WALLACE & GROMIT: THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT (Nick Park, Steve Box) Rating: NNNN
Madagascar and Chicken Little devoured it at the box office, but Wallace & Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit is easily 2005's best animated film.
Co-directors Park and Box, of Chicken Run fame, have written a jokey, clever script about cheese-loving inventor Wallace and his smart but silent dog, Gromit, familiar to animation aficionados from Park's previous Oscar-winning shorts.
In a peaceful Brit suburb, W&G own and operate Anti-Pesto, a humane company that protects the town's produce from rabbits. When one of Wallace's inventions backfires and creates a giant veggie-devouring monster - part werewolf of London, part Kong - they have to track it down before it ruins the upcoming vegetable competition.
The stop-motion claymation is as detailed as ever, and the script is full of puns and visual jokes that reference pop culture - especially Universal's horror classic canon - with as much wit and irreverence as the best Simpsons episodes.
Definitely worth seeing on the big screen. (Bloor, Fox, Kingsway and Royal, December 26-28; Revue, December 26-27)