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Creature Comfort : Capturing the Human in Animals

The best part about starting and writing for Little Kulture has been the research I’ve been having to do. Oh, the labour that’s involved in watching short movie after short, reading about Asimov and Bradbury and viewing Van Gogh in the Google Art Project. Exhausting. It’s always exhausting after a whole morning in the playground.

Today as I was researching Nicholas Wulstan Park, known better as Nick Park the creator of Shaun the Sheep it was my good fortune to see one of his early work. A five minute short called Creature Comfort. Clearly there were too many delights I had to see before my time is done. Sheer genius.

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Creature Comfort

Nick, the middle of five children of a seamstress mum and a dad who invented things loved drawing and often spent hours drawing by himself. He refers to himself as the invisible one in a busy home. At age thirteen he was trying to make short films with his father’s assistance and his mother’s home camera. Before graduating film school he was working with Aardman animations working on his graduation project Wallace and Gormit. Nick had decided to work with palsticine ( a highly pliable oil-based clay) using the stop motion technique to bring his stories to life.

It was at Aardman he came up with Creature Comfort, where animals made of plasticine were given voice overs by real people. The voices were by people in an old age home, a housing estate, owners of a pet store and a Brazilian student. What followed can only be called brilliant cinema.

Creature Comforts won an Oscar (1991) and opened the door to the series. The detailing in clay is very life like. The polar bears opposing views, the puma’s cry for more spaceyearning for his warm, far-away Brazil definitely bring to mind a few people you know.

The idea that animals might have an opinion about their living conditions in a zoo is both thought and laughter inducing.

As an added treat I found a montage of Creature Comfort. Enjoy, dear reader.

 

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