Friday, 26 December 2008

Top Bun Hits Top Spot

Aardman Animations - Wallace and Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death (2008)Nick Park's Wallace and Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death (2008) topped yesterday's TV ratings in the UK with an average of 14.3m viewers, the biggest Christmas Day TV audience for five years. The feature length Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005) made 8th place with an average of 7.2m viewers. Helena Bonham Carter's voice as Lady Campanula Tottington was a revelation. Even with an upper-class-twit accent it sounded delightful. What strikes me is that if you asked those 14.3 viewers to watch an art programme, most of them would promptly switch off. Yet this is what Wallace and Gromit are: animated sculptures. Add a sense of humour, a strong plot, amusing voices and Hollywood-style direction which parodies every memorable movie from The Bride of Frankenstein (1935) to Indiana Jones And The Temple of Doom (1984) and you have universal art. Some of the British gags must get lost in Siberia, but there are enough telling doggy expressions and banana-skin humour to keep even Vladimir Putin giggling.


At 27/12/08, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The BBC not only sandwiched W&G between two episodes of Eastenders - but also started the programme seven minutes late. It seems many viewers were annoyed at having to suffer the soap - or came home to find their recording stopped short of the W&G denouement.

The W&G itself had touches of the old magic but was a tad too predictable. Given the usual "spot the homage" it was surprising that there appeared to be no ticking clock in the crocodile?

At 27/12/08, Blogger Coxsoft Art said...

The late start annoyed me too. Not only had I to endure 6 or 7 minutes of moronic Eastenders, but I wasn't sure whether W&G had been postponed and I was stuck in an omnibus edition of Eastenders, a fate worse than death!

I can't help wondering if this was a BBC ploy to boost the average audience ratings of Eastenders.

I must admit I'd like to have seen the Bakewell tart get a stickier ending! The crocodile's jaws snapping shut on her would have been just right. I think a lot of the gags shot by too quickly and will need a second viewing to reveal themselves.

The Wrong Trousers is still the best W&G, but this one was still the top programme on TV over Christmas.

What a load of tosh! Channel 5 had the Oscar-winning (photography) Memoirs of a Geisha, but who wants to sit through all those adverts inserted into a long film? I'd rather watch the video.

Which raises the question: Did BBC do so well because it had the most popular programmes or because everyone is sick of commercial breaks, especially during a recession?


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