Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Great Fictional Heroes: Wallace and Gromit

If you don't love Wallace and Gromit...well, I just don't know what to say to you. The sheer concentrated charm and ingenuity of the madcap duo is the perfect echo of the charm and ingenuity that goes into making the show itself, a labour of excruciatingly-detailed and protracted love that takes years at a stretch. For this reason, the arrival of a new Wallace and Gromit special (barring the twee little Expanded Universe of audio dramas and adventure games) is a rare event, guaranteed to be fixed in the imagination forever. The fact that a full-length movie (2005’s Curse of the Were-Rabbit) even exists is actually kind of mind-quivering.

Wallace is a bumbling Lancastrian inventor, faintly oblivious but basically loveable, whose eccentric mechanical prowess tends to land him in the glaring headlights of trouble at every opportunity. Gromit is his mute, yet plucky, pet dog/lab assistant/business partner/best friend, whose mix of good sense and heroic resourcefulness tends to land him in the thick of the action trying to rescue his misguided master from whatever rampaging space robot/penguin supervillain/Were-Rabbit is menacing Merry England this time around. The neatly-calibrated mix of light-hearted adventure, inventive animation and the simple brotherly comradeship between the two quirky leads ensures that W and G become national treasures with a permanent place in the nostalgia pantheon. 

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