Australian Council on Children and the Media

Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

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Short takes

Parental guidance under 8 (Scary scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
  • a review of Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 10 September 2005.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Due to some scary scenes parental guidance is recommended for children under eight, particularly preschoolers.
Children over the age of 8 Children over the age of eight could watch this movie with or without parental guidance.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild suggestive language, mild themes
Length 84 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Wallace (Peter Sallis), avid cheese-lover and inventor, and his dog, Gromit, have set up “Anti-pesto”, a security business protecting the vegetable patches of their fellow villagers. The villagers are in preparation for the annual vegetable fair, and their over-sized and prized vegetables are under threat from vegetable-loving rabbits.

Lady Tottington (Helena Bonham Carter) hosts the annual fair, and asks Wallace to come to her aid and eradicate her rather overwhelming rabbit problem. She prefers Anti-pesto’s humane way of capturing and protecting the rabbits to the more deadly methods of her hopeful suitor, the gun-toting nob Victor Quartermaine (Ralph Fiennes). Wallace believes he can cure the rabbits of their vegetable-devouring ways by combining two of his inventions, the BunVac 6000 and the Mind Manipulator O’matic. He experiments on himself and the rabbits, attempting to transfer his thoughts of not eating vegetables to them.

Soon after, the village begins to be terrorised by a giant vegetable-crazy ‘Were-rabbit’. With the encouragement of Lady Tottington and despite the their misgivings about the capabilities of Anti-pesto, the villagers agree to give Wallace and Gromit a final chance to rid them of the were-rabbit. In their attempts to locate and capture the were-rabbit, Wallace and Gromit must also deal with the startling discovery of the were-rabbit’s true identity and the frequent interruptions of the increasingly jealous and aggressive Victor.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie, mostly slapstick in nature, including:

  • When Wallace gets trapped in his floorboards, Gromit uses one of his inventions, a giant mallet, to hit him through the hole. Gromit is trying to be helpful, Wallace is unharmed and the action is depicted as humorous.
  • Victor tries to draw Wallace into a fist fight (no punches thrown).
  • Victor makes several attempts to shoot rabbits and also the were-rabbit. None are actually harmed.
  • Lady Tottington hits Victor, once again with comedic effect.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

There are a number of scenes that children under the age of five may find scary, including:

  • Much of the film is set at night-time, with shadowy figures lurking about the village. These generally turn out to be rabbits.
  • The alarm systems in the village include garden gnomes with flashing red eyes.
  • Hutch, one of the rabbits to whom Wallace is trying to transfer his thoughts, appears to undergo a transformation. Although this is not initially shown, the other rabbits in Wallace’s home appear to very frightened.
  • There is a very tense scene where the Vicar, returning to the church through the graveyard, hears noises, and notices the church door opening and closing. The Vicar appears frightened and finally discovers the were-rabbit eating all the Harvest produce on the altar. While adults will see the humour in the way this scene plays out, young children may be scared.
  • While trying to lure out the were-rabbit, Wallace and Gromit become separated. Gromit is left alone in the car as the moon emerges from behind clouds. Gromit hears noises and looks a little scared. He soon discovers the were-rabbit is out and begins a pursuit.
  • The following day, Gromit discovers the identity of the were-rabbit and tries to get both Wallace and himself home before night time. However, Victor sets them up and traps them in the forest. The moon comes out, and they are all witness to the transformation of the were-rabbit. Victor and his dog, Phillip appear frightened.
  • The appearance of the were-rabbit, which is a very large rabbit, could frighten very young children.
  • Victor tries to shoot the were-rabbit with a golden bullet, and appears to be successful. It transpires that he has shot the decoy, which Gromit is in. Gromit is not harmed.
  • Gromit and Victor’s independent pursuit of the were-rabbit culminates in a chase around Tottington Castle. Several attempts are made to shoot the were-rabbit, Gromit and Phillip commandeer separate fair-ground planes and begin a ‘dogfight’, and the villagers appear frightened by the action. This sequence is shown humorously, but this may not be apparent to very young viewers. One of the planes crashes to the ground. No one is hurt, but there is a big explosion.
  • Victor prevents Lady Tottington from protecting the were-rabbit by pinning her hair to the wall with a garden fork.
  • Wallace protects Gromit from harm and ends up hurt himself. Gromit, thinking his friend is mortally wounded, begins to cry, as do the many rabbit on-lookers.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group may also be scared by the above-mentioned scenes.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

There are no scenes that would be scary for children over the age of eight.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

There are no scenes that would be scary for children over the age of thirteen.

Sexual references

There are no sexual references in this movie.

Nudity and sexual activity

None

Use of substances

None

Coarse language

There is one mild instance, where a police officer makes a joke about the vegetable culprit ‘arsing around’.

In a nutshell

The main message from this movie is about loyalty to friends, treating all creatures humanely and the victory of good over evil.

Values parents may wish to encourage include:

  • friendship
  • loyalty
  • looking after your friends
  • treating all people and creatures humanely
  • giving people opportunities to prove / redeem themselves

Parents may wish to discuss with their children, the harm that can come to people and animals in real life through the use of guns.

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