If you like Wallace & Gromit, then you'll love this DVD. It features alot of the work done by Nick Park, but also other animators including the creator of Morph. What you get: Inside your case you get the DVD (obviously) and a 64 page book entitled "Insideaard" which is a description and history of Aardman Studios, the creators, and even a section on creating animations. While it features items from the DVD, it is not specifically about the DVD. What's the DVD like: The animated menus are quite good, with an ease to finding specific items. The items themselves range from adverts (like the creature comforts adverts; shot for Heat Electric, but oddly enough everyone associates them with British Gas...) to feature animations like "Wat's Pig". With 31 different items (including the 6 Oscar-winning Creature Comforts adverts), a behind the scenes commentary, and directors and animator's biographies, this DVD is certainly packed. This is a must-have item for any animators, Nick Park or Wallace & Gromit fans, and with most of the items suitable for children, parents. The selection is varied and the quality is good. The behind the scenes commentary is excellent and insightful. For me, one of the best things about this DVD though, is that because it is a collection of small items, you can watch 1 or 2 with a friend - when perhaps you wouldn't have normally had time. More Cheese Gromit?
Creature Comforts had the whole family in stiches. Excellent. Still, there was a lot of very ordinary content. I would prefer to have all this extra stuff however than make it shorter with just the best of the best. DVD can hold a lot of material, so why not put it in, right? The supplied booklet is also a great idea, but is jammed in a standard DVD case and makes it rather awkward to close wit the DVD. They could have done a better job with that, but once again I'd rather have the extra material than not. All up, worth buying.
This product as already mentioned by hundreds of other reviewers, compiles most of Aardman's best animations from the early 80s up to the mid 90s, these include the much loved "Creature Comforts", the hilariously clever "Pib and Pog", the story of two brothers, strangely united by war in "Watt's Pig", the intelligently animated "Owzat", the dark thriller "Babylon: Sweet Disaster" and random conversation pieces put to bloody talented animation.
The variety is like watching an Andy Warhol film festival; random and very abstract films that jump from one extreme to the other. Yet each animation is buzzing with ideas and clever humour guaranteed to delight a patient audience. I say patient because at first glance, the average viewer may not understand certain aspects of the films, yet after at least 3 views, you can begin to appreciate the uniqueness of each animation.
The only fault I can see with this compilation is the bad transfer to DVD disc, the sound quality is variable and at times, the video looses touch in colour, as well as sharpness. The lack of subtitles is also a pity since I personally would love to understand everything said by these funny little characters, though that can be excused by the wonderful ideas thought up by the Aardman team.
Top-notch entertainment, suitable for the generally older and more mature audience, ideas, which stretch from one end of the universe to the other.
Well done on these creations, keep up the good work Aardman.
Terrific films, interesting commentaries, nicely presented and with a nice booklet thrown in... what a pity the sound and image quality on the transfer aren't what they ought to be. On some of these films - including the newer ones - I had to strain to hear the dialogue, the sound quality was so muffled. Also the image quality isn't what you might expect from DVD; indeed the occasional momentary crease (in 'Pib and Pog' for example) gives away the fact the at least some of these films have been taken from low-grade video copies and not the original source material. 'Next' also suffers badly; you ought to be able to clearly read the names of Shakespeare's plays on the banners that drop down behind the actor at the end of his performance - you can't. The only good reason for buying this DVD would be for some of the older films which you might never otherwise see; if you already have copies of some of these films that you've taped on long play VHS from Channel 4, hold onto them - the sound and picture quality will be better than you'll get on this disc. Very disappointing.
For anyone interested in creating their own animations, this is a very interesting collection of Aardman snippets. But don't buy it just because you love Wallace and Gromit, otherwise you may be disappointed. Some of the wonderful "Creature Comforts" material is included and "Pib and Pog" should make you laugh. "Wat's Pig" and "My Baby Just Cares For Me" and "Not Without My Handbag" are very good. Even so, these are just a few of the 32 items listed and the DVD as a whole has the feel of a collection of samples, hurriedly thrown together, including stuff that fell down the back of the filing cabinet several years ago and a handful of bits swept up from the cutting-room floor. The sound and picture quality is quite bad on some sections. Really, I'm just an average sort of viewer who loves all the Creature Comforts and Wallace and Gromit films - not a student animator. If, like me, you're hoping for a moderately long, coherent, animated story, similar in style and humour to Wallace and Gromit, then this DVD may not be what you're looking for. I'm off to order "Wallace And Gromit - 3 Cracking Adventures" now - and I KNOW I'm going to enjoy that!