This was an all-kids-movies-all-the-time weekend, with multiple viewings of Wallace and Gromit (now available at Netflix.com) and an actual movie theatre experience to see Curious George. Curious George is recommended by Common Sense Media, which I’ve recommended before as a good source for “family-friendly” reviews. Wallace and Gromit has not yet been reviewed by CommonSense.org, but was a 2006 Oscar winner.
Curious George was a hit with my six-year-old daughter and she reveled in seeing at least two of her favorite Curious George stories come to life within the same film. The movie itself is very simply done, with few pyrotechnics. It also lacks the usual post-modern cultural references and good and evil under-current many “kids” movies have these days (think “Shrek” or “The Incredibles”). Alas, that means mommy and daddy risk being severely bored (I checked email and flirted with a nap). Though some adults have written reviews professing their enjoyment, the only real joy I got from this movie was that in spending time with my daughter. She and I also snagged a bag full of popcorn—despite mommy’s parting admonition not to get any junk food, my daughter and I agree she was talking about sugary versus savory snacks).
Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit was a different experience. The whole family watched this movie intently and there was clearly something for everyone. The claymation was stellar and the plotline compelling. The movie satirizes the horror movie genre, while carrying on the jokes familiar to Wallace and Gromit fans (the “cheesy” humor, the Rube Goldberg contraptions). Given the horror movie send-up, there are parts that aren’t appropriate for smaller viewers. Dramatic music and “gi-normous” rabbits kept my two-year-old hanging on mommy, and may be too frightening for some kids. I’d rate this movie an A- or B+ for entertainment value, sure to please if you like other Wallace and Gromit films. This was also twenty times better than Chicken Run, the other feature-length film by Nick Park and Steve Box.