Creature Comforts -- An early look
I have never seen the original Creature Comforts, neither the Oscar-winning short film by Nick Park and Aardman Animation, nor the British TV series, so I can't compare the new American version to them, but I can say that the upcoming CBS animated series Creature Comforts is one of the most engaging and charming things I've seen in a long time.
Don't expect something goofy and fast-paced like The Simpsons or Family Guy, because that's not the kind of laughs this series is going for. Instead, the series takes interviews with regular people and then sticks their words into the mouths of cartoon animals. For example: two men sniffing wine become two dogs sniffing another dog's butt.
This idea could work without the animation, but not nearly as well. By putting their words inside these animals, the creators give their interviewee's words a more universal appeal. There's more to it than the simple novelty of having real people channeled through cats, birds, pandas, bees, lizards and crocodiles. It's those animal conduits that allow the viewer to identify with the folks being interviewed. It's not the actual physical people we relate to, it's their stories.
Hopefully, people will give this series a chance. I fear that younger folks will be turned off because it's not weird enough, and older people will be turned off simply because it's a cartoon. In a TV landscape full of drama, sci-fi, and general insanity, it's nice to see a show that's not afraid to be simple.
The series, whose executive producers include Nick Park and Kit Boss (King of the Hill), premieres on CBS June 4 at 8:00 p.m.