Monday, 16 November 2015
Film Review (Documentary) - Creature Comforts (Nick Park, 1989)
Fig 1. Creature Comforts Poster.
Creature Comforts was originally an animated short film created by Nick Park in 1989. It was a mockumentary that focused on the living conditions of animals in British zoo's. It was created by asking the voice actors specific questions and they would answer them as the animal. The responses given would then be animated using clay animation to create the illusion of the animals giving their opinion on their living conditions.
The animation received widespread acclaim and Nick Park received an 'Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film' for the film in 1990. The film itself is very cleverly constructed. By only including the responses that the animals give without an overarching authors opinion, and also by having many different varied opinions, the film succeeds in raising important questions without any bias. The film throws many issues at the viewer in subtle ways and not a single definitive answer or opinion is given, leaving all of the choice to the viewer.
Fig 2. Puma Interview Still.
Despite the fact that this animation is a lot of separate scenes that contain only animals talking, there is never a boring moment. The background is often filled with other animals animated doing strange and out of character actions. For instance, at one point a tortoise headbutts a volleyball on camera which is not commented on at any point afterwards. Moments like these keep the audience interested in the animation itself and not just the audio, which is obviously the focus of the film.
Park, N (1989) Figure 1. Creature Comforts Poster. http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51WC5AFJT5L.jpg (Accessed on 16/11/15)
Park, N (1989) Figure 2. Puma Interview Still. https://static.shortoftheweek.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/03/creature-comforts.jpg (Accessed on 16/11/15)