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  Specs
  • Widescreen 1.78:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  Subtitles
  • None
  Extras
  • 2 Featurette
  • Animated menus
  • Web access
  • Interactive game
  • 4 Short film
Creature Comforts - Series 1: Vol. 2
ABC/Roadshow Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 63 mins . G . PAL

  Feature
Contract

Creature Comforts Volume Two gives us seven episodes of the totally delicious comedy series from Aardman, the animation-empire responsible for Wallace and Grommit and Chicken Run.

And the standard is right up there with those acclaimed productions.

The idea behind the series is wonderful. Take a microphone to the street, and ask ordinary Brits questions about life .... about their pets, about evolution, about the seaside... normal people answering normal (and some not-so-normal) questions.

Then take the tapes into the studio, and create a gamut of animals, from sea-urchins to donkeys, to voice those answers. The result is sometimes sadly but usually hysterically appropriate.

The seven episodes here run for a total of 63 minutes. I haven't seen Volume One, but this one stands nicely by itself -- and one episode in particular, The Pet Shop where the animals express their fears of being left on the shelf, is an instant classic. Animated brilliance.

Which is the most popular pet -- cats or dogs? Let the creatures themselves battle it out. Are their aliens here amongst us? And is it ok to open the door and greet the postman with a kiss? Those, and other questions crucial to understanding the animal-world condition, are all here. It's lovely stuff.

  Video
  Audio
  Extras
Contract

Being new animation, this is digitally-perfect and is given fine anamorphic framing. The Surround sound effects are used very sparingly; this is dialogue-driven comedy and everything's clear and crisp.

The extras include two Making Of style features -- the first, the ten-minute Favourite Bits, has director Richard Coleszowski discussing making the series, illuminated by some favourite bits. The second, Bringing Creature Comforts to Life, runs for only three minutes and shows how the animators themselves were filmed doing the sort of actions and expressions they wanted to see used in the final animation.

TV Extras is a collection of very short commercials and promos recorded for television. Some are funny; video quality is mixed. They run for eight minutes.

In the inter-active Who Said That?, you're given a quote, and have to choose between three characters. The result, if you choose wrongly, is very cute indeed.

The DVD Extras give posters, soundbites and links to the Aardman website.

The animated menu is wondrously constructed -- slow in operation, but you'll love every second of it.


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  •   And I quote...
    "Delicious comic idea given the right-royal Aardman treatment. "
    - Anthony Clarke
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Pioneer DVD 655A
    • TV:
          Loewe Profil Plus 3272 68cm
    • Receiver:
          Denon AVR-3801
    • Speakers:
          Neat Acoustics PETITE
    • Centre Speaker:
          Neat Acoustics PETITE
    • Surrounds:
          Celestian (50W)
    • Subwoofer:
          B&W ASW-500
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