A Matter of Loaf and Death (2009)
A Matter of Loaf and Death (2009)

Genre: Adventure, Comedy, and Short Running Time: 30 min.

Release Date: September 22nd, 2009 MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Director: Nick Park Actors: Peter Sallis, Sally Lindsay, Melissa Collier

 


 

B

aker Bob is murdered with his own rolling pin, bringing the number of slain bakers to 12. This startling event bodes ill for Britain’s favorite human/dog combo, as they now run Top Bun – Wallace & Gromit’s Traditional Bakery (complete with home delivery). “Looking on the bright side, I suppose it means more business for us, eh Gromit?”

Wallace again finds a love interest, this time in the former Bake-O-Lite girl, Piella Bakewell (Sally Lindsay), whose name is so blatantly punny that it might as well be that of a James Bond femme fatale. The chummier they get, however, the more overbearing her presence becomes for Gromit, who can’t stand her “woman’s touch.” There’s also something suspicious about her activities, though the investigative dog can’t quite put his paw on it.

The inventions have become more complex, the action sequences more diverse, and the character designs more hysterical. For the first time, however, this Wallace and Gromit short also includes a pop culture reference, as it spoofs the most notorious scene from “Ghost.” But it also revisits – and fully embraces – the horror movie routines (including a dream sequence and the sudden pulling away of a sheet from a shuddering creature) and the darker notion of serial killing, which nicely complements the zaniness.

The comic timing is still stellar, but the humor has decreased in favor of thrills. Part of this is because Piella is a pretty sinister villain for Wallace and Gromit’s misadventures, though she gets a fitting demise via a notion hinted at early on. It’s nevertheless a welcome endeavor to see this famous duo back on the big screen, even if their capers here aren’t as stimulating or as creative as before.

– Mike Massie

  • 7/10