to be used when Gromit turns on him. Unfortunately, instead of a light trim, they shave him completely, while the machine uses his wool to make a sweater. Always thinking one step ahead, Wallace plops the sweater on the sheep and calls him Shaun (ha ha ha ha ha!!!!) Meanwhile, Preston grows more and more jealous of Gromit, finally framing him for Sheep snatching, which Gromit goes to jail for. (Let's recap: We're half way through the film, one dog has the mind of a hero, one dog has the mind of an evil genius, theres a bald sheep that wears a sweater and there's a woman called Rammsbottom. Everyone on the same page?)
Wallace decides that jail is no place for his canine pal and busts him out with the help of a herd of sheep that escaped from Preston. They hide in a field where they overhear Wendolene arguing that she and Preston should stop stealing sheep. He doesn't like that. Not...one...bit! So he sticks her in the back of the lorry with the sheep and drives off, with Wallace and Gromit giving chase on a motorbike with a sidecar. Along the way at some point, the sidecar seperates. Never fear though, it's a sidecar that's also a PLANE! That's right, Gromit nosedives off a cliff, the car sprouts wings and he flies through the night, with the greatest of ease! This plane also has the porridge cannon, no longer malfunctioning, which Gromit uses to generally piss off Preston. They finally reach Prestons secret lair, where they discover he's stolen the wash-o-matic, and plans to use it on Wallace, Wendolene and the sheep in order to make them into dog food. Good technique he's used there: When the shop's are closed, make your own food out of people and sheep. But, HOORAY, Gromit arrives to save the day, only to be caught in mid-flight by Preston. Whilst Prestons preoccupied with holding the (still running) plane in his hands, Gromit and Shaun put him in the wash-o-matic and turn it up to full, which, unluckily for everyone ever turns him into a terminator dog.
"I'll be bark!" Cheap joke, we know, sue us!
So Preston, now a cyberdog, eventually gets himself, the sheep, Wallace, Wendolene and Gromit onto a treadmill that's going towards a large rolling pin. With spikes. This is obviously the last place you would want to find yourself when a Terminator is after you, so after a bit of clever trickery, they manage to push Preston into the crushed, disabling him.
Cut to a week or so later. Wallace has rebuilt Preston and made him a bit more sane , in the hopes of getting into Wendolenes pants (citation needed). Just as he's getting somewhere with her, she lets slip that she doesn't like cheese and leaves. Kind of a kick in the nuts after all he's done right? Expecting a happy ending? Well, they get the cheese out and find Shaun eating it! There's your damned happy ending!
Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
This one's pretty long, and no-one likes reading synopsis of a full length film (hell, the above's a bit too much!) So, you've got the choice to follow this link or not - The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
Wallace and Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death
Here's where things start picking up, on both the mentality chart and the story. The film opens in a bakery where we see Baker Bob being beaten to death with a rolling pin by an unseen attacker. He is the latest of twelve bakers to be murdered, and it just so happens that Wallace and Gromit are bakers now (a leap from window cleaning, but still) who deliver "dough to door" from their new bread making company, "Top Bun" (cue patronising laugh). Who'd have thought it, when there's a serial killer on the loose who specializes in bakers? What a twist! While out on their daily run of throwing bread at people, they come across Piella Bakewell, who has seemingly lost control of her bike. Now, we're not sure about you, but the resolution of this film has just become glaringly obvious. After rescuing her, Wallace becomes attracted to her. If you can't tell what's implied by her sudden appearence, Gromit helps by proving that her brakes were working all along. Something fishy is definately afoot here!
"OH GOD, HE'S GOT WALLACES HEAD!"
Anyhoo, Piella and her dog, Fluffles, become close aquaintances with Wallace and Gromit. While Wallace blindly follows Piella around like a deranged lunatic, Gromit grows increasingly suspicious of her interests in his old chum. Fluffles does nothing but look nervous, understandable for a dog that has a name that would make most people vomit. It turns out, after a bit of amateur detective work on Gromits part, that Piella is the serial killer who targets bakers. Who's have thought it? Turns out, she went a bit nuts after she gained tonnes of weight and was fired from her job as a bread mascot. Sooooooo, Gromit goes all security mad in the house, with metal detectors and shit (awesome). Piella catches on and bites herself, claiming it was Gromit. So basically, it all goes a bit downhill from here. Gromit is confined to wearing a chain and leash, Piella goes a bit shouty at Wallace and Fluffles goes missing. Gromit, with his keen sense of investigation, goes looking for Fluffles after Piella delivers a large cake to Wallace with a suspicious candle that almost looks like a fuse. Piella catches Gromit and locks him up with Fluffles and (face palm) her old personal hot air balloon, which Gromit uses to escape with Fluffles. From here on in, there are a bunch of movie spoofs, in-jokes and trouser exploding, the result being Piella trying to escape and landing in a crocodile enclosure. The graph just broke!
As scathing as that previous section was, we at Cracked do genuinely enjoy the antics of Wallace and Gromit. There's always a clever mixture of humour and story. Take A Matter of Loaf and Death. While there are some extremely mental parts, the overall story is much better than a lot of the guff Hollywood churns out. There's tension, drama, action and romance (two dogs in love counts as romance, surely). And there is a remarkable amount of shout outs to other films that Nick Park is a fan of. Nothing says dedication like paying homage to The Terminator with a dog and a knitting machine.