686. Wat’s Pig – Peter Lord

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SUMMARY: The twin infant sons of a lord are separated at birth, with one becoming a peasant and the other growing up in a castle.

WHY IT’S HERE: Peter Lord’s tremendous ‘Wat’s Pig’ is another Aardmann hit, a cute but barbed ‘Prince and the Pauper’ riff in which a pair of twins are separated at birth and grow up into very different people. It’s told almost silently and makes ingenious use of split-screen to keep the pacing brisk. Lord, one of the original founders of Aardman, had continued to make brilliant animated shorts in the shadow of the studio’s breakout star Nick Park. Lord admitted that he didn’t expect a film like ‘Wat’s Pig’ to make its money back but was happy that the studio had the option to dedicate itself to artistic excellence now that they were making plenty of money through other ventures. Why exactly Lord doubted the commercial viability of ‘Wat’s Pig’ is a mystery, since it is a brilliantly made fairy tale that should appeal to most audiences. The film got Aardman animated for its sixth Oscar and, while it is comparatively little known in comparison with the Wallace and Gromit shorts, it tends to delight anyone committed or lucky enough to uncover it.

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