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A Matter of Loaf and Death was certainly a darker turn for Wallace and Gromit. Murdered bakers are a far cry from a thieving penguin, but this was a really good short. I found this one not as funny as the original three shorts but still clever and in the same spirit. Gromit does all the work, of course, while Wallace chases his dream girl, Piella, and Gromit also solves the mystery of the baker murders to which Wallace is blithely only semi-aware. The claymation is smooth but with the handcrafted feel of Parks’ other shorts. This one was a little short on Wallace’s trademark inventions, though, to make room for the romantic plot development. The backgrounds are filled with the same puns and low key sight gags that make Nick Parks’ films so much fun. The one that really got me was the tribute to Batman: The Movie (1966), though: some days you just can’t get rid of a bomb! 4 ½ stars

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