SUMMARY: A messianic hand creates a man out of plasticine and places him atop a planet. But the man quickly becomes bored with his solitary existence.
WHY IT’S HERE: Although Nick Park is the first name everyone thinks of when Aardman Animations is mentioned, studio co-founder Peter Lord deserves equal recognition. Lord’s early shorts are a diverse and impressive collection which established the recognisable Aardman style, while his later feature-length animation ‘The Pirates! In an Adventure With Scientists!’ is one of the most underrated animated films of recent years. The irreverent and hilarious sense of humour that characterises that film is visible in embryonic form in what is probably Lord’s most famous short, ‘Adam’. This humorous take on the creation of the first man is a nice clay twist on animator-as-God shorts like ‘Duck Amuck’ or the previous year’s Oscar winner ‘Manipulation’. ‘Adam’ is amusing throughout but the final joke is fantastic in that it manages to escalate a belly laugh twice in a couple of seconds. The closing moment has stayed with me since I first saw it and always makes me laugh out loud.