By Gary Meyer
Do you remember a short film called Creature Comforts?
Stop motion clay animated zoo animals were given voice by a series of non-actors in series of “man on the street” type interviews where they talk about the advantages and disadvantages of living in a zoo. In 1991 the film won an Academy Award for director Nick Park and Aardman Animations.
They are back.
Before reading further, watch the 2 minute film.
Enjoy many more Creature Comforts shorts here.
Aardman had been making commercials, shorts and music videos (Sledgehammer, My Baby Just Cares for Me) since 1972 but with Creature Comforts and their Wallace and Gromit films they were headed to Hollywood for Chicken Run and a series of successes to the recent Shaun the Sheep films.
For Creature Discomforts the Born Free Foundation explains,” We used people’s experience of lockdown to highlight the lives of wild animals forced to live under lock and key. Turn on the sound to hear their story.
Many animals in zoos, theme parks, circuses and dolphinaria suffer in lockdown every day. They’re trapped thousands of miles from their natural homes. Stripped of a life in the wild. And locked up for life.
Almost all will die in captivity.
Where possible, we rescue vulnerable wild animals from appalling conditions where they have been confined, exploited or abused. We rehabilitate them and, whenever possible, release them back into the wild. Sadly, many of the wild animals we rescue have been too damaged by captivity to return to the wild.
Share this film and donate if you can so we can rescue even more wild animals from permanent lockdown.” #TigerKing #BornFree #Zoo #Circus #Lockdown
The Making of Creature Discomforts
In 2019 the Born Free Foundation and ENGINE brought attention to the issue of wild animals held in captivity with animation. The Bitter Bond, took advantage of the raised awareness from the recent remake of Disney’s The Lion King. Viewed more than 11 milllion times, it resulted in 250,000 petition signatures and the South African Tourism Services Association withdrawing support for any interactions between tourists and wild animals, such posing for photos and lion cub petting.
Animation Magazine offered a look at original artwork for the film.