The latest work from leading UK animation studio Aardman is a powerful series of ads aiming to change attitudes towards disability; Rushes also collaborated on the project, which hits TV screens today.

The series, Creature Discomforts, takes the same premise as Aardman's famous Creature Comforts series – charming, wide-mouthed 'clay-motion' animals including dogs, tortoises and stick insects talk about their experiences, with the voiceovers provided by real-life people talking honestly about their own experiences.

The campaign, commissioned by charity Leonard Cheshire Disability, follows a similar campaign last year; this year's characters include a blind chameleon, an owl and a shrimp in wheelchairs, and a hearing-impaired Cheshire cat. The ads are poignant, charming, challenging, and witty, highlighting the fact that disabled people share the same desires and aspirations as others, and encouraging people to think a little more deeply about their own attitudes towards the disabled.

The Aardman team created four commercials and a 15 minute ‘Making of’ film, working with Rushes to mastergrade and finish the commercials as well as version the material for use in PR, promotion, internet and television advertising.

Aardman also created stills for poster use creating a fully integrated campaign with subtitled and signed versions for the hard of hearing.

Aardman Director Steve Harding-Hill adds, “This second Leonard Cheshire Disability campaign is based on the unscripted voices of young disabled people talking about the issues that affect their lives. The animations cover subjects such as love, sex and education, and challenge public perceptions of disabled people. To make the ads more engaging, we threw in a host of extra background characters, underwater special effects, as well as a few visual surprises along the way. Although these spots are obviously related to the original ‘Creature Comforts’ series they have their very own sense of identity.”

The characters were unveiled on July 3, and will appear on the Web site over the next fortnight; the Making Of video goes live the week of July 21. The campaign hits screens and bus stop ads today (July 9).