Stop-motion animated series with a cast of animals, sound-biting on a specific topic each episode, such as creatures' sporting adventures, Christmas, and visits to veterinarians. The show sa... Read allStop-motion animated series with a cast of animals, sound-biting on a specific topic each episode, such as creatures' sporting adventures, Christmas, and visits to veterinarians. The show satirizes modern man on the street and documentary interviews, responding to unseen question... Read allStop-motion animated series with a cast of animals, sound-biting on a specific topic each episode, such as creatures' sporting adventures, Christmas, and visits to veterinarians. The show satirizes modern man on the street and documentary interviews, responding to unseen questioners. The voices of the characters, such as recurring dog and cat duo Trixie and Captain Cu... Read all
The whole concept of 'Creature Comforts' though is nothing new. The first film was made by Nick Park in 1990, in which animals were interviewed about life in the zoo. And anyone in the UK who owned a TV set at any point in the early nineties will remember the Heat Electric ads they soon made, in which the talkative critters had now moved on to discussing the joys of a fully heated home. I have to say, when I first heard that the major driving force behind this series was not the original creator, Nick Park, but Richard Goleszowski, I was worried that it wouldn't have the same spirit as the original films. How wrong I was. Richard has done a truly fantastic job - in fact this TV series is miles better than anything that has come before. The animation, while still faithful to Nick Park's style, is more colourful and seamless, the characters more vibrant, and the end result much more amusing and with a good sense of warmth.
One of the most clever and rewarding aspects of this series is just how well some of the voices have been matched up to an animal character. Even the most mundane of human lines can sound hilarious when coming out of the mouth of just the right animal. A prime example is with the character Norman, a hapless maggot on a fish hook, who explains to his interviewer how he copes with having such an unpleasant career. Also great were the performing elephant and sea lion in the circus episode, who spoke of stage fright and getting warmed up for a good performance. There's enough subtle humour in this light to appeal to both kids and adults alike.
Another superb quality is just how wide a range of memorable animal personalities have been created within the course of thirteen episodes - animals you'd probably never even think of, including sea anemones, fleas and even amoeba, have been anthropomorphised and given their own distinct voices and viewpoints. And it was so great for anyone who loved the original films to see Frank the tortoise, star of one of the Heat Electric commercials, to make a comeback in this series, and prove that he's still one of the most awesome TV celebs out there. As are some of the newer characters too - including Fluffy, a hamster so miserable he makes Eeyore look cheerful, Trixie the mongrel and Captain Cuddlepuss the cat, a pair of pets who spend all their time lazing around on the couch, Pickles the rambling guide dog, Megan and Gladys the Irish seagulls, and Gary and Nigel, the cuddliest looking pair of slugs you could imagine (also big endorsers of organic gardening).
All in all, this is an excellent series, a great way to hear a variety of different views on life in a wholly entertaining way, and another triumph for clay-mation studio Aardman, who no doubt still have a bright future ahead of them. Before I finish, just one more word of advice - be sure to keep your eye on the 'extras' characters too, not just the ones being interviewed, because there have been some pretty darn good jokes going on in the background too. Yep, this cartoon is an absolute gem!
- Dec 6, 2003