From Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman.
Wallace and Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death”
Charming British claymation creations Wallace and Gromit make a grand return in “A Matter of Loaf and Death.”
The animated short film, due Sept. 22 on DVD, is the first outing for the lovable pair since they won their creators, writer-director Nick Park and Aardman Animations, the 2006 Oscar for their first feature-length adventure, “Wallace and Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit.”
In their newest escapade, dim but creative inventor Wallace (voice of Peter Sallis) has embarked on a new moneymaking venture, a heavily automated home-based bakery called “Top Bun.” As usual, his clever and faithful dog Gromit, who despite his many human characteristics remains a silent partner, is integral to running the business.
On one of their daily “Dough to Door” deliveries, Wallace and Gromit rescue Piella Bakewell (Sally Lindsay), a former pin-up girl for the Bake-O-Lite bread company, and her tiny poodle Fluffles from a horrid bicycle accident. Wallace is smitten with the ex-spokesmodel, and the two embark on a whirlwind romance.
But the cautious Gromit is suspicious of his master’s new love interest, especially since a “cereal killer” has already offed 12 area bakers.
“A Matter of Loaf and Death” is Park’s first Wallace and Gromit short since 1995’s “A Close Shave.” The new exploit doesn’t quite measure up to the brilliance of that Oscar winner, nor to the pair’s previous short adventures, 1994 Academy Award victor “The Wrong Trousers” and 1991 Oscar nominee “A Grand Day Out.”
But seeing the chums back in action is a joy. “A Matter of Loaf and Death” offers many of the same entertaining qualities as the previous episodes, including Wallace’s mind-boggling contraptions, Gromit’s telling facial expressions and the occasional fingerprints on the stop-motion clay animated characters.
Plus, the film makes hilarious references to “Aliens,” “Ghost” and the “Batman” TV series.
DVD extras: Making-of featurette, commentary, video game demo and episode of the spin-off TV series “Shaun the Sheep.”