TV on Blu-ray Review: Wallace & Gromit’s World of Invention – The Complete 6-Part Series (2010)

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Related Review:
Wallace & Gromit -- The Complete Collection

In order to give their new hip science series a “good kick up the astrophysics,” the BBC tried Aardman Animation’s The Wrong Trousers duo of Wallace and Gromit on for size, enlisting the claymation characters’ help to bring the six-part World of Invention to UK airwaves in 2010.

And whether they’re connecting kinetics or ironing the genes of genetics in just two of the quotable quotes rolling off the balding British inventor Wallace’s -- or rather voice actor Peter Sallis’s – tongue throughout Lionsgate’s roughly 174 minute collection of episodes gathered together for the Blu-ray release of the series, Wallace and his silent canine (or “claynine”) sidekick Gromit keep a smile on our face in their hosting debut.

Introducing the hidden, overlooked or out-of-left-field scholarly scientific contributions of inventors the world over with plenty of assistance from their knowledgeable, energetic narrators and correspondents in the "edutainment field," we’re immediately taken in by the upbeat, colorful multi-faceted thematic episodes.

From sense-related gadgetry to unusual applications for Mother Nature and home-based contraptions that get you from Point “A to B” for a Gromit style Grand Day Out complete with rocket science, Invention’s team of news-making inventors and intrepid investigators navigate the wide sub-terrain of each night’s broad topic.

In addition to celebrating the achievements of first-time inventors, World reacquaints us with a few world famous figures we only thought we knew. Whether exploring the unexpectedly brainy side of Hollywood siren Hedy Lamarr, who dedicated the time she spent off the silver screen to stealthy experiments in sonar tracking to aid in the wartime effort or unveiling the most unusual refrigerator we’ve ever seen this side of animation – straight from the mind of Albert Einstein – World serves up a treasure trove of terrific information.

Yet far from only celebrating the successful ideas derived from the realm of an inventor’s imagination, Wallace and company also chronicle the intriguing failures in inquiries that never made it off the hypothetical drawing board, which inspired further study and experimentation throughout the series.

Although it’s admittedly light on the creative claymation that garnered Aardman Animation worldwide acclaim with the release of the first Wallace and Gromit production back in 1989 and led to a number of spin-offs and Academy Awards over the past two decades, World of Invention is still a great return to form for our favorite cheese loving inventor and his loyal, mischievous dog.

Unable to offer new adventures given the time constraints, in succinct sequences woven throughout each news segment heavy episode, the World of Invention crew working behind-the-scenes at the BBC, paid homage to the duo’s classic trilogy of slapstick silent comedy style stop motion model shorts including Wrong Trousers, A Grand Day Out and A Close Shave.

While it won’t create new fans out of audience members unfamiliar with Wallace and Gromit’s greatest hits, it’s sure to make enthusiasts eager to revisit their smile inducing filmography of joie de vivre favorites once again… and just might inspire you to look at the world with the eyes of an inventor at least through the course of this jam-packed Blu-ray release.

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