SUMMARY: A group of zoo animals are interviewed about their living conditions.
WHY IT’S HERE: As part of Aardman’s ‘Lip Synch’ series of shorts, Nick Park made ‘Creature Comforts’ and, along with his first Wallace and Gromit short ‘A Grand Day Out’ which was released the same year, this film was largely responsible from turning the studio from a cult phenomenon into a household name. Following the brief for the ‘Lip Synch’ series, ‘Creature Comforts’ is based around a series of real interviews with members of the public about their living conditions. Park took these recordings and applied them to various animals in a zoo, making it seem as though they were talking about their own conditions. In some cases, such as the famous Brazilian mountain lion, Park asked his subjects to give personal answers but imagine they were a particular animal. The voice of the lion was a Brazilian student living in the UK but who missed his home. The attention to detail is phenomenal and the interviews themselves are often hilarious, particular the family of polar bears. ‘Creature Comforts’ is a wonderful, classic short which inspired a popular series of adverts and, eventually, a television series.
In 1990 two of Nick Park’s shorts were up for the Oscar, ‘A Grand Day Out’ and Creature Comforts’. Although the former was a greater labour of love, it was ‘Creature Comforts’ that deservedly won. Unlike ‘A Grand Day Out’, ‘Creature Comforts’ has not really dated and its concept and execution are still superbly winning for all age groups.