Creature Comforts is an absolutely brilliant claymation or plasticine animation series that the whole family can enjoy but that adults will find particularly funny and interesting. The original Creature Comfort, about animal in a zoo, won the 1990 Academy Award for best animated short and creator Nick Sparks, who was already working for Aardman Animations (famous for Wallace and Gromit and the movie Chicken Run), went on to create more of these cartoon like short films.
The thirteen episodes of season one are all very funny and entertaining. The way Creature Comforts works is they go around interviewing British people and then use various clips to put together a 10-minute or so short animated feature using claymation animals that basically embody the people who did the original interview. The attention to detail in this series is astounding and far beyond the old Gumby and Pokey or the white bread Davey and Goliath stop-motion animation that is used here. In addition to the main animal characters giving their views on a variety of topics there is often something in the background, like the penguin in the walruses scenes, that is just as interesting or there is something about the environment, like in the pet shop where signs read rodents 10 pounds a kilo and cobras 5 pounds a foot, that adds to the humour.
Nick Sparks and the people at Aardman also have a great talent for making these creatures absolutely human. The two circus monkeys are particularly funny, especially the one on the right who seems to have a bit of a temper if you look at how he handles the bowling pin. Creature Comforts is also not above some dark humor like in the beach episode where various sea creatures are talking about pollution and then get swamped by an oil spill.
Another great strength of this animated series is that there are recurring characters like the seeing-eye dog, the hilarious cat and dog couple on the sofa, the hamster in a cage, the walruses, and the circus monkeys. Since these characters are attached to one particular interviewee you do get various aspects of their personality and their take on life. All thirteen shows of season one are great and each viewer will have a personal favorite. I am quite partial to The Circus, Cats Or Dogs, and Is Anyone Out There which also features various aliens.
The bonus features on Creature Comforts Season One are plentiful and, as so rarely happens, very much worth it. You get the Oscar winning animated short but also a segment on creating the series and bringing Creature Comforts to life -where you learn they basically get 4 seconds of footage a day-and a favorite bits segment. It is a shame there are no bloopers but at 4 seconds a day it would have been impossible.
This is a really great DVD that absolutely everyone will enjoy.
Pets At The Vets
The Pet Shop
What's It All About?
Being A Bird
Is Anyone Out There?
Cats Or Dogs?