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CDC - Voices Behind the Creatures

CREATURE DISCOMFORTS
Images provided by Aardman Animations.

Extracts from the advertising campaign, on behalf of Leonard Cheshire Disability, that was launched on line at www.creaturediscomforts.org and in print in November 2007. Then in January 2008 the campaign was launched on tv and radio with the intention of changing attitudes towards disability. The cast of Creatures was then extended later in 2008.

Based on the Aardman Animations‘ Creature Comforts series, the ‘Creature Dis Comforts animations have the voices of disabled people describing, in their own words, the negative attitudes and barriers they experience. Each animation ends with the message “Change the way you see Disability”. In each of these commercials there are animated ‘Creatures’ talking to camera. There is also a microphone slightly in frame that shows that an interview is being conducted and they are being recorded.

 Bull Dog on BridgeTV Ad 1 - 'Watch me' In this commercial we see 2 animated animals talking to camera. We also see a microphone slightly in frame which shows that an interview is being conducted and they are being recorded. We cut from one character to the other throughout the commercial.

The first we see/hear talking is an English bull terrier (Brian) in a wheelchair on a bridge. In the background we see lemmings with helmets jumping off the bridge doing bungee jumps....  (Brian): "No I don't believe a word that anyone might say about, you can't do that because you're in a wheelchair."

Sausage dog with wheels as back legsThen we cut to see a sausage dog (Flash) with wheels for back legs, sitting outside the back of its house, again talking to camera... 

(Flash): "Virtually nothing's unachievable with the right access and equipment you can do anything."

We then cut back to the Brian on the bridge... "My standard reply has become - watch me." We then see the English bull terrier put his helmet on as if he's just about to jump off the bridge too, following the lemmings...

 Stck insect Slim on BranchTV Ad 2 - 'Stick' In this commercial we see an animated stick insect standing on a tree branch somewhere in the city. He is disabled and therefore needs a walking stick to help him walk. As we open on the stick insect at the start of the commercial, we see he's holding a walking stick, talking to camera. In the background along the branch is his younger friend, who comes to life and waves a little later in the commercial. What we hear is a real disabled man's voice talking about his disability, represented by the Stick insect (Slim) animated character. We also see a microphone slightly in frame which shows that an interview is being conducted.

(Slim): "The first time walking down the street after getting the stick to walk, help me to walk, I felt very self-conscious about it because who was this man that had been so active, now walking with a stick. And as time went on, you don't think anything about it and your friends don't think anything about it. In fact I think your friends admire you for carrying on with life the best way you can."

Slug in WheelchairTV Ad 3 - 'Rubbish' In this commercial we see 3 animated characters talking to camera. Each animal is talking to us from a different location. We also see a microphone slightly in frame which shows that an interview is being conducted and they are being recorded. We cut from one character to the other throughout the commercial.

The first character we see/hear talking is a slug in an electric wheelchair sat by a pot plant.(Spud):"... that many people 'oh you're in a wheelchair - you're rubbish. You can't do anything.' A lot of it's, it is ignorance."

Hedgehog in wheelchairWe then cut to a hedgehog (Peg) in a wheelchair sitting on the pavement on a street. A car drives past as she's talking... (Peg): "People have assumed that wheels mean, nothing up here in the brain you know."

We then cut to see a sausage dog (Flash again) outside his house, with wheels instead of back legs...(Flash): "Because we're in a wheelchair it doesn't mean to say we're not capable of thinking. Now let's get things put right. Not just for disabled, for everybody. So we can all work in harmony together."

 

Tortoise on CrutchesTV Ad 4 - 'Sweet shop' In this commercial we see an animated tortoise (Tim) standing outside a sweet shop. In the background we can see his two kid tortoises playing on the steps behind him.  He needs crutches to help him get around. What we hear is the tortoise talking about living with his disability. The voice is a real disabled man's voice recorded during an interview. He is represented by the animated character in the commercial. We also see a microphone slightly in frame which shows that an interview is being conducted.

(Tim):"I tend to only go to places that are accessible. Recently come across places which aren't which are a bit difficult for me. I only wanted to buy some sweets for my children. And I went down to sweet shop and couldn't get in. It makes me feel a bit cross - yeah, frustrated more than anything. Now I lose, lose the will to get sweets then."

Rabbit in wheelchair in Garden with familyTV Ad 5 - 'Sex & relationships - Sex' In this commercial we see 2 animated animals talking to camera created by Aardman. The first we see/hear is a mouse (Millie) with cerebral palsy.

The next character is a rabbit (Roxy) that is in a wheelchair.

(Millie): Some people think because you have a disability maybe you should be with someone with a disability. And it doesn't work like that. You can't help who you fall in love with. Her ad closes with the arrival of two elephant’s feet and a trunk that presents her with a flower and a kiss.

(Roxy): They think that if you're disabled, you can't have a love life. That's not true, though. I can have sex. She chuckles shyly and the camera draws back to reveal a buck rabbit and a number of youngsters.

ChameleonTV Ad 6 - 'School - Sneaking Up' In this commercial we see just one animated animal who is a blind Chameleon (Callum) sits on a log with a ladybird in a harness, and as Chris, who was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa at the age of 9, talks about how his limited vision affected his schooling, and how his other senses developed to help him out, Callum finally tracks and catches a fly that has been bothering him.He is talking to the camera. This animal is the visual representation of a real blind man who is talking about living with his disability. We see a little microphone in the side of the frame on our screen to show that he is being interview...

(Callum): Once kids find out you've got a disability they will play on it forever, although they didn't understand what was wrong, I'd lost my peripheral vision at school and they knew they could get up close to me, whack me in the side of a head with a book, and I'd never be able to spot who'd done it. So you develop other skills like very sensitive hearing and things like that as a counter measure. School wasn't particularly pleasant, but you learn how to deal with it.

Owl in a wheelchairTV Ad 7 - 'School - Education' In this commercial we see two animated animals with disabilities; a Chameleon (Callum again) who is blind and an Owl (Ozzy) who is in a wheelchair. They are both talking to the camera because they are being interviewed. What we hear is a real recording of the people behind the animal characters, talking about living with their disabilities. We see a little microphone in the side of the frame on our screen to show they are being interview...

(Ozzy): It took me a little while to build up the courage to get back into the jist of going into education because you're interacting again isn't it you're back out there with the public. People look at you like, 'oh, he's in a wheelchair and he's in Uni, good on ya mate' you know what I mean.

(Callum again): They can be quite judgemental about your disability. I mean the number of people who've told me 'you can't do that', really annoys me, especially as I can do better than they can sometimes.

Edited image of creaturesTV Ad 8 - 'School - Lesson' In this commercial we see two animated animals with disabilities; a Shrimp (Sonny) who is sitting in a wheelchair and a Cat (Cath) who is sitting in a basket on top of a washing machine. They are both talking to the camera. We sometimes see a little microphone in the side of the frame on our screen to show that they are being interviewed...

(Sonny): Some people go, 'oh, look at that chair' and be all nice about it. But then I get these other people that go 'argh, look at that chair!'. They need to be taught a lesson... a very big one.

Cath, curled up in a basket on top of a washing machine as the voice over by Debbie talks about the exaggerated way in which people react to her deafness. (Cath): If I did mention to someone that I was hard of hearing, they would start mouthing and talking to me like I was stupid, 'a li-ttle-bit-like-this', you know, 'a-re y-ou o-k?'