Review View All
Dolby Digital (2.0)
1 Hour 3 Minutes
Comedy, Television Series, Animation
20th November 2005
The Great British Public
The original Creature Comforts film was made way back in 1989 and in 1990 it went on to win Aardman Director, Nick Park, his first Oscar for Best Animated Short Film. This inspired the Heat Electric television commercials in which various creatures from a Tortoise to a Jaguar were interviewed "documentary style" about the merits of owning electric storage heaters in their homes. Whether these adverts caused people to rush out and buy new storage heaters is a different matter. However, they did succeed in capturing the imagination of the British public. And, mainly thanks to the BBC commissioning a one off animated programme, Nick Park went on to create three highly successful, and Oscar award winning, Wallace and Gromit adventures.
With his animation winning awards left, right and centre, it was only a matter of time until Hollywood came calling. And when they did, Nick Park and his animation studio Aardman created the smash box office hit Chicken Run. Fortunately, fame hadn't gone to his head and it wasn't too long before he returned to his roots and produced another thirteen episodes of Creature Comforts for British television station ITV. But when Hollywood came calling again, Nick returned returned to the land of gold for Wallace and Gromit's first big movie - Wallace & Gromit The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. And with the record breaking film receiving praise and accolades from just about every direction possible, will another Oscar be heading in the direction of Aardman? I wouldn't bet against it, nor would a sequel be unlikely.
However, in the mean time, Creature Comforts has returned for another series of unscripted and unashamedly funny episodes. And with the movie still riding high, what better way is there to raise their profile even higher? Each of the six brand new episodes features many of best characters from the previous series, such as Trixie and Captain Cuddlepuss the bickering dog and cat, Fluffy the ever depressed hamster and Clement the equally depressed looking bloodhound. There's also over one hundred new characters to laugh along with. I just hope a few of them survived the terrible warehouse fire that saw the vast majority of Aardman's creatures reduced to sticky blobs of their former selves.
Creature Comforts : Series Two consists of the following six episodes:
- Beast In Show A rabbit reveals his never ending quest for breeding perfection, a Shetland pony shows a tidy set of hooves to impress his girlfriends, a competitive pig thinks that good losers are losers, and a chicken casts aspersions on the quality of the duck eggs. All bets are off, as the biggest and the best lock horns over their rosettes.
- The Brood Have you ever wondered how a seagull feels when its young leave the nest? Or a monkey copes with teething? Or what happens when an amoeba argues with its mum and dad? From cute and cuddly, to teenage tantrums, the ups and downs of parenthood.
- Pet Hates Did you know that pigs hate having their neck breathed on? Or that the best way to irritate a police horse is to walk like a baboon in front of it?... Feathers and fur flies, as temperamental pets reveal what gets their goat.
- Impressions How does a hamster sound like a kipper? Does an owl give a hoot? Can a slug imitate a chicken? Animals test their vocal prowess…
- Animals In the 'hood' What causes a sewer-dwelling crocodile to settle in Stockton Heath? Why is it important for a barnacle to set up home above the flood line? How do moles cope with unexpected leaks, and what does a baby spider think of the long climb to bed? Step out from behind the net curtains, and take a peek into some beastly boudoirs.
- Sport! A tortoise and hare argue over who is the best loser, lemmings point out the drawbacks of cliff-diving, scorpions take us through their fast-hand technique, and a wrestling mouse shows us how to land properly…Survival of the fittest and other fantastic feats with nature's natural athletes.
Picture and Sound
You only have to watch the original Creature Comforts to see just how good the picture on the new material is. Naturally, with better technology and more money available it would have been a shock if the picture hadn't been up to scratch, and the second series is even better than the first. The quality is superb with an above average bitrate throughout along with a wonderful level of detail and range of colours and expressions that only Aardman could ever think of dreaming up. Naturally, being a television series, there are no signs of artifacting or outlining and the print is pristine with no dust scratches or other picture imperfections. It's a series that is most definitely at home on DVD.
As the series was created for UK terrestrial television channel ITV1, the sound is presented in rather unexciting 192Kbps stereo. However, considering that Creature Comforts was primarily created for television broadcast, the soundtrack was never really going to be that adventurous. With the soundtrack being dialogue intensive, with the occasional blast of music, there is little or no need for any fancy effects. But what is offered is some clear and precise dialogue, even if the original interview dialogue was recorded on what looks like a portable MiniDisc recorder. Still, Aardman must have had a DVD release in mind, and with all their new exploits and adventures in Hollywood, they really should have come up with something a little better during production.
One of the things that makes Creature Comforts so good is the fact that the animal interviews (and even some of the background noises) were unscripted and unrehearsed. Even though the people being recorded knew it was for Creature Comforts, they still had to sound like real people and they didn't know which animals they were going to have their voices put to. It must have been great to hear yourself on television and then be equally horrified to see that they'd put your voice to a slug or a dung beetle. Mind you, I'm sure the two confused old old ladies weren't too chuffed with their bat characters, whilst the voice behind Fluffy the hamster (still the best character in the series) could quite possibly have a new career as an after dinner speaker. It's certainly something to tell the grandchildren about.
Creature Comforts is an absolute hoot to watch. With the superb animation (is it really just stop-go clay animation?), the various goings on in the background to the wonderfully unscripted stories from the general public, I don't think I've laughed so much in ages. It's also a disc that can be watched over and over again without getting bored. And with the previous series just as fresh as this series, you can keep laughing for hours as you keep spotting new things happening in the scenes.
Whilst there's no doubt that this is a fun DVD, I would still have to question the rather high asking price of £17.99 for such a short disc. Ok, if you shop around a bit on-line then you aren't going to be paying anywhere near the RRP, but even so, it's still rather expensive for its short running time. Still, fans are sure to buy, and shopping on-line will make it much cheaper. Never the less, it's still worth considering hanging on for the inevitable box-set containing both parts of the series. It may be slightly cheaper, and it may even have some extra goodies too.
- Eyeballs and Fishlips : The Making of Creature Comforts 2
- The People Behind the Puppets
- Creating Creature Comforts 2: Rehearsals
- Countryside Code Short
- Trailer: Wallace & Gromit The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
Other Reviews Available with these Actors
The Great British Public
Latest Reviews View All
Made in Chelsea : Series 4 : They're back. Expect more drama than ever, some immaculate dressing, plenty of recession free spending and some fabulous destinations in Series 4 of Made in Chelsea.
0 comments 0 reactions
- Utopia : Ever wondered where your food came from? Ever wondered what your food contains? Ever wondered where that new strain of flu came from? And, finally, once and for all, just where is Jessica Hyde? Prepar...0 comments 0 reactions
- Shameless : Series 10 : The unthinkable has happened - the Department of Work and Pensions have finally caught up with job dodger Frank. Faced with losing his benefits, he finds himself in a nightmare fantasy on death row, h...0 comments 0 reactions
- A Dangerous Method : Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender and Keira Knightley star in director David Cronenberg's adaptation of Christopher Hampton's play detailing the deteriorating relationship between Sigmund ...0 comments 0 reactions
Most Popular View All
Shameless : Series 10 : The unthinkable has happened - the Department of Work and Pensions have finally caught up with job dodger Frank. Faced with losing his benefits, he finds himself in a nightmare fantasy on death row, he's a 'dead man walking' to... a j...
17 hits 0 comments 0 reactions
- Racing Stripes : A baby Zebra is adopted by farmer's daughter and grows up thinking that it's a racehorse with a burning desire to race in the Kentucky Open.17 hits 0 comments 0 reactions
- Max Payne : The Harder Cut : Max Payne moves from the video game arena to the big screen as a rogue cop out for revenge for the brutal murder of his wife and family. Get ready for beautiful women, dark allies and plenty of gunfir...11 hits 0 comments 0 reactions
- The Chronicles of Riddick : Necromongers. If they cannot convert you, they will kill you. In normal times this evil would be fought by good. But in times like these, it should be fought by another kind of evil. And that evil is ...7 hits 0 comments 0 reactions