Creature Comforts: The Complete First Season

When you first load this disc into your player fight the temptation to watch this incredible series and skip to Nick Park's original 1989 animated short. Though the quality of Aardman Studio's claymation back then wasn't terribly smooth, the concept of interviewing the British public then transforming them into zoo animals gave an immensely realistic quality. After successes such as Chicken Run and Wallace and Gromit, Park went back to his initial breakthrough on a much larger scale and the results could very well be his greatest achievement. Creature Comforts interviews regular citizens on a wide variety of topics, records their rants and opinions then take these quotes and transforms them into a bloodhound reminiscing over vet visits or a turtle gushing over his love for the ocean. The use of beautiful and charming British accents talking candidly and unscripted gives this cast of animals so much depth and personality that you can't help falling in love with a lazy cat, a sultry lioness or a miserable hamster. With just over a dozen episodes, at nine minutes each, you will undoubtedly be wrapped up in this extraordinary animal world of painstakingly realistic claymation, even though the opening theme is bloody awful. Along with the original Oscar-winning short, the DVD comes with some small featurettes on the process of making Creature Comforts, ranging from how they manage to only capture four seconds of animation each day to how the interviews are broken down to each letter in order to get the highest level of realism. The closest you will come to a commentary is found in a short segment of favourite moments where we learn how the sound of a cigarette being lit and a pint glass banging on the table can easily be shaped into a bug eating a leaf or a beetle falling on its back. We even find out about a tip of the hat to Pixar in one of the background segments. Creature Comforts is nothing short of brilliant thanks to the dry wit of the British public and the cleverness of Nick Park and Aardman Studios, and with a second season on its way, the possibilities of future greatness is endless. (Sony)