Creature Comforts Merry Christmas Everybody
The great British public
Directed by Richard Goleszowski and Nick Park
Aardman Studios
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment 2006
24 minutes

Creature Comforts Merry Christmas Everybody is a 24 minute long Christmas special featuring the Creature Comforts characters from Aardman Studios, home of Wallace and Grommit and master stop-motion and plasticine animator Nick Parks and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. This episode is simply great entertainment for the whole family. The kids will enjoy the various animals trying to remember the words to and to sing the Twelve Days of Christmas. Adults will enjoy the very human nature of the characters, some of the pithy comments, the dark humor moments, and various in jokes only adults will enjoy -though there is nothing lewd or crude at all anywhere in this episode.

Creature Comforts definitely belongs to the category you can’t make up stuff like that, and they don’t. The concept is a crew goes out, interviews various people about topics, brings the audio back to Aardman Studios where Nick Park and his magic crew transform the voices and comments into a stop-motion animation cartoon and story. Creature Comforts Merry Christmas Everybody has the usual stars of the series and a few new characters trying to sing Twelve Days of Christmas, get the stuff in the right order, and make a few comments about what Christmas is, what it means, and how they feel about it.

There are many great bits in this 24-minute Creature Comforts special. Some gags rely on a single painstaking detail like the turtle having its shell gift-wrapped for Christmas others rely on the animal character’s personality. Fluffy the depressed hamster is hilarious and does a very funny, dead on, and biting version of the Queen’s Christmas message. I was particularly impressed by the imagination of the animator who came up with the idea for Fluffy’s hair-piece that looks exactly like the Queen’s.

The devil is in the details in stop-motion animation and Nick Park and Aardman Studios are well-aware of that. Particularly perceptive in that category are the scenes with the bats in the belfry. It is of course appropriate that they and the Xmas tree be hanging upside down but the added detail of the tree decorations then following the law of gravity makes for very interesting and intelligent eye candy.

The comedians in this episode of Creature Comforts are definitely dogs Brian and Keith. I really laughed with Brian commented that turtle doves were probably some kind of genetic species cross-breeding experiment gone wrong and their rap version of one of the song’s lines is also hilarious. Of course, Trixie and Captain Cuddlepuss are back. This cat and dog couple, probably a real couple in real life, are certainly an unusual pair and their comments on the Christmas song quite funny too.

Creature Comforts Merry Christmas Everybody is destined to be a family Christmas classic you want to watch every year even if the kids watched it over and over and over last Christmas. You will, as I did, watch it a couple three times the first time around just to find all the subtle background gags you might have missed the first time around (like Santa drinking a beer while the Grommit-like dog gives his contribution to the Christmas song.

Creature Comforts Merry Christmas Everybody also comes as a bonus disc in Creature Comforts the Complete Second Season and that too is a brilliant collection.

Also, check out Creature Comforts The Complete First Season and The Complete Second Season



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