Nick Park's Greatest Hits
Creature Comforts (1989) What do zoo animals think about all day? By interviewing real people talking about living in confined spaces, then putting their words in the mouths of animated beasties, Park examines that question in a profound way — and the performance he coaxes from a clay jaguar puts most CG acting to shame.
The Wrong Trousers (1993) Of the three Wallace & Gromit shorts, this one’s the pinnacle. Riffing blithely on Hitchcock, it makes an unforgettable villian out of a glassy-eyed penguin and brings amazing pathos to Gromit’s feelings for his dopey master. The dazzling, frantic toy-train finale has more thrills than most live-action chases.
Chicken Run (2000) Park once had a summer job in a chicken-packing factory. That awful experience lends a palpable scariness to the pie-making contraption in this fable of besieged fowls who escape their fate as oven roasters. Yes, they’re just poultry, but you’ll be rooting for them as if they were real-life POWs.