Releasing a Christmas DVD before Halloween? Appellate Judge James A. Stewart finds that scary.
"Enjoy your friends and all that food and your boring Christmas television, and think of us sharing little tales of Christmas cheer. I hope you all had a lovely year and, um, the end …"
What does Christmas mean to you?
"Christmas—it's good because it's a long holiday. I don't have to worry about things for a few days. Or rather I can worry about something different, like meeting my family."
If your sentiments tend to be like those of the dog speaking above as he watches the people inside enjoying Christmas, then Creature Comforts: Merry Christmas Everybody! is your sort of Christmas special.
If you're new to Creature Comforts, the British comedy series by Aardman Animation (the Wallace and Gromit people) puts the words of "The Great British Public" (human interview subjects) into the words of plasticine, animated animals. The animated commentary is presented in short takes. The result's a little bit absurd and, when it's at its best, hilarious.
This Christmas episode (also a bonus feature in Creature Comforts: The Complete Second Season) is Creature Comforts at its best. The people interviewed tended to see Christmas as a happy—though stressful—time of year. Putting their words into the creatures' mouths conveys that fractured-but-present Christmas spirit with thoughtful humor.
The 24-minute episode is framed around attempts to recall "The Twelve Days of Christmas." You know, five lords-a-leaping over three geese a laying a partridge in a pear pie. Maybe not. Some of the interview subjects don't do much better than that, though. Along the way, you'll get treated to observations like "If you opened the door and there was four birds calling, you'd say, 'Who sent you?'" (courtesy of favorite Aardman cat Captain Cuddlepuss) and gags like three French hens singing in French. There's a touch of cute, since a bird's the one who gets the song about French hens, calling birds, turtle doves, and partridges right, but just a touch. This is the crazy world of Creature Comforts, after all.
A favorite character here is the hamster who reads the song off a sheet, his expression letting us know he's not into it, and anticipates suffering through a holiday week with his family.
Merry Christmas Everybody! is capped by Christmas wishes from the featured creatures as the credits slowly roll.
The Merry Christmas Everybody! disc sold separately doesn't appear different in any way from the disc found in the Complete Second Season set. While this one might be a good stocking stuffer for someone who hasn't heard of Creature Comforts before, fans probably will want the whole package. Since I didn't see it mentioned on the package, I suspect the two choices might confuse some customers, especially when making an impulse purchase at the checkout.
The episode itself certainly isn't guilty, even though Sony is guilty of risking unintentional double-dips. You'll want to see this one—unless you prefer boring Christmas television.
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