Plot: What’s it about?
I like the animation from Aardman Animations a lot, so I am pleased to review this disc, which features four of their short films. Three out of four of these shorts were nominated for Oscars, with Creature Comforts taking home the statuette for its efforts. You can see why these were so highly praised, as the writing and animation are both top notch. The attention to detail is excellent, which gives the animation a fluid look and a lot of depth also. Aardman Animations also worked on Wallace & Gromit and Chicken Run, so that should give you an idea of what to expect, if you don’t know their work. Now the total running time on these shorts is just over thirty minutes, so you might wonder where the value is. Well, with a very low price point and an anamorphic widescreen transfer for Creature Comforts, I think the price is more than justified. If you’re a fan of Aardman Animations, this disc is nothing less than a must own title. Below is a listing of the included shorts and a brief synopsis for each.
1. Creature Comforts- This is the title piece on this disc and in truth, I think this is Aardman’s finest work. I liked Chicken Run and all, but this what makes me think of Aardman more than anything. We watch as some zoo animals discuss their standards of living and explain what they’d like to see changed, if anything. The animals look fantastic, the writing is splendid, and the voice talent is dead on. This short alone is worth the price of this disc, especially with a new anamorphic widescreen transfer.
2. Wat’s Pig- This eleven minute short film tells the story of two brothers, who couldn’t come more different backgrounds. One brother was raised within the lap of luxury and enjoyed all the splendors of being royalty, while the other brother was raised by a pig. Yeah, he was brought up a very nice walking slab of bacon. This is a humorous piece as well, but not as amusing as Creature Comforts.
3. Not Without My Handbag- This piece, which also runs eleven minutes in length, concerns a deceased woman and her obsession with owning a matching handbag in Hell. She was taken down under for missing a payment on her washing machine, but she thinks she has a good reason to return to the realm of life, her fashion sense. This is a rather dark piece, but very funny and well worth a look.
4. Adam- This short film involves Adam, the first human being and his quest for some company. This one turns out well, but at six minutes, it could have been extended somewhat I think. It seems a little rushed in places, which lessens the entertainment value. But it is still worth a look, as it has some cool animation and such.
Video: How does it look?
Creature Comforts is presented in a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, while the other three are shown in their intended full frame aspect ratios. All the shorts look very good, though some grain and wear is evident at times on them all. But the grain is minor and I think these transfers are improvements over previous editions, which counts for a lot. The colors seem bold, contrast is well defined, and I saw no compression flaws. These might not be pristine, but they should please fans of the material.
Audio: How does it sound?
The mixes range from mono to stereo, but I had no audio problems with any of the shorts. Of course, these pieces don’t need much power by any means, so these rather basic mixes more than handle the needs of the material. The dialogue is crisp and at a good volume, while music and sound effects also come off very well. This is as good as you could want, which is good enough for this reviewer.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc contains no bonus materials.