There's nothing not to like about Aardman Animations' new Creature Comforts
series, belatedly inspired by their Oscar-winning short film
and the subsequent spin-off TV ads that turned out to be far more memorable than the product itself ("It's got to be easily turn-off-and-onable"). But if you stop and think about it for a moment, Creature Comforts
is an extraordinarily un-PC concept. First of all, identify some members of the public who are willing to drone on about trivia that's really of no interest to anyone but themselves. (Ideally they will be working class and perhaps a bit dim, although it helps if they're over-articulate in the way that dull people often are when someone suddenly feigns an interest in them.) If they have a strong regional accent or are elderly, so much the better. Then sync up their interviews with a bunch of claymation cartoon animals, linking any extraneous noises to improbable snippets of on-screen action. Finally, sit back and watch as the very people you're patronising laugh their heads off at your efforts, thus proving that they were every bit as dim as you thought.
Cynicism aside, though, the ability of the British public to laugh at themselves is a national trait worth celebrating, and it's brilliantly exploited here by the company that brought you Wallace and Gromit. On this first volume you get six episodes, of which perhaps the funniest is "Working Animals", where we learn that egglaying is "very repetitive" and meet the greyhound who can never quite get his latest bit of portentous self-analysis out before the trap opens.
On the DVD: The Creature Comforts Series 1, Part 1 DVD contains just the first six 10-minute episodes of the series. To add value, the disc also includes what is quite literally a making-of documentary, plus the original Creature Comforts short and sundry other items of interest. --Roger Thomas
Creature Comforts - Vol. 1