Wallace and Gromit versus Charlie Brown and Snoopy

A man-child and his dog versus a child and his dog.Wallace and Gromit are charming little characters animated using claymation (except for Curse of the Were-Rabbit, which uses computer animation). Wallace is a dolt of an inventor who has an obsession with cheese, and Gromit is the clever but silent dog who keeps him from being electrocuted. Charlie Brown and Snoopy are beloved characters from the comic strips and animated specials written by the late Charles M. Schultz. They evoke some crazy nostalgia reflex in Americans that makes us all believe that the strips are somehow funny or clever instead of incredibly bland. Maybe it’s because we all have the same pitiful self esteem problems of Charlie Brown. Or maybe it’s because Americans just don’t have a sense of humor. I mean seriously, do we have to rely on the British for everything?!

Round One:
Charlie Brown has suffered through yet another horrible day. He struggled through school, that cute red-haired girl ignored him at lunch, and his baseball team lost the big game again. At least he can enjoy a walk home in silence and take some solace in the fact that he’s still got Snoopy.

When he gets home, however, he sees a giant pants-powered robot tearing up his front yard. A strange British man is marching through the yard, using his new invention to dig holes. It seems that someone told Wallace that the foundation of Charlie Brown’s house is made entirely of cheese. It’s complete rubbish, of course, but Wallace is a sucker for cheese, and it was a chance to try out his new invention, the Holematicbot 5000. Unfortunately, this thing has gone a bit haywire, and has destroyed everything around the house except for the foundation itself. Wallace clings helplessly to the controls while Gromit looks on from the sidelines and sighs. Charlie Brown feels like sobbing, but just lets out a traditional “AAUGH!” I guess that’s his way of saying that he can’t wait until he’s a teenager so he can dress all in black, wear an emo hair style, and cut himself in his room because no one realizes how hard it is to be him. That doesn’t make for as appealing of a comic, though… Round One is a draw due to everyone’s inaction, incompetence, or self-pity.

Round Two:
The one area of Charlie Brown’s yard that hasn’t been completely torn up is Snoopy’s dog house. Charlie Brown rushes over to see if his dog is okay, and finds the beagle sleeping through the ruckus. He wakes Snoopy up, explains the situation to him, and then asks for help. Snoopy thinks about the problem for a bit, and then goes into his dog house. He comes out with an aviator’s cap and goggles, and then leaves again. Charlie Brown blinks in confusion, and then looks back at the madcap destruction.

From out of nowhere, there’s a buzzing sound. Charlie Brown and Gromit scan the skies (Wallace is still wrestling with the robot’s controls), and see a bi-plane piloted by a white beagle coming out of the clouds. Snoopy takes aim at the robot with his guns, planning on solving this problem the same way he took care of the Red Baron. But something else hits him before he can get a shot off, and his wing bursts into flame. Looking down at the other dog, Snoopy notices that Gromit has an anti-aircraft gun. Wallace may be an idiot, but he’s still got Gromit’s protection, and Gromit is always prepared. Snoopy bails out, and the biplane crashes into Charlie Brown’s house — yet another inconvenience in Charlie Brown’s already inconvenient life. Round Two goes to Wallace and Gromit.

Round Three:
With Snoopy out of the picture, it’s up to Charlie Brown and his big round head to stop a rampaging robot and an artillery-toting dog. It’s Charlie Brown’s big chance; he can either be the hero, or he can be the goat. He decides that he’s going to be a hero.

“I’m gonna do it,” he says, rolling up his sleeves and flexing his puny boy-muscles. “I’m going to stop that robot, and save the day. And then I’m going to win my baseball game tomorrow. And then I’m going to talk to that red-haired girl and tell her what’s what. I can do this, because I’m brave. I’m strong. And gosh darn it, people like me.”

Whoever might actually like Charlie Brown, luck certainly doesn’t. Just as he finishes his inspirational speech, Wallace’s robot explodes. It flies apart in large pieces of robot anatomy. One of those chunks, the robot’s large left arm, lands on Charlie Brown’s freakishly large head, crushing him like an insect.

Wallace himself is flung many yards away, but is unharmed other than a comically ash-stained face. He opens his eyes to find Gromit dragging his stupid carcass back home. He says something that I’m sure is supposed to be a life lesson about not believing every story that he comes across just because someone says cheese and crackers, but nobody’s really listening. Gromit prepares a meal at home, and everything seems to go back to normal for the pair. But then, as we fade to black, we cut away to find Snoopy hanging with his parachute caught in a tree, shaking his fist and vowing revenge… Round Three and the match go to Wallace and Gromit.


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