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Wallace, Gromit Go Missing In New York Cab

October 21, 1996

LONDON (AP) _ Missing in New York: two Oscar-winning film stars. But this pair won’t be phoning home.

Wallace and Gromit, the toothy plasticine man and his streetwise pooch from the animated British film ``The Wrong Trousers″ were last seen in a cab speeding down Manhattan’s 54th Street on Saturday night.

Creator Nick Park, who is in New York on a promotional visit, stashed the 9-inch models, along with their red motorcycle and sidecar, in a box in the trunk of the cab that took him to his hotel. But he forgot to remove them, and the cab left with the pair inside.

``Wallace and Gromit are my babies and they are lost somewhere in Manhattan,″ Park told BBC radio today. ``It’s pretty upsetting.″

In ``The Wrong Trousers,″ which won an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film of 1993, the clumsy Wallace and his technologically savvy canine sidekick bring a sinister penguin to justice in a dizzy chase scene aboard a toy train.

The British media were taking the loss seriously today. The mass-selling Sun tabloid ran the story on Page 1 under the headline ``Lost in N.Y.″

Park, 37, said he has sent pictures of the two characters to police stations and cab companies and will offer ``what it takes″ for the return of his heroes. News reports said the pair are insured for $15,000.

New York City police spokesman Jerry Varson said he was unfamiliar with the search for the figures, but had received media inquiries about the case.

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