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Western Animation / Wat's Pig

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The princes on the title card.
"Wat’s Pig" is a 1996 short created by Aardman Animations and written and directed by co-founder Peter Lord. It is a tale of two princes who are split as babies only to reunite as adults during a war. It is told almost entirely non-verbally.

Tropes in the short include:

  • 0% Approval Rating: The king is very clearly disliked by the peasants, given their reactions whenever he goes onto the balcony to greet them. Once Wat goes onto the balcony disguised as the king and declares that he's going to fight the dark rider, the crowd cheers.
  • Agony of the Feet: The dark rider hits the king in the foot for seemingly no reason the first time that he appears at the castle.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The dark rider wins and takes over the kingdom in the end, but Wat is happily reunited with his mother, the king (his brother), and his pet Pig, who are all safe and sound, and the former king of a brother gets his commuppance by being demoted to a lowly farmer.
  • Conscription: Wat is ordered to be in the army after the dark rider invades, complete with a "We Want You" poster parody.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Wat just happens to open the door to his brother's room at exactly the right time to knock him out the window. It was an accident, but his (unknown) brother didn’t know this so he immediately started to beat him up after going back.
  • Cue the Rain: Once the (former) king is made to start plowing and Wat goes back into his cottage, it starts pouring. He is not happy about it.
  • Deuteragonist: The king is highly focused on, and is even in focus during the end credits, but Wat is still clearly the protagonist.
  • Dirty Coward: During the second battle, the king goes and hides under Wat's covers in the countryside while his brother does all the fighting. As a result, The Bad Guy Wins.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Wat who grew up a peasant knows how to work for himself, but the king never worked a day in his life.
  • Gag Nose: Wat and his brother have very long noses. Wat had to bend his nose guard in order to get the helmet to fit his head.
  • Important Haircut: In order to get the citizens on his good side, the king gives Wat a haircut and reveals him as the knight.
  • Impoverished Patrician: By the end of the short, losing the war reduces the king and his mother to a life of peasantry alongside Wat. The king does not approve of having to do farm chores.
  • Ironic Echo: Wat asks "Me?" in awe when his brother allows him to wear the shiny armor. Later, his brother asks "Me?" in horror when Wat gives him the plow.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: Wat, after his Important Haircut, is given shining armor and a sword in an attempt by the king to win the second battle. It doesn’t work.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: The king didn’t help during either battle, so now he has to do the farm work for his family.
  • Living MacGuffin: Despite being the title character, the only thing the pig really does to further the plot is get captured. When Wat goes to rescue him he meets the king, his brother.
  • No-Dialogue Episode: Characters make noises, but there are only two spoken words in the entire short, both of them being “Me?”
  • No Name Given: Wat is the only character with a name and it's only in the title. A consequence of the very limited dialogue.
  • Obviously Evil: A man in black armor with a black beard, angry eyes, and growling? Really big surprise he wants to steal someone else's land.
  • Parents Know Their Children: Despite not having seen him since he was a baby, the mother immediately recognizes Wat as her long-lost son, before the boys notice they look like each other.
  • Prince and Pauper: Justified—the king and Wat are identical twins, but raised in different circumstances due to a botched kidnapping attempt. Wat eventually fights in his brother's place during the second battle.
  • Produce Pelting: The citizenry throws produce at the king after the first battle is lost.
  • Raised by Wolves: Wat was raised by his pig. He turned out surprisingly competent.
  • Secondary Character Title: The protagonist of the short is Wat, and the deuteragonist is his brother. The pig mostly just… hangs around.
  • Separated at Birth: After a kidnapper takes a baby Wat away, he is left in the countryside to be raised as a peasant by a pig, while his brother lives in the castle and becomes the king.
  • The Scream: After the dark rider hits the king in the foot, he screams loudly enough for Wat to hear him all the way out in the countryside. Wat ultimately just shrugs it off, not realizing that it was the King (let alone his own brother).
  • Split Screen: During the short, Wat and his brother engage in simultaneous behavior that ends in the Contrived Coincidence (on either side of the doorway).
  • Spoiled Brat: The king is used to getting everything done for him and he’s a jerk about it.
  • Tattered Flag: Wat returns the ruined flag of the nation to the castle after the first battle.
  • Trivial Title: Apart from being the reason Wat goes into the castle in the first place, the pig doesn't get much focus.
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: Every parchment in the short has some of this written on it, such as “we want ye” and “youre lande.”