Eye For Film >> Movies >> Creature Comforts: Vol 1 (2003) Film Review
As you watch a menagerie of animals reveal their philosophy in quirky 10 minute slots, it's easy to forget that these lovely characters didn't start out as scripts, but rather as the voices of real people, just talking about their lives and what they think about the world around them.
When Nick Park got comfortable with creatures the first time, he won an Oscar and I wouldn't be surprised if this series goes on to net another for Aardman's collection, as this series is, by turns, moving and hilarious, poignant and frivolous.
From Pickles the guidedog, who just wants to help others, but has a wind problem if she eats baked beans, to Night Venture the greyhound, who never quite manages to finish a sentence, each animal has its own quirks and idiosyncracies, which feel completely natural and human - because they are.
All life is here, from a fly talking about different types of dung - presumably a gardener talking about what was best for the garden when being interviewed - to pigs discussing why dirt is bad for you, with topics ranging from At The Vets to Feeding Time.
And it is not just the star players which hold the attention. Almost every scene features other creatures, scurrying about, or playing in the background, from a slug trying to stop a ladybird crawling all over him to a dog who can't play with a ball because he has a huge plastic collar on.
You could watch this series repeatedly and spot something different each time.
The animation is faultless. Thanks to advanced techniques, the plasticine figures appear as smooth as silk. And the music makes a perfect match, with its toe-tapping beat and idiosyncratic bells and whistles.
I defy anyone to sit through the first six episodes and reach the end without a smile on their face, or a feeling that people are really quite nice after all - plus, where else would you hear a baby spider say: "I don't catch flies because they eat poo and I don't like poo"?
It's the naturalness of this project, which makes it. The animators leave all the fits and starts, breaths and stutters intact, resulting in an incredibly accomplished piece work that anyone can take comfort in.
Roll on the second part of the series.Reviewed on: 27 Nov 2003