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Creature Comforts (1989)

Director: Nick Park, Nick Park
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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Image Entertainment
Genre: Comedies, Foreign, British Comedy, Short Films, Animation, Shorts, Stop-Motion, Mockumentary, Mockumentaries, UK
Running Time: 35 min.
Languages: English
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This title is currently out of print.

Creature Comforts is an Oscar-winning animated short from Aardman Animations and director Nick Park, the creator of the Wallace & Gromit series. As in his other works, Park mingles claymation and multidimensional characterizations with a dry, distinctly British sense of humor; this time around, his subject is the lives of animals in an English zoo. The film employs a documentary-like structure, presenting a series of interviews with zoo animals about their lives and homes. The central joke is that all the zoo's inhabitants speak with recognizably British voices and mannerisms, from a slightly embarrassed turtle to an enthusiastic polar bear cub. They express different viewpoints about zoo life, with some appreciating the security and care provided by their environment, but others bemoaning the confined space and unnatural environment. (One of the characters, a disgruntled mountain lion, is a recent immigrant from Brazil who complains that while his home country may have had less technology, at least it had warm weather and plenty of space.) Indeed, the dialogue spoken by Park's comical creatures sounds as if it was lifted verbatim from interviews with London residents about their apartments. ~ Judd Blaise, All Movie Guide

An animation festival wrapped into one convenient video package, this collection consists of four short films that highlight the diversity and highly unique visions of contemporary British practioners of the art of claymation. Nick Park's contribution, the hilarious CREATURE COMFORTS, takes actual dialogue recorded by Park and an assistant and animates the interviews as if they were the thoughts of various zoo animals. WAT'S PIG, directed by Peter Lord, uses a split screen to illustrate the contrasting lives of a king and a pig-keeper, who are actually twins separated at birth. Boris Kessmehl's NOT WITHOUT MY HANDBAG takes place in a world where failure to make installment payments on a washing machine can lead to the loss of one's soul. In the final film, ADAM, Lord imagines the stop-motion animator as god and his clay creation as his put-upon, often unruly subject.

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