Anyone who was swept away by the bright humor and inventive animation of Chicken Run will want to check out this spiffy collection of three short films from the creators of that box office success: Nick Park and Aardman Animations. The lead characters here are Wallace, an oddball inventor whose social skills are somewhat deficient, and Gromit, his patient and resourceful dog. Their incredible adventures take them to the moon, involve them unwillingly in a diamond theft, and force them to do battle with a robotic guard dog. In the midst of these escapades, Gromit remains unflappable reading Plato or Dostoevsky.
"The Wrong Trousers" is a hoot. Wallace takes on a secretive penguin as a boarder and before long Gromit finds himself the outsider. The nasty little bird takes the inventor's mechanical pants and uses them to his own advantage in a carefully orchestrated theft of a priceless diamond. Only trouble is, he doesn't factor in Gromit's dogged determination to retrieve his rightful place in the household.
"A Grand Day Out" centers on Wallace and Gromit's holiday to the moon in search of some cheese to go along with their crackers. On this alien place, they encounter a local inhabitant that has its own holiday plans. This clever drama, like all three of these animated gems, is an imaginative peep at the interface between human beings and technological gadgets.
The last story, "A Close Shave," deals with Wallace's newfound romance with a widow and a criminal conspiracy foisted upon Gromit by an out-of-control robotic dog. Both this feature and "The Wrong Trousers" are Academy Award winners.