10 March 2024

Aardman Creates Cute Stop-Motion Films That Focus on the ‘Things We Love’ About the BBC

It was 1989 when Nick Park introduced Creative Comforts to Britain. Cast in a documentary style, the charming film featured a cast of loveable wild animals and pets made out of clay, matched with human voices to great effect. It was groundbreaking at the time, as no one had thought to take unscripted candid interviews with the British public and turn them into stop-motion treats. It was so beautifully done that not only did it become an Aardman classic, but it also scooped an Academy Award.


It led to two television series broadcast on ITV and an iconic set of commercials for the Electricity Board's 'Heat Electric' campaign. Now, it's back in a fresh campaign launched by BBC Creative today. Titled 'Things We Love', it's a heart-warming tribute to BBC content, set across six new films, the first three of which are now available to view.


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Like before, Aardman used real people's voices from unscripted conversations before matching them with adorable clay characters. It's all based on what the BBC's audience loves about the service, whether their favourite shows or regular features that make their day.


In one, we meet a family of foxes. "For me, it's mainly news or sport; that's what I watch on the BBC," says the father fox, as they sit together outside a family home at night, leaning against some wheelie bins. In another, we chuckle as we see a hamster talk of Casualty being her favourite, "But mam here can't; she has to look away – you don't like the hospital drama," the lead hamster remarks while another hamster topples over, stuck inside a cardboard toilet roll tube. It's all so wonderfully familiar and hilarious. And the different regional accents only add to the homeliness.


The campaign is part of the BBC's brand marketing strategy, which has also included films This is our BBC and Trust Is Earned for BBC News. "Things We Love is a testament to the enduring connection between the BBC and its audiences, with real people sharing their personal, authentic reflections on their favourite BBC programmes," says BBC Chief Customer Officer Kerris Bright.


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Justin Bairamian, director at BBC Creative, adds that it's part of the corporation's mission to always work with the best UK talent to bring their ideas to life. "It was a privilege and joy to work with Aardman on these films. The craft and skill involved in telling these stories are extraordinary, and it gives them real charm and authenticity."


How did Aardman feel about bringing back to life this much-loved stop-motion approach? "The magic and joy of this type of animation is that all the dialogue is unscripted and selected from real conversations with members of the public from across the UK," says Sarah Cox from the Bristol-based studio. "And that's where so much of the warmth, humour, and storytelling come from. The interviews inspire the Claymation animal character scenarios. We hope that viewers love these new creatures as much as we do."