the Great British Public in: Creature Comforts (claymation)

1989, created by Nick Park and Aardman Animations.

A humourous and thought provoking view of what animals in zoos might be thinking about their captivity and surroundings.

In 1990 Nick Park worked with Phil Rylance and Paul Cardwell to develop a series of British television advertisements for the Electricity Board’s “Heat Electric” campaign.

The Creature Comforts advertisements have now attained a place in popular culture, and are probably better remembered than the original film that spawned them.However, it is claimed that many members of the public mistakenly remember the commercials as advertising gas heating, the main competitor to electricity.

The Creature Comforts advertisements were produced in the period 1990 to 1992 and in some ways they were indicative of the shape of things to come in British television advertising. Many commentators believe that there was a fundamental shift in television advertising from the unbridled consumerism and egoism of the 1980s to what is sometimes termed a more “caring” approach in the 1990s. The Creature Comforts advertisements are cited as an early example of this phenomenon.

The format of the Creature Comforts advertisements was so successful that it was replicated in other campaigns in the following decades. In later years, however, members of the public became increasingly conscious of the potential uses of their vox pop interviews. This made it difficult to recapture the spontaneity and innocence of the early Creature Comforts advertisements.

In 2003 a series of Creature Comforts films directed by Richard Goleszowski was made for British television network ITV by Aardman Animations.

The series gently mocks the constructed performance sometimes given by members of the general public when being interviewed for television vox-pops and documentaries. This includes the attempts to present a cogent but simple conclusive answer to a general question – a sound bite – and the attempts to present a cheery spin on a complex issue while the subject attempts to hide their personal issues and problems with the issue.

Starting June 2007, CBS planned to broadcast seven episodes of an Americanized version of the show, featuring ordinary American people providing the voices, in the same vein as the British original.

Seven episodes of this series were produced. However, the series ran for only three episodes before being cancelled by CBS due to low ratings.

“It works, largely because most of the interviews seem selected to be not wacky but low-key and conversational. Am I proud of laughing? No, but I don’t care.”
James Posiewozik, Time.com

“Each juxtaposition of voice and creature, even or especially the most unexpected, creates something wonderful. The domestic version, which like it s predecessor is made by Aardman Animations, is every bit as good as the original. While the animation is masterful – beautifully timed and fully attendant to character, even when a character is merely listening – what makes “Creature Comforts” valuable is the unscripted, and unscriptable voice of the people.”
Robert Lloyd, LA Times

“Hilarious feat of animated clay. Four Stars. So if it took until the second season for an American version of “The Office” to approximate the quality and charm of the British original, how long will it take for an Americanized “Creature Comforts” to prove itself? About five seconds. The series, ‘featuring the voices of your fellow Americans’ finds just as many eccentric regional dialects here as in England, and uses them hilariously from the start. I can’t remember the last time I laughed so quickly and loudly at a new TV series. And it just keeps delivering gold – even from a goldfish who is heard complaining of her latest medical malady. “Dry skin,” she says while floating in her goldfish bowl. “Can you believe it?”
New York Daily News

from wikipedia, imdb and creaturecomforts.tv

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