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Creature Comforts

Julie Sedgewick , Nick Park    Unrated   VHS Tape
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)

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Product Description


Nick Park, who made his reputation with the delightful Wallace and Gromit shorts, won his first Oscar in 1990 with his clever clay animation impressions of zoo creatures. Inventive vignettes of delightfully designed animals are voiced by real-life elderly London apartment dwellers commenting upon their own confining apartments, and children reflecting upon zoo life. The dryly hilarious and sometimes affecting short packs plenty of visual wit in a very British vein into five minutes, but is only one of the delights Aardman Animations studios has to offer in this collection. Two wordless shorts by Aardman cofounder Peter Lord (both Oscar nominees) offer a different kind of physical humor. "Wat's Pig" combines The Prince and the Pauper with The Man in the Iron Mask to contrast the lives of identical twins separated at birth, one grown into a self-centered prince, the other raised in the forest by a particularly talented sow; and "Adam" offers a distinctly comic take on the genesis of humankind. Finally, Boris Kossmehl's angled sets and tilted cameras on the devilishly delicious "Not Without My Handbag," an outrageous take on the living dead and appliance warranties, recalls Tim Burton's early work in its whimsy and stylish designs. This quartet of charming clay animation shorts will enchant children and adults alike with its inventive designs, clever comic sketches, and distinctly British wit. --Sean Axmaker

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Great potatoes, but very little meat... Jan. 24 2004
From Aardman Animation Studios, creators of Wallace and Gromit and Chicken Run, come four wonderful animation shorts.
The first, Creature Comforts, winner of the 1990 Oscar for Best Animated Short Film, is cute, as various zoo animals are interviewed on what it's like to live in a zoo. This one contained some of the funniest moments of the four shorts on this disc. This short runs about 6 minutes.
The second short, Wat's Pig, is a story of two brothers born into nobility and separated at a young age, one becoming the ruler of a kingdom, and the other a poor peasant, and what happens when a neighboring kingdom decides to declare war. This one runs about 11 minutes.
The third short, Not Without My Handbag, is a darkly humorous tale, which is, as other reviewers put it, in a rather different style of animation than the other three shorts. The style and story line reminded me a lot of Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas. Due to the darker humor of the subject matter here, it may not be appropriate for younger viewers. This one runs about 11 minutes.
The final short, Adam, is a funny look at the first being created, and the problems he must face in a rather limited environment. This one runs approximately 6 minutes.
In all, there is about 35 minutes of material here (no extras), and even at a seemingly lower price, one must consider if it's worth the money. I did enjoy all the shorts, but I do wish they could have included more, even if it meant a higher cost. I would have liked seen these included as extras on either a Wallace and Gromit or Chicken Run DVD, but to release so few on one DVD seems a little wasteful. I feel like I've just had the appetizer, and now I am waiting for the entree.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Cheap Presentation Jan. 10 2004
While considerable time and money were spent producing the four short films presented on this DVD, very little went into producing the DVD itself - and it shows.
Individually, the four shorts are nice, although the vocal tracks are muddy and overpowered by the musical soundtrack in places. Closed captions or subtitles would have been helpful, but they aren't included.
Unfortunately, you can't watch the features individually. Even though there is a "Play All" option on the menu screen, if you start with "Creature Comforts" all four shorts will play.
"Creature Comforts" is the best of the four, but because of the poor sound it also suffers the most. With no commentary track or making-of bonus feature the irony of the interviews (talking with kids about zoos and seniors about retirement homes) is lost.
"Wat's Pig" - with its minimal dialogue - comes across nicely, although the parallel storylines can be hard for younger viewers to follow. As with all four of the films a commentary or making-of feature would have been nice.
"Not Without My Handbag" has a good Tim Burton-esque style, but unless you're prepared to discuss the afterlife, the underworld, or the intricacies of contract law, it's not really appropriate for younger viewers. This is where the individual-play bug in the main menu is most apparent, as you have to manually stop the DVD after "Wat's Pig" (or hit the Skip button) to avoid this one.
"Adam" is my second favorite, and with its minimalist soundtrack it comes across the best of the four. Yes, there is cartoonish nudity. No, it doesn't conform to the Biblical chain of events. Nevertheless, it is a very witty story with three or four big laughs in its brief play time.
Ultimately, this DVD is worth less than the sum of its parts. Wait for something better to come along.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed Bag March 3 2003
This collection of pre-"Chicken Run" and "Wallace and Gromit" cartoons by Nick Park and Peter Lord (for Aardman Animation) is something of a mixed bag. There are two genuine masterpieces, a complete misfire, and a slightly mediocre one.
"Creature Comforts" is the best short here. It's a wonderful mockumentary where animals in the zoo are interviewed about how much they like their atmosphere. "Not Without My Handbag" is the second best, a brilliant weird short about a woman who's come back from hell to retrieve her handbag. "Adam" is the third best. It's a short about the first man on Earth (an anatomically correct Adam). While some of Adam's bits of business are amusing, it's not as interesting a piece as it should be. Last and least is "Wat's Pig", a very dull story about seperated twins (one of them has the title pig. That pig is the short's main asset.)
The DVD has plenty of wear and tear and the colours look a little muted. The picture is, however, pretty sharp. "Creature Comforts" is letterboxed (1.85:1). There are no extras, but that's not surprising.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Low QUality degrades a Collectible Aug. 31 2001
I love Nick Park. I remember seeing the "Creature Comforts" short on cable television in the early nineties and just falling in love with it. It was because of Wallace and Grommit that I went to my first anmiation festival.
The prospect of having "Creature Comforts" for my own was just irresistable. But I couldn't help but be disappointed with the disc.
It's just that the quality is terrible. The menu is extremely limited and includes no extra features whatsoever. What would have been better than an interview with each of the animators and writers? Or a "making of" short? Certainly, there wasn't a problem with having enough space on the disc.
The color filtering problems on the menu page and the monophonic sound terrified me. "Creature Comforts" is monophonic, and the rest are in simple stereo.
The picture quality in the shorts is better than on the menu, but not at all up to modern DVD standards. Neither is the sound--two channel stereo. I guess that's because the original material wasn't produced with much of a budge, and it was done a decade ago.
The undercard features were interesting, but didn't appeal to me like Creature Comforts does. I didn't find "Not Without My Handbag" as scary as some others did, but I think it's a mistake to buy this disc for children and expect them to get anything from it.
If you're a Nick Park fan and want "Creature Comforts" for your collection, this DVD is a must-have... even though ten bucks is a little steep for a single short feature. Otherwise, stick to the full-length features.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Zoo gets 5, the rest bring it down a notch!
I first saw Creature Comforts as a fill in on PBS. Many years have passed and I still recall the polar kid asking if it was ok to eat the interviewer. Read more
Published on July 6 2004 by Colleen A. Grant
3.0 out of 5 stars So-so
While "CC" and "Adam" are modern masterpieces, it seems the other, weaker shorts included on this release are merely there to pad out the DVD. Read more
Published on April 22 2004 by "richw5000"
3.0 out of 5 stars American viewers are left out.
This DVD is good, but only has four shorts on it. The Aardman Classics DVD (region 2 only) has these four shorts plus around 22 more! Read more
Published on Nov. 13 2003 by K. Morris
3.0 out of 5 stars Price is okay. Just not up to snuff.
I (like just about everyone else who has bought this) expected it to be more of a rough/early Nick Park production. Read more
Published on Jan. 22 2003 by Edward Sunder
3.0 out of 5 stars One out of four ain't bad
If you can get it cheaply, it's worth buying this DVD just for the short "Creature Comforts." The rest of the stuff on here -- "Wat's Pig," "Not Without My... Read more
Published on Oct. 16 2002 by Miranda
4.0 out of 5 stars Great -- but 4 short films and nothing else
"Creature Comforts" is the name of the first claymation short that is worth the small price of the DVD. Read more
Published on Aug. 9 2002 by Matthew B. Montgomery
4.0 out of 5 stars Inventive and dazzlingly surreal...
Nick Park opens this collection of four British clay animated comedy shorts with "Creature Comforts", a hilarious and occasionally poignant tale of an interview with various... Read more
Published on May 6 2002
3.0 out of 5 stars DEFINATELY not for younger kids
Scary segments and references to Satan and hell. Should be rated PG-13.
Published on April 25 2002 by M. L.
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Wallace and Gromit, but wonderful in its own way
This is not Wallace and Gromit. Okay.
This is not all for children. Okay.
That being gotten out of the way, this DVD is brilliant, and well worth it at less than ten... Read more
Published on Feb. 12 2002 by Jeffrey Lehman
5.0 out of 5 stars I nearly wet myself I laughed so hard.
Aardman has a marvelous talent for conveying human emotions and facial expression. This is particularly true with the Oscar award winning 'Creature Comforts' I nearly peed myself... Read more
Published on Feb. 8 2002
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