By Tatiana Craine
Although it doesn’t seem like it, absentminded Wallace and his clever mutt Gromit have been around for 20 years since their 1989 debut in “A Grand Day Out.” Earlier this September, “Wallace and Gromit” creator Nick Park released the newest film in the series, “A Matter of Loaf and Death,” in the United States.The film, true to “Wallace and Gromit” form, focuses on the hilarious duo as Wallace navigates the waters through love and murder. In their quaint British town, 12 bakers have been murdered under mysterious circumstances. Wallace appears calm about the whole situation, but ever-careful Gromit reminds him he’s a baker, too. On the lookout for the dough-maker killer, Wallace and Gromit continue to deliver their baked goods. On one particularly fateful delivery, they save Piella Bakewell, a former baking flour spokeswoman. Wallace finds the woman of his dreams in the aptly named Piella, and before you can say cake, the pair gets engaged. However, all is not well-Gromit, once Wallace’s best friend forever, gets cast aside in favor of Piella and her little poodle, Fluffles. Wallace’s emotional sidekick gets jealous, then suspicious of his friend’s new fiancée. Could she have clues about the baker killer? Why is Fluffles always so scared? And why does Piella have a hot air balloon in her house? Gromit has to use his expert detective skills to solve the mystery when the baker killer makes advances on Wallace. It’s up to man’s best friend to try and save the day. The film shows that Park still has the magic touch. Wallace and Gromit are in perfect form, funny and clever as always. The film is riddled with a healthy sprinkling of baking terminology. And Park isn’t afraid to make fun of his characters. Wallace and Piella’s relationship gets a little rocky when she storms out, calling him a name. Later, the foppish Wallace wonders out loud to Gromit, “I’m not a fruitcake, am I?” Gromit just shrugs and sips his tea meaningfully. Whatever you call Wallace, he and his resourceful little dog are entertaining as pie. “A Matter of Loaf and Death” definitely warrants a watch.