Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Wrong Trousers

The Wrong Trousers; animated adventure comedy short, UK, 1993; D: Nick Park, S: Peter Sallis
In London, inventor Wallace lives with his dog Gromit. Their favorite dish is cheese, but when one day they get a bigger bill than they can pay because Gromit got a robotic trousers that will bring him out for walk for his birthday, they decide to take a lodger in their apartment. A Penguin moves in, but he is a criminal and one night puts the robotic trousers on the sleeping Wallace to move him by remote control right into a museum to steal a diamond. But Wallace wakes up in the process, even though he can't get out of the remote controlled trousers, until Gromit helps him. The Penguin gets arrested and placed in a Zoo.

Shining short animated film "The Wrong Trousers" manages in only 25 minutes of its running time to convince even the most grouchy viewer of its quality and cheerfulness, whereas the story that's at the same time simple and sharp brought fame to the author Nick Park. The characters of Wallace and his dog Gromit, who are wonderful friends, are fascinating, the gags involving the bad guy Penguin are virtuoso directed and contagiously charming (the stand-out, hilarious moment is when the criminal Penguin is using his remote control to move the robotic trousers which a sleeping Wallace is wearing. The scene alone where the trousers are walking vertically up the wall while he is hanging there sleeping was enough to make this film good even if all others situations would have been weak) whereas their action sequences in the finale end up writing the history of cinema - the sequence where Gromit is placing tracks for his speeding toy train and thus creating his own path are a tour-de-force example of genius. A fantastic fun, whereas "The Wrong Trousers" were awarded with an Oscar for best short film, just like Park's previous - "A Grand Day Out" - and subsequent "Wallace & Gromit" film - "A Close Shave" - but this one is the best, a small masterpiece.


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