By Anita Kazmierczak
Wallace and Gromit's public debut on the silver screen, The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, has opened in Australia. Australians can see the movie three weeks before it opens in the US and four weeks ahead of its UK launch.
The new feature film premiered in Sydney earlier this month
Early reviews have been excellent, with The Age newspaper in Melbourne describing the film as "a lot of fun and true to the original spirit".
"The film retains the hand-made care - right down to the visible fingerprints of the animators on the faces."
Cult ABC TV film reviewers Margaret Pomeranz and David Strattan gave the film 4.5 and 4 stars (out of a possible 5) on their show this week.
"It is absolutely charming, but what I think is gorgeous is the creation of these characters," said Ms Pomeranz.
"Wallace is such a mad inventor - and Gromit is such a painstaking dog - he understands everything, he doesn't say a word and yet you understand exactly where he's at."
In The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, claymation inventor Wallace and his trusty dog Gromit battle to protect their community's vegetables from a marauding bunny.
Co-directed by Steve Box, the film features characters voiced by Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter and comedian Peter Kay.
Even though school holidays in Australia do not begin until next week, a lunchtime screening in Melbourne on Wednesday was packed with children, their teachers and parents.
Creator Nick Park has won two Oscars for his claymation creations
The film did not disappoint either the young or older demographic and Nick Park's creation was met with gales of laughter.
Afterwards, Max, five, from Sydney, said he thought the film was "very funny".
Lisa, 13, from Melbourne, said she had grown up with Wallace and Gromit and the film "was magical and better than I could have imagined".
Nick Park fan and cinema-goer Mel Dunstone, from Adelaide, had been looking forward to the movie.
"It was good to finally see a full-length feature of Wallace and Gromit," she said.
"I think it's a nice change (to computer-animated featues) and it's good to see you can still produce stuff the old school way."
Have you seen The Curse of the Were-Rabbit? Do you agree with its positive reviews, or have Wallace and Gromit had their day? Tell us your views using the form below.
I just saw The Curse of the Were Rabbit in a big cinema with just five other people scattered around it. One thing that struck me was how full the room was with laughter. I found the movie delightfully clever and full of the old charm.
Emma , Bathurst, Australia
Why is this great British export getting released in Australia first, followed by the US and we get it last? What a kick in the teeth to the UK fans that made Wallace and Gromit famous in the first place.
Mark, Bristol, UK
Having watched several Wallace and Gromit animations I'm beginning to find them a little tired and samey. I can't think of anything worse than choosing to sit through another 90 minutes of the same old material.
Mike Liff, London
I can only presume that the film is opening in Australia as a consolation prize for losing the Ashes!
David MacLeod, Chapel Hill, USA
Wallace and Gromit have lost none of their charm with the transition to the big screen. A wonderfully clever storyline with brilliant characters make this a must-see. It would have been so easy to have copied ideas from the earlier episodes but thankfully this has not happened. It is also nice to see that Claymation has not given way to the digital age which would have spoilt these two characters. Congratulations to Nick Park.
Steve Jannaway, Perth, Australia
I saw Wallace and Gromit last Saturday and I loved it! It's everything you could hope for and, judging by the laughter from the other people in the cinema, they thought the same.
Eleanor, Cairns, Australia
Bravo Aardman! Truly a joyous 90 minutes crammed with an entertaining plot, hilarious characters and detailed set and script. Something for all ages. We even stayed for the credits to see the extra animation!
Janna Jacobs, Brisbane. Australia
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