The Incredible Adventures of Wallace & Gromit

January 28, 2012 7 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

This wonderful collection from Warner & BBC Video features three Wallace & Gromit shorts, as well as a bunch of bonus surprises. This marks the second release on DVD for these shorts, which were first issued by Fox a ways back, but went out of print. Now Warner has picked up the rights and re-released them, but this is no mere repackage, not by any means. This new edition from Warner features a slew of bonus materials, such as audio commentaries, behind the scenes footage, trailers, Wallace & Gromit’s scrapbook, and much more. So while you might already own these shorts, you don’t own them in such grand form, so I recommend an upgrade for lovers of all things Wallace & Gromit. Below is a brief synopsis for each short, in case you’ll need them.

1. A Grand Day Out- Wallace and his canine friend Gromit have a hankering to go on holiday, but are unsure where to venture to. Even after reading countless books, travel magazines, and even trying to blindly select a destination from the globe, nothing seems to tickle their fancies. But then Wallace notices the cheese supply is running low and a result, it is decided to go somewhere that has cheese…lots of cheese. The normal places aren’t good enough in this case, so the two build their own spacecraft and venture to the moon, in search of sweet cheese. But of course, this won’t be as easy as expected, so it will take some work to get all the cheese they want, especially with a less than friendly native hot on their trail.

2. The Wrong Trousers- Wallace has crunched the numbers time and again, but the bills always seem to overweigh the income. In an effort to remain in the black, Wallace decides to rent out the spare room, which means Gromit has to deal with a new lodger. The new resident is a small penguin, who hits it off with Wallace right off, even doing some of the tasks Gromit usually does, which sends Gromit into a real tizz. But when the penguin overtakes Gromit’s mechanical trousers -with Wallace inside them- things turn sour and everything quickly runs out of control.

3. A Close Shave- In this classic tale of romance & robbery, Wallace and Gromit get into all sorts of problems. Wallace finds himself fallen head over heels for a woman, while Gromit ends up accused of kidnapping sheep. Of course, Gromit is innocent of the charges, but thanks to a criminal mastermind, he remains the prime suspect. It is all due to Wallace’s Knit-O-Matic, but he is so blind with love that he can’t seem to help Gromit, even in this time of need. Will Wallace’s romance blossom into eternal love, while Gromit is locked up on sheepnapping charges?

Video: How does it look?

The shorts are presented in full frame form, as intended. These look terrific and have minimal flaws to discuss, aside from some minor wear in places. The prints look clean and that allows the animation to shine, which of course, it does and then some. The colors look bold and smooth, with no smears or discoloration, while contrast is stark and provides a perfect level of detail. No real complaints to be made with these transfers, as the shorts look as good as possible, which is about all we can ask for, I think.

Audio: How does it sound?

The audio on these shorts is solid, but you won’t be overly impressed, by any means. It all sounds terrific however, with no issues to be concerned about, but due to the material, this is not an audio bonanza. As far as the material goes however, the audio is more than solid and never falters, so fans should be pleased. The music sounds clean and free from distortion, while dialogue is sharp and clear, no real issues here at all. This disc also includes French and Spanish language options, in case you’ll need those.

Supplements: What are the extras?

I was thrilled to find audio commentary with Nick Park and his crew on not just one short, but all three of them, very cool indeed. As with the commentary on Chicken Run, Park is talkative and provides a lot of insight, while his fellow crew members also chime in at times. It is a real treat to have these sessions on this disc, so kudos to Warner and BBC Video here. Next is The Amazing World of Wallace & Gromit, a look into how the characters, as well as their creator, came to be so well known. This fifteen minute piece follows Nick Park from his music video days all the way to Wallace & Gromit’s adventures, via interviews, clips, and behind the scenes glimpses. The previous feature is found within the At Home with Aardman section, which also includes a text history of the studio, as well as talent files on Park and some of the other artists. In the Scrapbook area, you’ll find some special holiday television spots with the duo, a selection of blueprints for the various gadgets shown in the shorts, as well as a collection of still photos. The Storyboards section has storyboards of course, with A Close Shave and The Wrong Trousers galleries available, very cool stuff and well worth a look, to be sure. In Behind the Scenes, you have to access to behind the scenes featurettes on A Close Shave and The Wrong Trousers, as well as a collection of Nick Park’s earlier works, which are a delight to find included here. This disc also includes a trailer for Robbie the Reindeer, which rounds out the disc’s extras quite well, I think.

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