Released a week after animators Nick Park and Peter Lord's "Chicken Run", Image Entertainment has released a disc of early shorts by the duo, who achieved greater fame with their "Wallace and Gromit" claymation series, then went on to "Run".
Here, we are presented with "Creature Comforts", "Adam", "Not Without My Handbag" and "Wat's Pig". "Creature Comforts" is the most popular of the shots, focusing on a group of zoo animals comment on the living conditions, providing some very funny remarks. Next is "Wat's Pig", the story of two brothers - one raised by royalty, the other raised by a pig. "Not Without My Handbag" is the tale of a woman who won't go to hell without her favorite handbag.
For those who are used to the duo's more comedic efforts, you might be a bit surprised by these shorts. Unlike "Chicken Run", some of them - such as "Handbag", might be a bit scary for younger kids. The 4 shorts aren't always humorous, but it's still amazing to see the early work from Park and Lord. Although these certainly aren't nearly as complex as "Chicken Run" in terms of the claymation, they still are very impressive.
VIDEO: The four shorts are presented differently, and are varied in terms of quality. "Creature Comforts" is presented in it's original 1.85:1 aspect ratio, and is anamorphic. "Wat's Pig" is presented 1.66:1 or so, but not animorphic. The last two are full-frame presentations. "Creature Comforts" generally looks very good, although a bit soft at times, with a couple of marks on the print used. "Wat's Pig" fares about as well, with rich colors and good sharpness, although a bit of grain is visible.
The last two are full-frame presentations and generally look good as well. "Handbag" looks a bit soft, but is otherwise fine. I saw no instances of pixelation or shimmer on any of the shorts, just a bit of wear.
SOUND: The four shorts are either presented in stereo or mono("Creature Comforts"). Aside from sounding a little bit harsh at times, there are no problems with the sound for any of the four.
MENUS:: The main menu allows the viewer to select one of the four shorts, and short clips play during the menu.
Final Thoughts: For fans of the Duo's work, "Creature Comforts" is worth a look to see their early efforts, although don't go in expecting work as humorous as some of their other films. Although the total content is only 35 minutes, the DVD is fairly reasonably priced at $9.99(and less at most stores).