One of the greatest inventions of the 20th century, nay, human existence is this beautifully crafted show called Wallace & Gromit, created by Nick Park. I’m going to rank the short films in order from Best to Most Best.
Best: A Matter of Loaf and Death (2008)
I’m as much a sucker for a good love story as the next single, 32-year-old woman, and you can’t downplay the significance of a budding romance montage that includes Unchained Melody by the Righteous Brothers. If the album Puppy Love by Doggy Osmund doesn’t get you pumped (jazzed, hyped, revved, hopped, charged) up for the sanctity of love in the modern age, then you’re six feet under. We’re not just talking puppy love, though, Wallace gets to take a crack at a buxom babe himself. And, for once, Wallace isn’t the only one with his head in the clouds. Be careful with this film, though, it’s darker than Se7en.
Better Than Best: The Wrong Trousers (1993)
There’s no way to put this lightly, folks. This one is a certified, Grade A nail-biter. The opening teaser and title are something out of your worst nightmare, like Reefer Madness. The quality differential between this film and A Grand Day Out is night and day, technically speaking. Techno-Trousers notwithstanding. TWT, about a third of the way in, really pulls at the heartstrings for 13 seconds, then the plot thickens heavily, becoming quite diabolical. It ends in a thrilling Bondesque finale (and, wait for it… there’s cheese involved. Don’t worry, I won’t spoil it by telling you which kind).
More Better Than Best: A Close Shave (1995)
A new dog is in town, some pompous big game breed who thinks he’s a damn wolf, and he’s trying to hold down a sheep who strays from the herd. Will this woke sheep fly too close to the sun? This is our first time seeing a Wallace invention malfunction. His newest breakfast contraption has seemingly become sentient, fastballing porridge in his direction at Aroldis Chapman-level speeds. Say what? That’s only the first three minutes?! Better buckle up, you’re in for a bumpy ride that’s going to call for some aftershave. This one has deceit, will to power, false imprisonment, comic relief, love found and lost, thrills, and of course, a plot twist to get you writing. Mr. Park, you’ve really outdone yourself this time, old chap. If the aliens see anything of our art, this better be included.
Most Best: A Grand Day Out (1990)
The original. The W&G Kickstarter. Not a whole lot I need to say about this revolutionary gem. This film single-handedly made the world believe that the moon is made of cheese, and you know what? I’m not completely convinced it isn’t. I mean, do you know anybody who has actually been to the moon? It’s hard not to be moved to tears from nostalgia when re-watching this one, but I could at least see the TV through my tears. This has to be number one because of the scene with the mice watching W&G’s takeoff. [TRIVIA FACT]: this short film was solely responsible for driving up cheese/cracker sales by 550% in the year 1991.