Eccentric inventor Wallace has created a device that transports him out of his bed, dresses him, and prepares his breakfast. One morning, however, his machine plops him in the "wrong trousers," a pair of mechanized pants, which take him on a wild ride. Meanwhile, the domestic bliss of Wallace and his faithful dog, Gromit, is shattered when a mysterious penguin leases a room in their home. Is the penguin that Wallace has taken into their household a criminal mastermind or is Gromit just jealous of the attention Wallace has been lavishing on their new boarder' The answer is revealed in a thrilling climax that raises the bar for action in the medium of stop-motion animation.
For Gromit's birthday, Wallace purchases a pair of "techno trousers," a mechanized set of legs that can take Gromit out for his daily walk. However, the expensive gift nearly bankrupts Wallace, and he is forced to take in a boarder to pay the bills. Enter a mysterious penguin, who wins Wallace's affection and drives poor Gromit literally to the dog house. Unfortunately, Gromit runs away just when Wallace needs him the most. Stuck in the techno trousers, Wallace becomes an unwitting accomplice in a daring museum robbery.
Park has said that he wanted his second Wallace and Gromit short to be much more "overtly cinematic" than his previous work. Deep shadows contribute to the film's noir-like feel, while the score recalls the works of Bernard Hermann. The plot spoofs various B-movie staples--the mysterious roommate in films like POISON IVY, complicated heists as in THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR, and technology-gone-haywire in horror films like FRANKENSTEIN. THE WRONG TROUSERS ends with a fantastic shoot-out on a speeding model train set, which was animated with the help of Peter Lord, co-founder of Aardman Animation.
The film's budget of about 650,000 pounds was over 50 times the budget of A GRAND DAY OUT.
Nick Park did most of the animation for Wallace and Gromit, while Steve Box did much of the animation for the penguin. Park has said that during prodution of the film, Box's movements began to resemble the penguin's motions.
Park has admitted that he likes to wiggle his fingers just like Wallace does.
The perspiration from the penguin's brow is actually glycerine or perspex slowly blown across a clear glass in front of the model.
Wide-angle lenses are generally not used by stop-motion animators, because that would mean that the camera would have to be placed close to the set, giving the animator little room to maneuver in between shots. Park deliberately built some of the sets with the characteristic distortion of wide-angle lenses to simulate their use.
The city museum's artworks--Picasso's "Les Mademoiselles D'Avignon" and the Egyptian sarcophagus, for instance--have bulbous noses just like Wallace.
"They're techno trousers, ex-NASA...fantastic for walkies!"--Wallace presenting his gift to Gromit