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Creature Comforts (1989)

7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 4,186 users  
Reviews: 20 user | 11 critic

A humourous and thought provoking view of what animals in zoos might be thinking about their captivity and surroundings.

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Title: Creature Comforts (1989)

Creature Comforts (1989) on IMDb 7.8/10

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Julie Sedgewick ...
Interviewer (voice)
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Storyline

Off camera, with her microphone in view, an interviewer asks creatures at the zoo to talk about how they like their accommodations, what's good and what's bad, and what they miss about their old land. The animals interviewed include a family of polar bears - the youngest of whom likes it there, a large Brazilian cat (who misses the space and the heat of the Amazon), an ape who's a bit bored, a lemur, a turtle who reads for escape, and a chicken who compares her life favorably to the lives of her sisters in the circus. They talk about what they eat, their cramped and smelly quarters, and the technology of zoo life. They're thoughtful, philosophical, and reasoned. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Plot Keywords:

zoo | animal | turtle | polar bear | puma | See All (12) »


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Details

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Release Date:

15 July 1989 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Comodidades de criatura  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Commissioned by Channel 4 as part of a 5-part series of Aardman animations called "Lip Synch". The five films in the series were Creature Comforts (1989), Going Equipped (1990), Ident (1990), Next (1990) and War Story (1989). See more »

Quotes

Andrew Polar Bear: Do you eat lions?
Dad Polar Bear: No, I don't eat lions, Andrew.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Wallace & Gromit in Project Zoo (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A simple penguin.
18 August 2005 | by (Bookseller of the Blue Ridge) – See all my reviews

Fairing only 32 minutes long, I was worried that these shorts would be cheap, unexciting, and overall just a few animals talking about life at a local Zoo. While I had no problems with this, I wanted more … and guess what? This short DVD provided it. Not only does it give us that unquenchable desire to see British animals talking about life in a Zoo, but it gives us three more additional shorts which only broaden the power that is known as Nick Park. From those little animals to dynamic storytelling to becoming a staple in the stop-motion animation field, you can literally see the impact of these shorts in today's cinema. From just a short 32 minutes, I witnessed the power of Tim Burton (apparently borrowed quite a bit from Park on his film The Nightmare Before Christmas) in a little short called "Not Without My Handbag", the creation of life on this planet (as seen through Park's eyes) and even a little ditty about the Middle Ages. All of these continue to prove that Park was developing powerful film-making well before his time.

For those that perhaps haven't been introduced to a show called Wallace & Gromit, I would highly suggest seeing where Park's Claymation has gone from these creative beginnings, but for those that want to see his early efforts (which were rewarded with an Oscar!) , than I suggest Creature Comforts. More of a observation on our society than just some random cartoons jumping on screen, we watch as animals in a Zoo react the same as we would if we were caged daily (as if we aren't already). The short that impressed me the most was "Not Without My Handbag" where the simple misunderstanding of a contract pulled a darkened cloud over a family. It is deeply disturbing, but powerfully imaginative and vibrant. The final short also impressed me with its powerful references to the "Creation". Simply titled "Adam", we watch as this naked man tries to adapt to living alone on a unexplored planet. If the religious references to Adam & Eve weren't blazin enough, we are privy to a final moment where we think "Adam" will finally get the companion that he deserves … only to find out it is something that nobody expected.

Park has this amazing ability to take images from our day to day society and juxtaposition them into the world of the imaginative and unbelievable. The ability to give these Zoo creatures enough life to feel just like normal humans while being caged behind bars is incredible. I do not believe anyone has come close to recreating the effect that Nick Park has done. The closest that comes to mind is Brad Bird with his recent creation of the superhero family dynamic in The Incredibles. That was smart and enlightening at the same time. That is what Park creates. His animation is not just creatures falling on the floor for young children to react, but instead intelligent, rather symbolic, metaphors about life, which appeal to both children and adults. To create those characters that are able to cross that boundary from children to adult is difficult, but Park seems to have accomplished it with the greatest of ease.

Overall, I thought this was a great introduction to the work of master animator Nick Park. As I patiently wait for his Wallace & Gromit film release, it is fun to revisit his early work and witness a bold new birth of animation. I am surprised more films haven't been released using this style of cartoonery. In a way I am happy because I would hate to see too much over-dominate the Hollywood community, but we need to see more than what has been handed to us in the theaters. With duds like Madagascar and Home on the Range, I would have thought that Park's work would be the logical next step, but I am always wrong. I applaud your work Park, and suggest that anyone willing to laugh, chuckle, and be entertained for a great 32 minutes should check out this DVD!

My favorites from great to least:

1. "Not Without My Handbag" 2. "Creature Comforts" 3. "Wat's Pig" 4. "Adam"

Grade: ***** out of *****


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