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With: Peter Sallis, Anne Reid
Written by: Nick Park
Directed by: Nick Park
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 30
Date: 12/24/1995

Wallace and Gromit in A Close Shave (1995)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

The Science of Sheep

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

The third and final of the "Wallace & Gromit" shorts is perhaps the most exciting, cut from traditional Hollywood thriller cloth, but still very funny. In it, Wallace & Gromit operate a high-tech window-washing business. Wallace meets and falls for Wendolene Ramsbottom (voiced by Anne Reid), who runs a wool shop. It turns out that her evil robot dog, Preston, is really a sheep rustler, though Wendolene can do nothing to stop him or escape. In some of the funniest moments, Gromit is framed and imprisoned for Preston's crimes and plays out some terrific parodies of prison movies. This one has the freest and most spectacular use of movement in the series, including a very impressive climactic chase scene. It won the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film. "Shaun the Sheep" went on to have his own TV series. Next stop for Wallace & Gromit was the big screen, with The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005).

DVD Details: Lionsgate has re-released the three Wallace and Gromit shorts on three separate DVDs, priced at a mere $10 each. Park provides a commentary track for each, and each one has a bonus "making-of" short. (See also A Grand Day Out and The Wrong Trousers.)

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