Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Wallace and Gromit film...

It’s a ‘who-doughnut?’ mystery Gromit!
Bristol, 3rd October 2007: Today, fans throughout the world can see Nick Park talking about Wallace and Gromit’s forthcoming new film. Within an interview style short film, available only on the internet, Nick reveals that the plasticine duo’s new adventure will be made for TV.
Trouble At’ Mill will join multi award winning The Wrong Trousers and A Close Shave as a TV half hour.
The film can be viewed exclusively at www.wallaceandgromit.com from today Wednesday, 3rd October.
Trouble At’ Mill, to be shown on BBC1, is in pre-production now, shooting starts in January, it will be finished for Autumn/Christmas 08. All production will take place at the Aardman studios in Bristol.
After the incredible success of Curse of The Were-Rabbit Nick is delighted to return to the 30 minute format, "I love making films for the cinema but the production of Chicken Run and Curse of the Were-Rabbit were virtually back to back and each film took 5 years to complete, Trouble At’ Mill will be so much quicker to make and I can’t wait to get back into production." The new film will reunite Nick with writer Bob Baker who co-wrote both The Wrong Trousers and
A Close Shave.
Wallace and Gromit have a brand new business. The conversion of 62 West Wallaby Street is complete and impressive, the whole house is now a granary with ovens and robotic kneading arms. Huge mixing bowls are all over the place and everything is covered with a layer of flour. On the roof is a ‘Wallace patent-pending’ old-fashioned windmill. The transformation is perfect.
Although business is booming, Gromit is concerned by the news that 12 local bakers have ‘disappeared’ this year – but Wallace isn’t worried. He’s too distracted and ‘dough-eyed’ in love with local beauty and bread enthusiast, Piella Bakewell, to be of much help.
While they enjoy being the ‘Toast of the Town’, Gromit, with his master’s life in jeopardy, must be the sleuth and solve the escalating murder mystery - in what quickly becomes a ‘Matter of Loaf and Death’.
Nick Park models Piella Bakewell ©Aardman Animations
Gromit juggles chores in the bakehouse
Fans will be able to visit www.wallaceandgromit.com to follow the progress of the production via a video blog filmed by the crew. The blog will reveal many of the day to day production techniques at the Aardman studio. Fans can enter a special competition at www.wallaceandgromit.com to be the first to see the completed film at a special preview hosted by Nick Park.

For more information please call +44 207 706 1046
Arthur Sheriff Aardman - Head of Communications
arthur@halfpastseven.com arthur.sheriff@aardman.com
_____________________________________

Thursday, August 16, 2007

DVD News

I have two pieces of Creature Comforts news to report. The first is that we were recently awarded two Silver Telly Awards! The second is that the DVD of the ENTIRE season will be released in the U.S. on October 9th. To all of you who joined the campaign to save Creature Comforts, thank you again, and please let everyone know about the DVD release. To anyone unfamiliar with the saga of "Family Guy", the show was cancelled after one season and then brought back after demand for the DVD was so strong that it was difficult for FOX to ignore. And speaking of difficult to ignore...here's the cover art for the DVD:

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Animation Celebration

First of all, a big thank you to everyone who has been supporting the show and making their thoughts known to CBS. Some shows that get pulled from TV quickly fade from peoples' consciousness but it's clear that the fans of Creature Comforts are passionate and are not going to forget about this very special show.

Last weekend our executive producer, Kit Boss, presented an unaired episode at the Platform International Animation Festival in Portland. Kit was joined by Aardman founders Peter Lord and David Sproxton, as well as two American animators from Creature Comforts- Teresa Drilling (animated the pigs, and contributes to our blog) and Juliana Cox (animated the racoon, buttsniffer dogs, and others). I wish I could have been there, but luckily Kit sent along pictures. The first is the crowd (pretty good for 9:30 AM on a Saturday) and the next features Kit alongside festival volunteer Kit Vohs- who's name in Spanish is pronounced Kit Boss!



Tuesday, June 26, 2007

We will not be silenced!



If you want to know what these cats have to say on the topic of Communication, you'll have to make your voices heard by the powers that be at CBS. Creature Comforts was pulled from the schedule but there are still 4 wonderful unaired episodes, along with many animals that have yet to be seen. The feedback we have received about the show has been amazing and we know there are passionate fans out there who are tired of seeing the same old thing on TV. Democracy worked in the campaign to save Jericho so if enough people voice their opinion to CBS, perhaps they will rethink their decision and allow you to see these episodes. Many bloggers have mentioned that Creature Comforts was the only show that brought them to CBS and without it they will not be watching the network again. If you share that feeling, let them know. Here are some ways you can make your voice heard:

Click on the link below to get to the CBS feedback site and select Creature Comforts from the dropdown menu:

CBSfeedback

You can also send an email to the following addresses:

Nina Tassler, Sr. Executive VP of Programming
nina.tassler@cbs.com

Kelly Kahl, President, CBS Entertainment
kelly.kahl@cbs.com

Audience Services
audsvcs@cbs.com

Or Call Kelly Kahl (that sounds funny if you say it out loud) at:
323-575-2442

UPDATE: From the Creature Comforts forum at www.creaturecomforts.tv, kittysquared says:

I'm sending in my Play-Doh tomorrow to the following address:

CBS Television Network
ATTN: Kelly Kahl
51 West 52nd Street
New York, NY 10019


If any of you have any more ideas of how to help spread the word, please contribute in the comments section of this post.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The human face of horse and mule

Here is a picture sent in from Hannah and Jared, the always entertaining horse and mule couple.




You can also befriend both their human and equine bands on myspace:

Mr. Moccasin

Horse Heart Mule

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Character Parties Continue in Week 2!

Dr. Richard Bay, our painting Gorilla from Virginia, hosted 100 friends for his TV debut! Check out the pictures:

Up on the marquee.



A gorilla's favorite treat!



We love the decor.


A classic dilemma: watch the show, or eat dinner?



Read more about Richard in the Roanoke Times.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Premiere Party Animals- San Francisco

The report back from the party our pugs, Betsy and Ian, had at their interviewer's house in San Francisco? "Best thing I've seen in years."

But of course, "Betsy and Ian were the funniest." Check out the pics!

Betsy and friends watch the show.



Ian gets on the floor to commune with his character.




Kids get in on the fun.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Premiere Party Animals- Pearl

Gosh that's alliterative. Here are some more pics from last night's country-spanning festivities, this time from our mother and daughter pig pair (with so many p's, why stop now?), Nell and Celia.


Nell, Celia, and their interviewer, Larry, who they gifted with a pig figurine.




Larry said of the viewing party, "I wish I had been recording the proceedings - arguments about the TV volume, neighbors over who kept taking cell phone calls throughout the show, the house phone ringing and Nell forbidding James (her husband) from answering it."

Nell and Celia reenact one of their commercials.



Celia told us, "It was great!!! We taped it and re-watched it like 3 times. Larry and his family came over and some friends of Mama's 'unexpectedly' dropped by. Yeah, right. Can't wait for next week!"

CCUSA Premiere Party Animals

For most of us on the Creature Comforts crew, the best part of last night's premiere (after seeing our very fast-moving credit, of course) was wondering what the characters thought of it all. Thanks to a number of our interviewers and interviewees, we don't have to wonder for long! We've got pictures and quotes from the creatures themselves, which I'll be posting as they come in. First up? Our married bees, from New York.

Shock! Excitement! (And there's the Bees' daughter and interviewer, Lu, recording it all as always).

Lu told us: "I'm happy to report my parents really loved seeing themselves. They invited my sister, brother-in-law, his mom, my aunt and a dear friend of the family to watch the premiere."



Horror!


Lu continued, "My mother swore she would tell NO ONE about the show in case she didn’t like what character she became."



Happiness!


"I think the highlight was when my mother laughed so hard she seemed to stop breathing," says Lu.



Stay tuned for more CCUSA character reactions!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Our Ears Are Burning

In the best possible way:

"SOME of the best comic acting you'll see all summer will come from the animated clay animals starring in "Creature Comforts." An American version of a British series based in turn on a short film by Nick Park (the creator of Wallace & Gromit), it puts the unrehearsed words of ordinary people into the mouths of Plasticine dogs, cats, horses, pigs, porcupines, monkeys, pandas, crabs, sharks, roaches and whatever other animals seem appropriate or appropriately ironic to the subject or voice.

Topics are as varied as health, lying and sex, and the result is something both witty and complex — a kind of heightened reality television that, beyond letting you laugh at the funny juxtapositions and marvel at the animation, focuses your attention on the voices themselves, and what people have to say, and how they say it. A reminder that we're all at once individuals and types, and animals under our clothes."

-LA Times


"Who doesn't love a talking animal? The twist in CBS' animated Creature Comforts (Mondays, 8 pm/ET), based on the Oscar-winning short and subsequent British series, is that the loquacious critters, from cuddly pets to exotic wildlife, are voiced not by actors but by average Americans being interviewed on commonplace subjects. The juxtapositions are hilarious: a hippo whining about being weighed by skinny girls, a monkey reciting “He loves me, he loves me not” as she picks nits off her mate. I hung on and laughed at nearly every word."

- Matt Roush, TV Guide

"The upcoming CBS animated series Creature Comforts is one of the most engaging and charming things I've seen in a long time."

- TV Squad

"Sometimes an idea comes along that's so brilliant, I can't even believe it exists. That's how I feel about 'Creature Comforts'."

- BuzzSugar

"Creature Comforts is good fun. Park’s animators have a gift for matching the right kind of animal to certain voices — I have no idea why a caged bird is the perfect embodiment of a complaining hypochondriac, but it just is."

- Chicago Tribune

With conventional sitcoms fumbling and floundering, it's refreshing - and too rare - for network TV to try a different kind of funny.

"Creature Comforts," where have you been?

...Even watching "Creature Comforts" with your eyes closed can be fun. It's nice to hear an authentic Deep South drawl when the subject isn't hurricane damage, or a chowdah-thick New England accent any time. And when they're talking about the most ordinary subjects - marriage, say, or colds - people do say the darnedest things.

- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

"Seinfeld set the standard for shows about nothing, and CBS' animated Creature Comforts extends the trend with glorious goofiness.

Creature Comforts, debuting at 8 p.m. Monday, is like no other comedy on television. And that probably could help it survive.

...This adaptation of a British hit has no plot. Rather, the program takes interviews with everyday people and lets those words come out of the mouths of animated animals. The show unfolds like a series of fast-paced sketches.

...The show's zany look heightens the comedy. This stop-motion animated series comes from the team behind Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. The animated characters started in commercials, then graduated to their British series.

Their jump to the United States means that CBS is scheduling something genuinely different. The added bonus: Creature Comforts is genuinely good.

- Orlando Sentinel

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

We Return, Bearing Gifts

I know we've been gone for awhile, and sadly, it's because we've had little news to report. That's why we're offering a little taste of the "working" segment, in exchange for your forgiveness. Pretty please?

Monday, February 05, 2007

False Alarm!

As Teresa pointed out, our commercial was not aired during yesterday's Super Bowl. Quick, enjoy it here while the football season is still fresh enough to make it relevant:

Pigs in Portland

There we were: my family, the Bears, the Colts, the massive table of Superbowl snacks...

It was raining cats and dogs in Florida, but in Portland, Oregon it was a bright and sunny day. Sunshine in February is a fairly rare event in my neck of the world. When it happens, people tend to tentatively wander outside, dazed and blinking, confused about what to wear, not sure how to do yardwork without the rain.

But no matter! Forget the silly, silly sunshine. We had pigs and pigskin to watch! And there was plenty to watch. There was the game, there were the commercials and, of course, the CBS promos! When would they show the pigs? Everybody wanted to see the pigs. I animated one of the pig promos, so we were all on the edges of our seats, tag teaming and timing our trips "elsewhere" so we wouldn't miss them. And it was a great game. There were some great ads, and we saw lots of promos for CBS shows. But no pigs! No pigs televised for the Portland area, anyway. Awwww...... Oh well. You'll just have to take our word for it. It was pretty darned funny. Now, back to that massive table of Superbowl snacks...

Saturday, February 03, 2007

First and Ten

We're not sure exactly when, but we hear that Creature Comforts will be advertised during tomorrow's football festivities. Hopefully, this will be the first step towards CCUSA showing up weekly on your TV sets! Below we've posted some still frames of the characters featured in the ad, and the original audio that their dialogue came from. It's always fun to see the animated end result and then work backwards to figure out the interview's original context.





Click for audio

Enjoy the food, fun, and (of course) the commercials tomorrow, and please, come back on Monday when we can hopefully post the full-length version of the ad here.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Mr. Animator, I'm Ready for my Closeup

Well, today we have received our last animated shot and it is...Zoo Pandas. It's sad that production is coming to and end and that we won't be able to look forward to the Friday deliveries of animation anymore. It was always so exciting to see the audio clips that we had heard repeatedly transformed into dialog coming from a character's mouth. The animation is so consistently good that I forget that the lines of dialog are not actually coming from that animal, even when those lines come from people that I know.
One of the things that helps this illusion is when you see the character's shadow behind the slate. It really seems as though they are waiting for the director to call action before launching into their performance. Here's an example:

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Slugging Percentage

I don't have much time to blog today since we're in the midst of prepping our first two episodes that are to be audience-tested very soon. I'm hoping that they do well and the rest of you will get to see them on TV soon. I think they're really good and just hope the rest of America agrees. There is only one more day of animation and then all shots for our first season of shows will be complete. The first shot we received (the termite) was back in early July so it's been quite a process. It remains to be seen which will be the last shot we receive, but here's a still from one of the last batch which is near and dear to my heart. The voices of the two slugs are from one of the interviews that I did with my cousin and her friend. Hopefully she will warm to the idea of being an animated slug. And hopefully I will warm to the idea that my interviewing voice will be heard in the episode. Ugggh.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Taunting Across the Atlantic

Director Merlin (rather emphatically) reminds us of all the delicious Victoria Sponge Cake we're missing out on:



And so I'd like to remind him of all the gorgeous weather he's missing out on:

Waiter, there's a fly in my soup!

Happy New Year everyone! Here's picture of the slate from one of my favorite recent shots, it will be seen in our "Art" episode. Unlike some of the smaller puppets, the flies are actually much larger than life, as you can see. Check it out: