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APRIL 19-MAY 2
Despite legitimately impressive advances in computer animation, director Nick Park remains firmly committed to his laborious hands-on approach to giving his Plasticine creations life. And let’s hope he never runs out of patience or goop, for his stop-motion characters Wallace & Gromit—a daffy inventor and his stoic pooch (pictured)—seem destined to join the silver screen’s other great teams. Last seen in The Wrong Trousers, the pair returns in A Close Shave. Like most sequels, the “effects” are bigger this time, but we still feel the heartache as Wallace finds love—almost. Park’s Creature Comforts and the commercials they spawned are also on the bill, but while he may be the star at Aardman studios, it’s no one-trick shop. Richard Goleszowski’s Rex the Runt series is cheerfully surreal, Peter Peake’s Pib & Pog give Itchy & Scratchy competition, and Peter Lord’s rendition of Nina Simone’s sultry “My Baby Just Cares for Me” cries out for a new category: anoirmation. At the Biograph, 2819 M St. NW. (202) 333-2696. (Dave Nuttycombe)