Wallace and Gromit have opened a new bakery, Top Bun, and business is booming, not least because a deadly Cereal Killer has murdered all the other bakers in town. Gromit is worried that they may be the next victims, but Wallace does not care, as he has fallen head over heels in love with Piella Bakewell, former star of the Bake-O-Lite bread commercials. So Gromit is left to run things on his own, when he would much rather be getting better acquainted with Piella’s lovely pet poodle, Fluffles.
Wallace and Gromit are back in the form that suits them best: a 30-minute special. You may remember from my Were-rabbit review I didn’t think Wallace’s character strong enough for a feature-length movie. A Matter of Loaf and Death, the brand new special the BBC will air on Christmas Day, does not change its winning formula: once again versatile dog Gromit has to save the day while owner Wallace has no clue as to how deep in trouble he is.
Just like any baker wants to know how many raisins you can stick in one loaf of bread, the brand new Wallace and Gromit tries to include as many puns and references as possible into this “who-doughnut” (that’s +1 for Park and c°). From the name of their bakery (Top Bun) to a dough-based Ghost pastiche (surely “pastry-che”?), the Aardman studios managed to stay just underneath the overkill bar of puns. The result is half an hour full of flavour I managed to stomach more than Wallace & Gromit’s movie (which, by the way, I liked).
Only the explosion sequence didn’t seem so convincing to me: it looked like a cold digital effect. The rest is a cleverly built-up story which manages to tie all the loose ends and include all the plotlines and locations more than once.
BBC One will air A Matter of Loaf and Death on Christmas Day at 8.30pm (English time).