The animation studio behind Wallace And Gromit has lent its skills to a new ad campaign aimed at challenging prejudices about disability.

Aardman Animations, whose plasticine creations have proved popular in the past, has designed a new set of characters in a bid to change negative attitudes towards disabled people.

The ad campaign worked on by the studio, called Creature Discomforts, is based on the hit Creature Comforts series which previously gave real human voices to several plasticine animals.

Plasticine figures with disabilities now feature as part of the new campaign being launched by disability charity Leonard Cheshire, with each character voiced by a disabled person describing the negative attitudes and barriers they have faced in everyday life.

Commercials featuring characters such as Spud the Slug, Peg the Hedgehog and Flash the Sausage Dog will be aired on ITV from January, while ads showing the figures will be available online, in magazines, at bus stops and on London's tube network from Thursday.

Designed to combat prejudice about disability, one of the ads features Peg the Hedgehog sitting in a wheelchair with a cup of tea and saying: "People have assumed that wheels mean… nothing up here in the brain, you know."

Each of the four animations ends with the message, "change the way you see disability".

Commenting on the new ads, Leonard Cheshire's director general Bryan Dutton said: "Creature Comforts is well known and much-loved for its ability to bring home messages in a simple, everyday way.

"Our Creature Discomforts campaign builds on this, making a serious point with humour."

Director of Creature Discomforts at Aardman, Steve Harding-Hill, added: "Taking the real voices and experiences of disabled people and creating animated stories that are informative, entertaining and poignant has been an immense but incredibly satisfying challenge."

12/11/2007 13:50:38