- Did you know, the film was originally going to be called "Trouble
it was, but this popular northern quotation was considered too
colloquial for the rest of the
world. So instead, we got this twist on
Powell's inspired and inspiring war-time movie, "A Matter of
Life and Death" (1946)...
Bob, who meets his demise in the film's opening, is obviously
homage to the film's co-writer Bob Baker. Bob also gets a nod in
Close Shave" and "Curse of the Were-Rabbit"...
- Gromit is reading "The
Daily Grind" (Flour = Grind = Geddit?). This
features Nick Park's beloved Preston North End football club
the headline "Wigan
to meet Preston in Cup tie". Preston feature
regularly in the Wallace and Gromit films and shorts (eg: Preston
A smaller heading identifies "Canaries
are references to Norwich football club (known as "The Canaries")
Wolverhampton Wanderers ("Wolves")...
also the little matter of a Cereal
Killer striking again.
Killer = Serial Killer = Geddit?
- You've gotta love that foreshadowing. Wallace's bed sports
a Bake O
duvet cover and pillowcase, and there's a fading Bake O Lite poster
his bedroom wall!...
Bake O Lite Bakery is a spoof on that famous olde time material
used to fashion radios and othersuch household objects, back
the day. It was billed as "The material of a thousand uses!"
- Oh, good grief. There's a bottle of Furry
Liquid by the sink. That's
play on Fairy Liquid,
a top-selling brand of washing-up liquid, here
- Wallace and Gromit's Top Bun bakery service is a spoof
on the title
of Tony Scott's plane-crazy movie "Top Gun" (1986)...
- We've seen that chute before, in "A Close Shave"
and "Curse of the
Once again we're spoofing the big opening to that
Gerry Anderson puppet series Thunderbirds,
but the doughy
twists here keep it fresh and funny!...
- Hit your pause button as Gromit loads the company van
see the duo's old Wash 'n' Go motorbike and sidecar from A
partly-obscured by a tarpaulin in the background...
Oh, and does it need saying,
that Austin delivery van is actually the
old Anti-Pesto van from Curse of the
- Right. Let's look at that van door. You'll spy the "Flour
on the right-hand side of the window. As is the door
But notice how the van's metal ident is back-to-front! (3)
That fuel pump can serve up Disel, Four Star, Unleaded, Tea, Coffee,
And the van's number plate reads D0H NUT5 = Donuts...
They''ve still got the MUTT radio in the van from "Curse of the
Blowing your thumb to make your hat inflate is an old Variety trick,
by the likes of Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise, and
more Nick Park and co. are reminding us of their many
and comic influences. Their love of "The Beano" and "The
Gerry Anderson's Supermarionation series and Variety
television really does shine through every frame...
bakery is a play on the traditional nursery rhyme,
pata-a-cake, Baker's man..."
- And Tank-Top
Man is a spoof on that most fashionable of High Street
chains, Top Man...
Oh, but wait. Here's a continuity error! - The
van's "Flour to the people!"
has somehow moved to the left of the rear door. The Austin ident
the right way round, and the door handle is now on the left!
- Hit that pause button for two great japes. On the left of
looks like someone's escaped from the zoo using a length of knotted
sheets. And over on the right, there's a "Missing" poster on
featuring that pilfering penguin Feathers McGraw, the thieving star
"The Wrong Trousers"....
Cheesy Jet read
Easy Jet, the
UK's famous budget airline.
the whole gondolier love scene itself is - well - it's rather
good grief, here's a spoof on the classic love scene from the film
(1990), using dough instead of clay. Look at how Wallace
actually reach the dough around Piella's ample frame!
has a "Citizen Canine" poster on his bedroom wall. That's a
spoof of "Citizen Kane" (1941), of course....
appears to have a softspot for the small films of Oliver
Postgate. That's because there's a Bagpuss
soft toy amongst his
belongings (7m41s). And seeing as we're being so precise,
also spy a copy of "The Beagle" comic - spoofing that classic
weekly "The Eagle", and a volume of "Pup Fiction"!
several pairs of Pooch
shoes. Pooch = Puccini = Geddit?
- Wallace is being treated to a big plate of sausage and mash,
sausages poking out. It's a slap-up image that's straight out of
Beano", and once again, we get a fun reminder of Nick Park's
When Piella's pooch, Fluffles, hands Gromit's belongings back to him,
see his musical tastes include "Puppy Love" by Doggy Osmond
Osmond), and an album by McFlea (McFly)...
- Dough! - Piella lives at 12a Pastry Rise...
- And it's Hitchcock all the way, as Gromit enters. There
are so many
suspense film spoofs here, in the camera angles and the
events... the lightning... the creaking stairs... the refracted
reflections in those dressing table mirrors... Brilliant!
- We've seen a Meatabix
box before, in "The Wrong Trousers"...
- Gromit builds his security scanner with the aid of a book titled
"Electronic Surveillence For Dogs". It's written by B A
- Piella's silhouetted behind the stained glass, like the Grim
- Gromit's identified all those knives and sharp implements as
and the skull and crossbones logo has been suitably
- Oh! - Wait up!
- Hold the presses! - Here's
another, bigger, continuity
Eagle-eyed viewers will see that Gromit has no tail! - That's right,
sans wagging device... Well, you get the drift...
- Ha! - Piella's
decoupage petals are "weeping" with Wallace!
- Pause here,
and look at the tree outside Piella's house. Someone's
a heart upon it, and an F and a G = Fluffles Loves Gromit!
- Wallace is lighting
that candle with a box of Duck Matches.
a spoof on the best-selling brand of Swan Matches...
- That Yorkshire
Border sign is once again playing up the rivalry
the various regions "oop north" in the UK. Walllace
Gromit reside next door, in Lancashire...
- As that bomb-fueled climax plays out, Fluffles is revealed within
adapted forklift, just like Sigourney Weaver in the climax
James Cameron's "Aliens" (1986)...
- As Piella's balloon glides down into the zoo, we can see that
Crocodile pen is now sponsored by Superb
Snaps - * groan *
- And this is nice background detail. On the living room wall is
photograph of Gromit's
First Birthday. It's the same photo
features at the beginning of "Curse of the Were-Rabbit"...
- Goody. Just to reassure us that all's well - or not - here's
that rear van
again and you'll notice, the sticker is back to its original placement,
on the right-hand side of the window. Likewise, the Austin ident
about-face, and the door handle has also returned to the right-hand
- And finally, as Fluffles riffles through the LPs held in the
see a long player for Poochini (Puccini), McFlea again (McFly),
Beagles (The Beatles), The Hound of Music (The Sound of
and Gromit's Doggy Osmond (Donny Osmond) record!...
So that was the film, frame-by-frame. And it's
pretty clear, Piella gets some
kind of chomping in that crocodile pen. We hear
all sorts of gnasty gnashing
and Wallace sees her younger Bake O Lite spirit
rising to the heavens, on the
remnants of her balloon. Buuuuut we don't actually
see anyone being eaten,
so Wallace may only be imagining the demise of his
True Love... Dearest
Piella, carried away into the sunset...
So we're none the wiser. But we are certainly
better informed about yet another
detail-stuffed Aardman classic.
Till next time!
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