“Trust me! I’m your agent.”
Hamilton Mattress is a British stop motion animated short film, in the style of Aardman’s Wallace and Gromit. It was not done by Aardman, but several people who worked on Hamilton Mattress had previously worked with Aardman on Wallace and Gromit films.
And, considering the timing, Hamilton Mattress, which premiered on the BBC on Christmas 2001, nicely filled the gap between Aardman’s feature length projects Chicken Run and The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.
While the success of Wallace and Gromit probably created the atmosphere which allowed Hamilton Mattress to thrive, i. e. secure BBC funding, it is probably also the reason why Hamilton Mattress is still relatively unknown, as the Aardman giants tend to overshadow everything else.
Sludger, a simple aardvark with dreams of a more exciting life, meets an agent who assures him that his talents as a drummer would allow him to succeed it in The Beak City. Equipped with a stage name and high hopes, Sludger goes on a journey that is less easy and more adventurous than he had hoped for.
Hamilton Mattress is an uncomplicated film with a simple message about staying true to yourself. It is not as outright funny as, for example, Wallace and Gromit, toning down its humour at times to focus on the message. Still, it is a very funny film, with a considerable feel-good factor. At 30 minutes running time, it is a nice little treat for nearly every audience (small children might get frightened near the end) and definitely worthy of a place in any DVD collection.
It is available for purchase in Region Code 1 and in Region Code 2 versions.
Warning: my Region 2 DVD comes with many extras, but has no subtitles. Considering the wide variety of accents and funny voices in this film this might be a problem for some.